Rising costs are with us again...
Rising health-care costs are in the news again,
following a period of stable premiums during the middle part of the
1990s Only in the since 2000 have we returned to double-digit
annual increases in costs. Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes
for this problem: The factors driving these explosive cost increases
are primarily long-term. However, the rise in premiums facing
employers has outstripped the actual rise in health costs. See
Wrong with Health Care? for details."
Rising health costs are a culprit in America's
dilemma over the uninsured. We have grown used to
announcements each summer that the number of uninsured has risen
based on the previous annual Current Population Survey conducted by
the U.S. Bureau of the Census.
Strategies for Employers
In the face of rising costs employers are
often caught in a dilemma: should they continue to purchase health
benefits for their employees, cut the scope of benefits or abandon
health benefits altogether. The reasons for high and rising
costs noted above are little comfort. Answers to this question
differ for large and small firms. See "Bridging
Cost and Quality.." for some
long-term answers for Fortune-500 companies. See also
for similar analysis applied to benefits consulting firms.
Strategies for Communities