The retail Rx cost rate, despite the 15% increase expected for 2005, has actually decelerated 3%, down from 18% in 2004. This is the lowest cost increase seen since 1998.
Also in the survey, Segal stated that increases in the cost of hospital services are another leading cause of medical plan cost inflation. On a brighter note, however, Medicare HMO/Advantage plan cost rates are projected to drop below 10% for the first time in several years.
The Segal Health Plan Cost Trend Survey was conducted with information collected from a survey of major insurance carriers, managed care organizations, pharmacy benefit managers and third party administrators. The survey is at 2005 Segal Health Plan Cost Trend Survey .