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Health Plans Expect Premium Increase of 8.0% in 2012, or 5.5% after Buydowns

PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--According to Sherlock Company's Seventeenth Annual Health Plan Pricing Survey, health plans are expecting premium rate increases in 2012 of 8.0%, a two percentage point decline from the 2011 expectation of 10.0%. After benefit buydowns, premium increases are expected to average 5.5% as compared with 7.0% expected last year.

These results reflect the projections of health plans serving approximately 30 million commercial members. Sherlock Company's survey, conducted in September of 2011, included the results of 73 plans or 22.1% of health plans nationwide.

Medical trend is expected to be 8.8% in 2011, compared with 10.6% expected in 2011. Accordingly, the health benefit ratio is expected to increase by 0.6 percentage points. Results varied by region.
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