According to an annual survey of more than 2,800 U.S. employers of various sizes, enrollment in all kinds of managed care has passed the two-thirds mark. Some 63 percent of the companies' covered workers were in HMOs, preferred-provider organizations and point-of-service plans in 1994; last year that share rose to 71 percent. Pacing the growth were companies employing from 10 to 499 workers, enticed in part by an average 11.9-percent reduction in one year in small-company HMO costs per covered active employee. The survey also found that total spending on health benefits was up only 2.1 percent for 1995 — that after an outright decline of 1.1 percent in 1994. Concludes benefits consulting firm Foster Higgins, which conducts the survey: "Managed care has become the norm."

SOURCE: FOSTER HIGGINS, NEW YORK