Health-Cost Survey Data Is Misleading

The article "Health Costs Spiral" (Oct. 5) is very misleading regarding the real cost of employee health insurance in California and across the country.

The survey by Milliman & Robertson Inc. used data based on $100-deductible indemnity plans--coverage as outdated as the 5-cent cup of coffee! That would be the same as reporting the average cost of automobiles based on a survey of Mercedes' owners. Most companies offer no less than a $250-deductible plan, and employers are gradually moving toward a $500 deductible.

I write a lot of group health insurance, and the average cost per employee is about $200 per month. Many employers are further reducing their monthly premiums per employee to $125 or $150 per month by offering coverage with an HMO.

One consultant quoted advises firms to relocate to areas where health insurance costs are less, which is unnecessary. There are less expensive alternatives in Los Angeles.


The writer is an Altadena-based agent for New York Life Insurance Co.

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