Milliman: It now costs more than $25K a year to insure a typical family

The cost of healthcare coverage for an average household has topped $25,000 annually, according to a new report by Milliman.

The typical American household with four family members and coverage under an employer-sponsored PPO will cost $25,826 to insure this year, according to the Milliman Medical Index. That's up from $8,414 in 2001, more than tripling the cost in just 15 years.

Cost-shifting is also occurring at a rapid rate. The survey found that the household itself pays out $11,033 of that cost. That's up 5.3 percent from a year ago, while the employer's cost rose 4.2 percent. Only once in the past 10 years has the employer's rate of cost increase been higher than the employees.

Such out-of-pocket costs constitute an increasing burden for individuals. Many face six-figure costs for diseases like cancer even if they do have insurance coverage. This places a strain on hospitals and other providers trying to collect such payments, prompting them to offer low-interest loans to patients.

Milliman did see a silver lining in the trends. "The good news is that, over the past 15 years, annual rates of cost increase have declined dramatically, from 10 percent per year to less than 5 percent," it said in a statement prefacing the report. "We seem to be making progress in wrestling the curve down to sustainable levels."

To learn more:
- read the Milliman report (.pdf)
- check out the Milliman statement

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