Mercer Expects Health Costs to Increase by 5.7%

Mercer Consulting, one of the largest employer consulting firms, put out its preliminary estimate that employers will see a 5.7% rise in the cost of health insurance in 2009.  This is the lowest increase in 10 years- but will still outpace inflation.   Notably, the increase for smaller employers is far larger, and employers continue to increase patient financial responsibility.  Uptake for "consumer directed health plans" - those with a very high deductible and often an associated health care savings account, remains low.