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."