Average healthcare costs for American family exceed $20,000 in 2012

Milliman released the results of its 2012 Milliman Medical Index (MMI), which measures the average healthcare costs for a typical American family of four receiving healthcare through an employer-sponsored preferred provider organization (PPO) plan.

The average cost of care for this typical family in 2012 is $20,728, 6.9% higher than in 2011. While this is the lowest rate of increase in the 12 years tracked by the MMI, the total dollar increase of $1,335 surpasses last year’s record.

The MMI examines several key medical cost components, and includes:

*           An analysis of healthcare costs in 14 cities, showcasing the role that geography plays in healthcare costs. This year, the average cost of care for the typical family in all but three of these cities exceeds $20,000.

*           An examination of how employers and employees share the cost of healthcare. This year employers will on average contribute $12,144 of the $20,728 total while employees—through payroll deductions and out-of-pocket expenditures—will pay the remaining $8,584.

*           A review of the potential impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), currently under scrutiny by the U.S. Supreme Court. So far, PPACA has had only a limited effect on healthcare costs for families covered by an employer-sponsored PPO plan, but longer term the implications may be more pronounced. The MMI considers several scenarios for the future of healthcare reform and how they would affect consumers, employers, providers, and the federal government.