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This Health Care Trend Spells Relief For U.S. Business


Economic Trends

THIS HEALTH-CARE TREND SPELLS RELIEF FOR U.S. BUSINESS

Health-insurance costs for U.S. employers, which have been posting double-digit gains for years, have slowed dramatically. Benefits consultant Towers Perrin says average medical-plan costs for employees at major corporations are up only 5% to 6% this year.

Behind the slowdown are a sharp decline in health-care inflation and shifts toward higher deductibles and managed-care plans. If it lasts, the taming of health-care costs will alleviate one of business' biggest headaches.GENE KORETZ


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