People cutouts with stethoscope (Photo: Shutterstock)

Employers expect medical plan costs to increase next year by 7.5% in what may be partially a rebound effect of the pandemic.

According to a survey of U.S. employers by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, there was a notable decrease in employees pursuing elective procedures, preventive care, primary care appointments and emergency room visits in 2021 due to the pandemic. Employers surveyed pointed to catastrophic claims, chronic health conditions and delayed preventive/elective care during the pandemic as the top factors contributing to increased plan costs.

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