Study Says Health Care Costs To Exceed A Record $20,000 Per Year For Families With Insurance

According to a new study, health care costs for a family of four covered by workplace health insurance will exceed $20,000 for the first time ever this year.

A family of four will pay $5,114 in premiums for a preferred provider organization plan in addition to $3,470 in out-of-pocket costs like co-payments for doctor visits and prescription drugs, according to the report issued by Milliman, a firm that consults with companies on employee benefits. The remainder of the expenses will be paid by employers leaving less money to be spent on higher wages.

Almost 50 million Americans had no health insurance as of the 2010 census, more people are going without medical care they need because of cost, while employees are being asked to pay a larger share of  health care costs at the same time benefits are being scaled back. More and more employers are dropping coverage for workers, while the United States has fallen behind other industrialized nations on measures of health care quality.

Family health care costs grew by 6.9 percent between 2011 and 2012, slower than in previous years, but Milliman suggests there’s little comfort in that.

“The rate of increase is not as high as in the past but total dollar increase was still a record,” the report says. “The dollar amount of the increase overshadows any relief consumers might derive from the slowing percentage increase.”

According to the report, the health care reform law signed by President Barack Obama in 2010 “has had only a limited effect” on health care costs.

Spending on physician services will reach $6,647 and spending on hospital stays will rise to $6,531, making them the two biggest components of a typical family’s annual health care expenses, the report adds.

Health care costs varied among the 14 metropolitan areas that Milliman analyzed. Miami and New York City are the most expensive, with costs about 20 percent higher than the national average. The report says that Phoenix, Atlanta and Seattle were the only three cities where annual costs are projected to be less than $20,000 this year.

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2 Comments

  1. This means that the average family of four with employer health insurance has a total medical cost of almost $24,000 each and every year and rising.. This is insane. The health care system is out of control. The nation cannot afford this, there is just not enough money.

    Past time for a total redo of the American health care system.


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