Group healthcare costs are climbing again after a four-year lull, with perhaps greater increases to come.
With the migration of employees to lower-cost, managed-care plans from indemnity plans coming to an end, and the cost of prescription drugs soaring, employers' total health plan costs shot up 6.1% to $4,164 per employee on average in 1998, according to a survey by benefit consultant William M. Mercer in New York. MODERN HEALTHCARE's sister publication Business Insurance covers the survey in its Jan. 25 issue.
Total healthcare plan costs for active and retired employees at large employers-those with at least 500 workers-climbed 4.5% to an average of $4,567 per employee last year. Costs for smaller employers jumped 7.2% to an average of $3,598 per employee.
-Crain News Service