Health Plans Expect Premium Increase Of 7.4%

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Health plans are expecting premium rate increases in 2008 of 7.4%, 0.8 percentage points lower than last year's expectation of 8.2%. This is the fourth consecutive decline in the rate of premium growth.

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Sherlock Company conducted this survey in September of 2007. The survey contained 76 responses, comprising 20.7% of health plans serving commercial members nationwide.

Separately, the survey notes that the East South Central region is expected to have the highest premium rate increases and the Pacific region is expected to have the lowest. Also, the survey indicates that plans expect to post increases before buy-downs of 9.4%, down from 10.4% in 2007. This implies an increase in consumer cost sharing of 16.2%. Health benefit ratios are expected to increase by 0.5 percentage points on average, and health care costs are expected to increase by 8.0%.

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