Family Health Care Costs Up 7% From Last Year
Family health care costs have risen by about 7.3 percent this year, with employees paying a bulk of the increase. According to a new industry report released Wednesday, a typical American family of four that is insured through employment can expect to pay around $19,393 to keep themselves healthy.
This amounts to an increase of about $1,319, according to the seventh-annual Milliman Medical Index, a healthcare consulting firm. And the burden of these increased expenses is being largely passed on to workers.
Employees’ out-of-pocket costs for rose 9.2 percent from 6.6 percent in 2010. Additionally, payroll deductions for insurance coverage increased to 9.3 percent from 8 percent the year before, while employers’ share of the costs fell from 8 percent to 6 percent.
That means that of the overall cost of family health care, employees are paying almost 50 percent. Lorraine Mayne, principal and consulting actuary with Milliman, attributes this to a change in coverage plans.
“What we’ve observed in the past few years is employers have been offering health plans with higher deductibles and co-insurance, co-payment limits,” she said in a statement. According to her, this is a money-saving strategy employed by companies to control costs and force their workers use medical care more selectively.
And, Mayne said, so far health reform has had just a little and a limited impact on helping to cut costs.
She said that reform has changed rules for who pays costs of care, but has done nothing for total costs.
According to the report, the most expensive parts of family health care included physician costs, hospital inpatient and outpatient costs, pharmacy costs and expenses for medical equipment.