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Milliman: Annual Healthcare Costs Doubled in Under Nine Years

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, May 12, 2011

Lorraine Mayne, principal and chief actuary at Milliman, said she was surprised by the increase in healthcare costs now being borne by each year by employees. "Employee out-of-pocket cost sharing and employee payroll deduction increased by 9.2% and 9.3%," she said in a telephone interview from her Salt Lake City office. "Employees will pay $8,008 more for healthcare in 2011 than they did in 2010."

Mayne says the culprit is probably health plans with higher deductibles, higher co-insurance, and higher copayments.

In addition to looking at costs on a nationwide basis, the Milliman Medical Index also looks at the healthcare costs in 14 cities across the country, including Philadelphia, Atlanta and Memphis. Healthcare costs for a family of four ranged from $17,336 in Phoenix to $23,362 in Miami. In six of the 14 cities studied healthcare costs exceeded $20,000 annually for a typical family of four,

Mayne said the geographic cost differences can be explained in terms of utilization patterns, how providers practice in one city versus another, the differences in standard medical procedures from one city to another, and the competition. "Healthcare is a very local industry."


Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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1 comments on "Milliman: Annual Healthcare Costs Doubled in Under Nine Years"


American Medical Association (5/12/2011 at 7:20 PM)
This study further illustrates that families are paying more for health care, and that rising health care costs must be addressed. With the ultimate goal of achieving better value for our health care spending, the American Medical Association has identified broad strategies to address rising health care costs; these strategies include reducing the burden of preventable disease, making health care delivery more efficient and reducing nonclinical health system costs that do not contribute to patient care. While physicians have an important role to play, everyone, including patients and lawmakers, should work together to improve the overall value of our health care spending.