The average premium increase for health insurance has been decreasing in recent years, but 2009 saw a bump of over 10 percent for all plan types. According to the 2009 Compensation Data Insurance, conducted by Compdata Surveys, premiums increased 7.7 percent in 2008 and 10.7 percent in 2007; this year average premiums increased almost to 2007 levels, at 10.3 percent.

PPO plans and POS plans saw the greatest increase at 11.1 percent and 11.2 percent, respectively. HMO plans had a slightly lower increase, at 7.3 percent. HDHP plan premiums increased 10.6 percent.

Employers are more or less in agreement on the best way to cut costs. Over 88 percent are coordinating benefits to rein in rising costs, while 76.9 percent use a network of health care professionals. Nearly 60 percent passed the cost on to their employees by increasing their portion of the premium.

Insurance companies contribute an average 11.2 percent of payroll to the cost of health benefits, the same cost to provide dental, life, retirement, disability and other non-mandated benefits together.