Health care costs to jump 10 percent in 12 months

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Health-care costs are expected to rise an average of 10.5 percent during the next 12 months, say researchers at Aon Consulting.

Aon surveyed more than 60 health-care insurers representing more than 100 million policyholders. The survey found an expected increase of 10.4 percent for both HMOs and POS plans, a 10.7 percent increase for PPOs and a 10.5 percent increase for CDH plans.

The rate increases – projected without health-care reform – are slightly down from this year’s.

“While we’re seeing a slight decrease in the trend rates, it’s still in the double digits and this year it’s compounded by a struggling economy, lower wage increases and in some cases salary freezes,” said John Zern, Aon Consulting’s health and benefits practice director.

Prescription drug costs are expected to increase 9.3 percent, slightly lower than the 9.4 percent increase projected one year ago.