Tracking Health Care Costs:

An Update

July/August 1997
Health Affairs , vol.16, no.4 (July/August 1997): 151-155
Paul B. Ginsburg, Jeremy D. Pickreign

his article challenges contemporary predictions of an imminent increase in the rate of increase in health care costs. Premium increases for private health insurance continue to decline, and the rate does not vary greatly by type of health plan. The low increase for conventional plans is puzzling, due possibly to spillover effects from managed care and other factors. Insurers’ profit margins are dropping, a reflection perhaps of intense competition. Lower rates of premium increases have had limited benefits for employees because they have been required to contribute a greater share of the premiums, especially for conventional plans.

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