Employers plan to slow health cost increases through greater cost sharing with employees, reductions in benefit choices and disease-management programs, according to a new survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting. The survey of 916 employers of varying sizes found that they hope to keep healthcare spending increases to 9.6% next year, the smallest increase since 2000 and a continuation of a trend started last year, when costs climbed by an average of 10.1%. Final cost increase figures for 2004 are not yet available, but they are expected to be similar to those in 2003. Without the planned changes in health benefits, employers would be faced with yet another year of double-digit growth -- about 12.9% -- the survey found. -- by Todd Sloane
Employers trying to put brakes on health spending
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.