HMO costs – and copays – on the rise

Healthcare costs continue to climb, and employers are shifting more of the burden to their workers, according to new data from consulting firm Hewitt Associates, of Lincolnshire, Ill.

Preliminary HMO premiums for 2003 are up an average of 20 percent among 140 organizations tracked by Hewitt. The average HMO premium increased 15.3 percent in 2002.

"Companies cannot afford these increases," says Mindy Kairey, e-business leader for Hewitt's Health Management Practice. "Consumers should expect to pay a lot more for healthcare."

Patients can expect to dig deeper for office visits, too. The number of companies offering plans with a $15 co-pay more than doubled, jumping from 11 percent in 2001 to 24 percent in 2002.

At the same time, employers offering $10 co-pays dropped from 64 percent to 58 percent. Employees are also being asked to pay more for prescription drugs and specialty-care office visits.

Hewitt's data also indicates that, broadly speaking, employers are losing their negotiating leverage with health plans.

Small firms appear to be faring best: Plans with 50 enrollees or fewer received the lowest HMO increases in 2002.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK