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December 22, 2008
Many Employers Report 2009 Healthcare-Cost Increases of More than 10%

Forty-two percent of employers say that their healthcare costs are set to increase more than 10 percent in 2009, according to a survey by HR.BLR.com and Compensation.BLR.com.

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The combined results of the polls show that 21 percent of respondents said that their healthcare costs are set to increase between 11 to 15 percent in 2009. Twelve percent of respondents reported a 12-percent increase for 2009. Another 9 percent of respondents said they will see a 9 percent rise in healthcare costs.

Thirty-one percent of employers say their healthcare costs are set to increase less than 10 percent. Just 13 percent of employers said they expect to see no increase in 2009. The remaining respondents said they didn't know their 2009 healthcare costs yet.

The online survey included more than 400 respondents.

Employers are trying a number of different ways to reduce healthcare costs. BLR's 2008 Survey of Employee Benefits found that 35 percent of employers raised employee healthcare premiums in 2007 among exempt employees. Twenty-seven percent of respondents said they planned to raise exempt employee premiums in 2008. In 2007, increasing the deductible (23 percent) and raising the co-pay (22 percent) were more popular tactics than reducing benefits (7 percent).

The survey found that nonexempt plant workers were less likely than exempt employees and nonexempt office workers to see increases in employee premiums (24 percent), deductible (16 percent), or co-pays (14 percent).

You can find more data from the Survey of Employee Benefits at Compensation.BLR.com's Benefits Center.

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