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Healthcare Costs Top $20K Per Family

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

In addition to looking at costs on a nationwide basis, for the last five years the Index has looked at comparative healthcare costs in the same 14 cities across the country, including Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles.

With a current annual cost of $24,965, Miami has topped the list for five years. Girod explains that Miami has a large number of healthcare practitioners and capacity helps drive the demand for healthcare services. Also, the practice of defensive medicine is more prevalent in the Miami area.

Phoenix was the least expensive with a cost of $18,365 for a family of four.

For the 2012 study, healthcare costs in 11 of the 14 cities exceeded $20,000 annually for a typical family of four. In 2011 only six of the 14 cities posted costs in excess of $20,000. While that could suggest an easing in the geographic differences in the cost of healthcare, Girod says a more likely explanation is that "the entire scale is shifting up, both at the bottom and the top, so we just ended up with more cities over that $20,000 threshold."

The report notes that so far the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has had "only a limited effect on total healthcare costs for the illustrative family of four."


Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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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?