NEW YEAR BRINGS INCREASED HEALTH INSURANCE PRICES

Many health plans, reporting losses or trying to bolster sluggish profits, are planning to raise rates effective Jan. 1. Most increases are under 10 percent, but some will top 30 percent. "[Nearly] everybody is getting some kind of increase," said David Richman, consultant with MDG Associates, an employee benefits company in East Hartford, Conn. "In an effort to grow, they [insurers] sacrificed proper pricing for increased market share and now it's coming back to roost."