At 7.5 percent, health care spending is growing at a historically low rate in the United States, according to the PwC Health Research Institute’s (HRI) annual “Behind the Numbers” report on medical cost trends.

For employers, HRI says the net impact of the 2012 increase could be as low as 5.5 percent after accounting for changes in benefit design by purchasers. For health insurers, the decrease in spending and costs may be an opportunity to recoup expenses from the decreasing margins of previous years.

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