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Health insurance rates highest since 2005, research shows

Posted On Tue, September 28, 2010

A number of companies are still struggling to get their footing back after the economic downturn. The poor economy coupled with rising healthcare costs is forcing some employers to burden their staff with extra expenses.

In fact, research from Hewitt Associates shows that healthcare costs are at their highest levels in five years. Hewitt projects that the average health insurance premium per employee will be $9,821 next year, almost $800 more than this year.

Hewitt's healthcare practice leader Ken Sperling says companies need to plan how they will deal with healthcare reform and expenses.

"After 18 months of waiting for health care reform to play out, employers find themselves in a very challenging cost position for 2011," says Sperling. "Reform creates opportunities for meaningful change in how health care is delivered in the U.S., but most of these positive effects won't be felt for a few years."

While some provisions under reform have yet to take affect, health insurers were recently required to allow adult children under the age of 26 to remain on their parents' plan.

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