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2005 healthcare costs to rise

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NEW YORK, Oct 06, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Towers Perrin said Wednesday U.S. employers can expect an 8 percent increase in 2005 healthcare costs.

The rise is the first significant break in the double-digit cost spiral in more than half a decade, Towers Perrin said.

Towers Perrin is a global professional services firm that helps organizations around the world improve their performance through effective people, risk and financial management.

But before employers and employees rejoice, closer analysis reveals that, dollar for dollar, next year's cost increase, at an average of $582 per employee, is still unsustainable for most employers, the group said.

Towers said it found the average reported 2005 cost of medical coverage for all types of health plans combined is $328 per month ($3,936 annually) for employee-only coverage; $668 per month ($8,016 annually) for employee-plus-one-dependent coverage and $945 per month ($11,340 annually) for family coverage.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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