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Zack Hutchins
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For Release — Monday, August 29, 2005

SURVEY: NEW YORK EMPLOYERS SEE FIFTH CONSECUTIVE
YEAR OF RISING HEALTH-INSURANCE COSTS

ALBANY—For the fifth consecutive year, most New York State employers endured double-digit increases in health-insurance premiums, The Business Council’s latest annual survey of employers’ compensation practices shows.

Eighty-four percent of New York State companies endured an increase in their employer-sponsored health insurance premiums between March 2004 and February 2005, the survey showed. The average premium increase was 12.7 percent, down slightly from the 13.4 percent that the same survey showed last year. The rate of inflation for New York State for 2005 has been estimated at 3.1 percent by the state Division of the Budget.

This increase in health insurance costs continues a trend of many years. In 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004, the same annual survey showed at least 70 percent of respondents reporting increases in their health-insurance premiums, with the average increase in each of those years at least 13 percent.

The Council’s annual survey of New York State employers’ compensation practices was conducted by Compdata Surveys of Kansas City, the survey company with the nation’s largest database on pay and benefits information. The results of the survey were published in Compensation Data 2005 - New York, a 592-page book compiling the results of the survey of New York State employers’ pay and benefits practices.

"With five straight years of double-digit increases, employers and employees continue to feel the burden of increasing health insurance costs," says Amy Kaminski, manager of marketing programs for Compdata Surveys. "Employers have had to make some tough decisions regarding their benefit offerings."

While the average increase fell slightly from 2004, cost-sharing practices continue, Kaminski said. She said the survey shows that:

About the Survey: Compensation Data is an annual survey of compensation practices in New York and is conducted by Compdata Surveys. The survey is the largest of its kind, with 487 job titles ranging from entry-level positions to top executives. This is the ninth year CompData Surveys and The Business Council have partnered to conduct this survey and publish its results.

To order: Compensation Data 2005 - New York is available for $729, with major discounts available for employers who agree to submit data in next year’s survey. Organizations interested in participating in next year’s survey can buy a two-year subscription and receive the 2005 survey for only $419. For information, or to order a copy, visit www.compdatasurveys.com or call Compdata Surveys at 1-800/300-9570.