Across the U.S., CFOs, HRDirectors, and CEOs at companies of all sizes are grappling withwhat to do in the face of unsustainable health insurance programcost increases. After all, how do you budget for seemingly endlessannual premium rate hikes that typically range from a "low" of 7percent to upwards of 12 percent and beyond? We are not talkingsmall dollars here — a 10 percent renewal increase could representa six-digit increase in your overall premiums. When does it becomeunsustainable? Many will say the answer is yesterday.

There are multiple reasons why the annual increases in the costof medical care persistently outpace general inflation, and whythere appears to be no end in sight. The ongoing emergence ofgroundbreaking gene therapies, specialty drugs, and innovativecancer treatments, together with the increasing power of providers(e.g., via hospital mergers), will continue to put pressure oninsurers to pass along the resulting higher health insurance coststo employers.

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