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Healthcare Costs Top $20K Per Family

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, May 16, 2012

The national annual cost of medical care for a typical family of four with PPO coverage has edged up over $20,000 for the first time, according to the actuarial and consulting firm, Milliman.

The 2012 Milliman Medical Index estimates the annual cost at $20,728. That's a record $1,335 increase in the total cost of care compared with 2011, and the first time the cost has notched above the $20K mark since Milliman started reporting on these costs twelve years ago.

2012 Milliman Medical Index

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Through a combination of copayments, deductions, and premiums, the prototypical family of four will be responsible for a record share—42%—of its medical costs.

A combination of factors is driving the increase, including the comparative lack of control insurers exert on outpatients costs, a slowdown in hospital bed utilization, and the cost of technology in patient care, explains Chris Girod, principal and consulting actuary in Milliman's San Diego office and a co-author of the report.

The good news? The pace of the increase is slowing. The 6.9% increase in total costs is the lowest annual rate of increase in more than a decade.

The MMI is comprised of five components: inpatient facility care, outpatient facility care, physician services, pharmacy, and miscellaneous other.  View slideshow.

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4 comments on "Healthcare Costs Top $20K Per Family"


Angie (5/21/2012 at 11:22 AM)
Take that *ave* cost and double it for the families of four with autoimmune disorders. I have teen with MS...the meds alone are 4K a month, then there are the yearly (or more) MRIs, lab work and office visits. Even if I wanted to leave my job I can't because I can't afford to lose the insurance. Something somewhere has to change, people can't keep up this way and we can't afford to go without insurance.

John Hermann (5/17/2012 at 2:01 PM)
A large chunk is the workmans compensation benefits being paid to insurance companys for people illegally working in the USA.. the system has been "gamed" by primary care physicians status given to chiropractors and the referrals for neuro testing,PT,pain management and needless ortho surgeries...

D A Brown (5/17/2012 at 12:56 AM)
As a family of 3 with a PPO and monthly premiums for my husband's employer-sponsored health insurance costing close to 40% of his gross income, I'm fascinated to stumble across this article. In addition to the premiums, our co-pays, co-insurance, and high deductibles are so costly we always have enough medical expenses to deduct them on our federal taxes. Add in pharmiceutical costs and outstanding medical debt of over $15k[INVALID][INVALID]what's a family to do? This certainly isn't "affordable healthcare"! And even if the premiums were lower, the other costs mentioned earlier would still drive someone to bankruptcy! How about adding this kind of scenario to the discussion?