Businesses predict 7 percent jump in healthcare costs

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Wellness programs offer a financial incentive to workers who, for example, quit smoking or reduce their high cholesterol levels. The average incentive is set to spike by roughly 50 percent next year, according to the employer survey.

"Rising health care costs continue to plague employers at an alarming rate," said Helen Darling, president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health. "Although cost increases have stabilized somewhat, they are still on a higher base from last year and are simply not sustainable, especially when our nation's economy and workers' wages are virtually flat and everybody is struggling."