Benefits consultant Aon Hewitt predicted that healthcare premium costs for large U.S. employers would rise about 6 percent in 2013, but when it tallied up its numbers for the year, the increase was only about 3.3 percent.
A similar shift happened in 2012. The forecast was 7 percent, and the actual rise in premiums turned out to be 4.9 percent.
The projection for 2014 costs is again in the 6-percent-to-7-percent range, Aon Hewitt said on Thursday. Based on actual tallies of healthcare usage, the forecast is on track, while the last two years are anomalies, the company says.
Companies use Aon Hewitt's forecasts to determine how much comes out of employees' paychecks each month for health insurance. When healthcare costs are 3 percent lower than expected, there is money left over - for somebody.
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