Wednesday, June 18, 2008

U.S. Employers Facing Big Increases in Health Care Costs

“Health care costs for American employers are expected to increase 9.9 percent this year and another 9.6 percent in 2009, says a PriceWaterhouseCoopers study released Tuesday. There are two main reasons for the rising costs, the study said. One is an increase in the expenses people with insurance are paying for people without coverage. Second, many hospitals are replacing facilities and adding private rooms and outpatient treatment centers, the Associated Press reported. ‘Health care providers, insurers and employers will have to monitor medical costs carefully if we are to avoid a resurgence of the double-digit annual increases seen in the past,’ said Dr. David Chin, leader of the Health Research Institute at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. In an effort to control health care costs, study leaders said employers are increasing wellness, prevention and disease management programs designed to keep workers healthy and boost productivity, the AP reported.”

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