Two new reports suggest that growth in the price of health care services and insurance plans is slowing this year. Health care prices in February rose only 1.8 percent — the lowest growth rate in 14 years — according to the Center for Sustainable Health Spending. Meanwhile, a new report from Buck Consultants, a subsidiary of Xerox, found that costs for all types of medical plans are expected to increase 9.9 percent in 2012 — the first time since 2001 that projected cost increases were below 10 percent. Last year, the same survey projected a roughly 11 percent growth rate for health care costs.


Among the other key findings in the reports:

  • The Buck Consultants survey also found that prescription drug plan costs were expected to rise 9.6 percent in 2012.
  • According to the Center for Sustainable Health Spending, hospital spending in February comprised 32 percent of overall health care spending.