Companies urged to review healthcare premiums.

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Health insurers are failing to pass on cost savings to their corporate clients, according to a study by Mercer Human Resource Consulting.

The insurers' costs rose by an average of three per cent last year--the lowest increase for more than two decades. But many of them are still applying increases of up to ten per cent to companies' annual healthcare bills, the research has found.

Insurance cost inflation has fallen in recent years as a result of clinical developments that have reduced the price of certain treatments. The number of claims has plateaued, too, but many insurers have not factored this into their premiums, Mercer argues.

"Employers could benefit considerably from reviewing their health plan costs, particularly when negotiating renewal terms," said Stephen Clements, a principal at Mercer.

The findings were based on research...

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