September 27, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – Overall claim costs in employer-sponsored health plans will continue to increase in the high single digits next year, a Wells Fargo survey of more than 70 insurance companies nationwide found.
Although rates remain consistent compared with six months ago, costs are still expected to rise.
Projected increases in the national average cost of claims include:
- Health maintenance organizations (HMOs) – 8.5%;
- Point-of-sale (POS) – 8.7%;
- Preferred provider organizations (PPO) and consumer driver health plans – 9.3%;
- Exclusive provider organizations (EPO) – 9.4%;
- Indemnity plans – 10.2%; and
- Prescription plans – 7.6%.
The Wells Fargo Insurance Employee Benefits Survey also found that dental cost trends are lower than medical trends due to lack of cost shifting from public to private areas, and a negative cost impact from improvements in the dental technology field.
Furthermore, survey results indicated that prescription drug costs are down slightly, due to greater availability and the use of generic drugs.