Pretty much all the papers report on new research showing that employer healthcare costs are expected to rise an average 10.6 percent over the next year, according to a survey of more than 70 leading insurers by Aon Consulting Worldwide.If you break it down by plan type, that’s a 10.6 percent hike for HMOs, 10.5 percent for POS plans, 10.7 percent for PPOs and 10.5 percent for CDH plans.
Seems like a lot, right? These are actually the smallest increases since the study began in 2001—a sign that wellness programs are working.According to the News&Observer:
“Experts say the latest survey shows that efforts to tame costs, such as employee wellness or disease management programs, may be paying off. ‘There's a variety of tactics that employers have been employing over the last three to six years that has had an impact,’ said study director Bill Sharon.”Still, in a press release from Aon, Sharon notes that, “more must be done to truly stem the tide of rising health care costs. This includes greater senior management support for these [wellness] programs, better employee communications and more consistent cooperation from the medical community.”
I couldn’t agree more.