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Cracker Squire

THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Location: Douglas, Coffee Co., The Other Georgia, United States

Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Health-care costs going up "only" 9.6% next year -- Get ready for less spendable income

Employers believe that they can slow the rate of increase in health-care costs to 9.6% in 2005, but only after shifting more of the expense to their employees.

In the survey's final results last year, employers said they expected health-care costs to increase 13% going into 2004.

Still, at more than three times the current rate of general inflation, the more moderate increase leaves little room for companies to cheer.

What's more, many employers will manage to whittle their health-care spending only after raising workers' deductibles and copayments, cutting back some health benefits and limiting the number of plans they offer, said Blaine Bos, a senior health-care consultant at Mercer and the survey's chief analyst.

(wsj)

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7:33 AM  

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