Employers face an average increase of 10.5 percent in healthcare costs in the next 12 months, consistent with a year ago, but still in the double digits. A survey by Aon Consulting of more than 60 leading healthcare insurers, representing more than 100 million insured individuals, projects that healthcare costs will increase by 10.4 percent for HMOs, 10.4 percent for POS plans, 10.7 percent for PPOs and 10.5 percent for CDH plans. While these increases are slightly lower than one year ago, Aon says the sluggish economy is creating a worse situation for many employers and employees with lower wage increases, and in some cases, salary freezes. Wellness and health promotion initiatives are critical in the next phase of lowering the medical trend rate, according to Aon. For more on this story, check out an August 25 online article at Business Insurance by Joanne Wojcik. Check out additional I.I.I. facts and stats on health insurance.