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Health Plans Expect Premium Increase of 7.4% in 2008

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Health plans are expecting premium rate increases in 2008 of 7.4%, 0.8 percentage points lower than last year's expectation of 8.2%. This is the fourth consecutive decline in the rate of premium growth.

Sherlock Company conducted this survey in September of 2007. The survey contained 76 responses, comprising 20.7% of health plans serving commercial members nationwide.

Separately, the survey notes that the East South Central region is expected to have the highest premium rate increases and the Pacific region is expected to have the lowest. Also, the survey indicates that plans expect to post increases before buy-downs of 9.4%, down from 10.4% in 2007. This implies an increase in consumer cost sharing of 16.2%. Health benefit ratios are expected to increase by 0.5 percentage points on average, and health care costs are expected to increase by 8.0%.

Additional information concerning the Thirteenth Annual Health Plan Pricing Survey is available from Sherlock Company.

Sherlock Company ( ) provides informed solutions for health plan financial management. We provide benchmarking data and analysis for the management of the costs and quality of administrative functions, perform valuation, due diligence and other corporate finance services health plans and offer financial research publications for the health plan industry. Sherlock Company's performance benchmarking studies are used by health plans serving more than one-third of all members of private health insurance plans.

Contact: Douglas B. Sherlock, CFA


SOURCE Sherlock Company
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