A new survey from Mercer indicates employers expect to see slower health insurance cost hikes in 2012 than we have seen in years past.
The predicted increase of 5.4% for next year would be the lowest rate of increase in 15 years. That is good news, but comes with a couple of caveats:
One reason for the lower than normal rate of increase is because people are dialing back their use of the healthcare system due to the recession. We simply used less in 2011 than expected. That is not a sustainable method of cost containment.
And of course the 5.4% increase still outstrips what the average employee can expect to see in terms of wage increase in 2012.
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