Slowing, but still increasing

Insurance brokerage giant Aon Corporation released a study today showing that even though health care premiums next year will still outpace inflation by more than 3.6 times, at least it’s slowing. In the next year, health premiums are expected to increase approximately 10.6 percent. It’s been going down steadily since 2002, when increases hovered around 16 percent.

The San Francisco Chronicle also reports on the study.

One of the reasons for the slowed increase, the study director says in the SF Chronicle, is that businesses are being much better about ensuring their workers stay well — through disease management programs — and attacking underlying reasons for increased costs rather than purely making workers pay more, but allowing them to live less healthy and medically expensive lives.

What I found interesting was the rate of increase for a managed-care plan and consumer-directed plan (many of which are low-premium, low-value, high-deductible and intended to save money by allowing consumers to take control) were approximately the same — 10.5 and 10.5, respectively.

Here’s a related report from PriceWaterhouseCoopers

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