Health care costs climb

A tight labor market in 2001 convinced lots of employers to defer passing on increased health care benefits costs last year.

Not this year, according to a survey by benefits consultant Towers Perrin.

Large employers’ costs will jump about 14 percent this year, the study indicates, and many employers are passing along a share of those costs to their employees.

“Both locally and nationally, 2002 will bring the sharpest increase in health plan costs that companies have seen in many years,” says Dan O’Malley, leader of Towers Perrin’s health and welfare consulting practice in Pittsburgh.

Employees who received small increases in salary or wages for 2002 may see a reduction in take-home pay, says O’Malley.

Ray Marano