In a press release on the survey results, Aon said the survey of more than 90 health insurers found Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans are expected to post the greatest rise in cost by 11.6%, followed closely by Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans (11.4%) and Point-of-Service (POS) plans (11.2%). These next-year estimates are below last year’s predictions, which all hovered around 13%.
Consumer-driven health plan (CDH) costs are expected to
increase by 10.5%, a 2% decrease from the year before, the
release said. “The CDH trend rate decrease has been
particularly satisfying,” said Bill Sharon, senior vice
president with Aon and director of the study, in the press
release. “After six years of CDH there is now enough
credible financial information about these plans to show
that they can be an effective approach to controlling
healthcare costs.” Aon Consulting defines trend as the
expected future increase in employer-provided medical plan
claims cost, before any plan changes.
Sharon offered several reasons for the lower predictions:
- Health care insurers are aggressively controlling hospital, physician and pharmacy increases;
- Employers are introducing higher deductibles, co-insurance and co-pays, which have slowed the utilization of health care services;
- Employers are implementing health promotion programs to improve employee lifestyles; and
- Employers and health care insurers are adding chronic condition management programs to more effectively manage the high costs of chronic conditions.
Other survey findings included:
- Medicare Supplement plan trends are predicted to increase by 10.5% and Medicare Advantage plans trends will likely increase by 10.1%.
- General pharmacy costs are expected to increase by 10.6%, down from 11.8% one year ago.
- Specialty drug costs will increase by 14.9%, down from 19% at the same time last year.
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