News Notes: Health Care Costs Expected To Jump In 1999-2000

Health care premiums are predicted to rise as much as 12% in the coming 12 months, according to a new survey by the human resource consulting firm Buck Consultants. Although managed care has come under attack recently for failing to live up to its promise of keeping health care costs in check, health maintenance organizations are expected to see the smallest increase (6%) during the last half of 1999 and first half of 2000. Point-of-service plan costs are expected to rise 7.7%, while preferred provider programs will jump 10.2% and traditional fee-for-service coverage will rise 12.1%, according to the survey.