Survey: Growth in health costs is slowing

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Some Republicans have charged that Obama’s healthcare law will cause the price of employer-based insurance to skyrocket, prompting businesses to quit offering coverage. The Buck survey, however, suggests that employer-based plans have already accounted for added costs because of the healthcare law.

“Health insurers, who may have previously added margins to account for healthcare reform benefit changes mandated for 2011, have now removed those margins for 2012 projections,” said Daniel Levin, the Buck actuary who led the survey of 129 insurers and plan administrators.

The slower growth is also a result of employees postponing medical care to save money during the economic downturn, Buck said in a release.

The survey also confirms that Medicare helps constrain the growth in healthcare costs. Private plans that supplement Medicare coverage will get about 6 percent more expensive this year, compared with the 9.9 percent jump for employer-based policies, according to Buck.