Growth in employers' health-benefits costs slowed again in 2005 with the continued shift of more medical expenses to employees, and growth is expected to be flat in 2006, according to a survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting. U.S. employers' health-benefit costs rose 6.1% on average in 2005, the survey of 3,000 employers found. That compared with increases of 7.5% in 2004, 10.1% in 2003 and 14.7% in 2002. On average, health benefits cost $7,089 per worker in 2005, including both worker and employer contributions, up from $6,679 in 2004. Employers ranked so-called consumer-driven plans and case management efforts as the most important of six strategies to contain spending in the next five years and benefit cuts or further cost-shifting as the least important strategies. Read Mercer's news release. -- by Melanie Evans
Employers' health costs continue slower growth: survey
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.