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healthcare-for-families-pricier-than-everNew Report Finds Average Healthcare Costs are Pretty Sickening.

The results of the Milliman Medical Index, an annual report that measures the total cost of family healthcare, are in and the numbers are more nauseating than ever. For the first time ever, the total cost of healthcare for a typical family of 4 rose above $20,000.

The MMI puts the total cost of healthcare in 2012 at $20,728, a 6.9% percent and $1,335 increase from 2011. The family of four considered in the Index is insured by a PPO plan provided by an employer. The PPO plan studied by the Index means that copays, deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs are included in the total cost of healthcare. Additionally, medical premiums paid together by the employer and employee were included in determining the total cost of a family health insurance.

How the Cost of Healthcare is Measured

The annual Milliman Medical Index takes three costs into consideration to determine the total cost of healthcare for families. The three areas included in this year’s cost of healthcare are:

  • Employer subsidy— How much money the employer pays to cover his or her employees’ premiums
  • Employee contributions— The payroll deductions the employee takes to cover his or her healthcare plan
  • Employee out-of-pocket cost—Copays, deductibles and other costs paid out of pocket at the time healthcare is provided

The Cost of Family Healthcare

The report emphasizes that many families may be flabbergasted that the annual healthcare costs for families is over $20,000. However, many of the costs like the payroll deductions are less visible than copays. There are also other out-of-pocket healthcare costs like pharmacy costs which rose above $3,000 for the first time ever.

Where is Healthcare Cheapest?

Healthcare and insurance costs vary by geographic regions. The MMI found that Miami was the priciest city for family healthcare at an average of $24,965 a year. New York City was slightly less expensive at $24,545 followed by Chicago and Boston. Phoenix, Arizona has the lowest average family healthcare costs in the nation at $18,365.

Healthcare Costs Rising

Even though average healthcare costs are higher than ever, the Index reports that last years increase was only at 6.9%, lower than in any years prior. However, the massive, $1,335 increase makes the lower increase rate irrelevant for families struggling to pay for family healthcare. In 2008, the index reported the cost of healthcare for families was $15,609 which is $5,119 cheaper than this year's numbers.

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