Astronomical health costs
By Roger Bybee at Jul 06, 2009
Family costs hit $16,771/ year
The Milliman Medical Index, compiled by the Milliman private consulting firm, has calculated that the annual medical spending for a typical American family climbed 7.4% over 2008.
For an average family of four, cover red by an employer-sponsored preferred provider organization, this was the total non-administrative health costs for 2009:
Milliman breaks down the spending this way:
Employer spending: $9,947
Worker share of premiums: $4,004
Worker out-of-pocket costs: $2,280
Significantly, Dr. Don McCanne points out, the combined employer and employee premiums ($13,951) do not even represent the full premiums paid. The Milliman study covers only the actual payments made to the healthcare delivery system and specifically "excludes the funds retained by the insurance industry for administrative costs and profits," as McCanne notes.
Milliman highlighted three other key findings:
· The comparable 2008 figure was $15,609..
· The 2008-09 increase of $1,162 is the highest since the 2006 increase of $1,169, when cost increases were at 9.6%.
- For the third consecutive year, employees were hit with double-digit percentage increases in the amount that they were required to contribute to paying for healthcare services