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According to Aon, 2015 Records Lowest U.S. Health Care Cost Increases in Nearly 20 years

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Medical inflation appears to have slowed down in the U.S. in 2015, the average increase of health care rates for mid-size and large employers was 3.2% against 4.4% in 2014 and an expected 4.1% in 2016. Lower utilization levels due to reduced purchasing power of individuals and lower increases in medical prices contribute to this modest and perhaps temporary slow-down.

The average total health care cost per employee, including premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, reached $13,240 in 2015, with an average 64.5% paid by the employer. Total premiums reached an average $11,032 with an average 77.4% paid by employers.

Even though employee contributions have increased markedly in the last ten years, amounting now to $4,698 per year, or to $6,906 per year when out-of-pocket costs are factored in, employees’ share is still far from the 50/50 breakdown common in other developed countries.

Aon Hewitt’s data comes from the Aon Hewitt Health Value Initiative survey, which captures health care cost and benefit data for more than 600 large U.S. employers representing 11.7 million participants. As the numbers above pertain to premiums as opposed to claims, at least to some extent they also reflect the bargaining power of large buyers of health plans in the second half of 2014 when plans came up for renewal.

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