US Family Healthcare Costs-$19,393

An average family of four people incurs health care cost of $19,393 on a yearly basis. This is more than double the health care cost of 2002 which was $9,235 and 7.3 percent more than the health care cost in US in 2010. These reports were published in the Milliman Medical Index.

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Though the increasing rate is not so steep, it has take less than nine years for the family health care costs in the US to rise. The Milliman Medical Index (MMI) takes into consideration the amounts paid in by both employee and employer, the load of which has been inclined towards the employee over the last few years. Employees pay in today $8,808, over twice as much as they used to in 2002 ($3,634). Here are more important findings from the Milliman Medical Index (MMI) report

* The MMI rose by $1,319 from 2010 to 2011

* The annual MMI increase rate has reduced by 0.5%, but still outnumbers spending increases in other parts of the economy

* Employees’ share of overall costs increased from 36.8% in 2005 to 39.7% in 2011

* Facility spending increases (inpatient plus outpatient) comprise 60% of this year’s total rise in healthcare costs in the US

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From 2007 to 2011, annual health care costs have remained in 7 to 8 percent bracket. But the authors say that this does not mean the US health scenario is a stable one. The cost of spending on health care benefits are increasingly taking up more share of employee and employer budgets according to the authors. With the advents of the federal health care reform, the emphasis is more on getting the most out of every dollar spent on healthcare.

Deductions on payrolls to pay for health insurance coverage rose 9.3% this year, more than what was there in 2010. While employers’ share of employee healthcare costs reduced 6% in 2010 and 8% in 2009.

Healthcare reforms, according to the authors, have no really been much of a use in bringing down the burden. The new provisions in the reform like eliminating copays on preventative care and removing lifetime benefit limits may have altered the rules to an extent but the total cost of healthcare in the US does not show any significant difference.

33% of a US family’s overall health cost goes on paying physicians, 31% on hospital inpatient costs, 17% on outpatient costs, and 15% on pharmacy costs. Also the area in US, where you live, also has a bearing on family health care costs. So if you live in New York City, Miami, Boston, Chicago etc; the healthcare costs are double the national average for a family of four, while for people in Phoenix, Atlanta and Seattle, the healthcare costs are below the national average.

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