A typical family's health care costs increased 7.8 percent last year, or by $1,303 for a family of four, according to the Milliman Medical Index, which focuses on families covered by an employer-sponsored plan using a PPO (preferred provider organization). It's the biggest total dollar increase the actuarial firm has ever found.in its annual study (although not as a percentage).
Employers and employees alike shared the increase in cost this year, with employers total costs increasing 8.00 percent and employees total costs increasing 7.4 percent. The employee portion includes both out-of-pocket cost sharing at time of service and payroll contributions for medical coverage. Increasing health care costs remain a challenge for both employer and employee and are largely driven by increases in the underlying cost of care.
Total medical spending for the average American family reached $18,074 in 2010, compared with $16,771 in 2009, according to the study. The average employer paid $10,744, topping $10,000 for the first time.