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Health costs for 2007 rise for all employers: CIAB


Employers of all sizes continued to see rising costs for group health plan coverage for 2007, though the percentage increases for large employers tended to be lower than those for small and midsize employers, according to the fall "Employee Benefits Market Survey" by the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers.

According to the survey, while 41% of large employers (501 or more employees) saw rate increases ranging between 6% and 10% for 2007, only 16% of small employers (50 or fewer employees) saw rate hikes that low at renewal.

At the other end of the spectrum, 50% of small employers saw rate hikes between 11% and 15% for 2007, while only 19% of large employers saw similar increases at renewal.

An additional 16% of large employers experienced rate increases between 1% and 5% vs. 2% of small employers and 5% of midsize employers (51 to 500 employees).

The survey by the Washington-based insurance broker trade group also found that employers are becoming increasingly interested in health savings accounts, with 70% of brokers reporting that they sold at least one HSA plan for either the 2006 or 2007 plan years. Most employers that offer HSAs--68%--do so as an additional option, while just 10% use it as a full replacement of a prior plan.

The CIAB represents the leading U.S. and international commercial insurance agents and brokers who annually place more than 80% of the commercial property/casualty premiums and administer billions of dollars in employee benefits business. The CIAB's benefits market surveys are conducted twice each year, in spring and fall, to track trends in the group benefits marketplace.

To view the complete survey results, visit