Yup, a new study says that healthcare costs for a family of four with health insurance is now breaking through the $20,000 barrier. At $20,728, it’s the first time ever that the annual costs of healthcare will exceed $20,000, an increase of $1,335 over 2011. Even though the growth in family healthcare spending slowed to 6.9 percent over last year, the absolute numbers continue to go up, up, up. National healthcare costs were estimated to be a mindboggling $3.6 trillion last year.
The study by Milliman Benefits, an employee benefits consulting firm, estimates that a family of four will pay $5,114 in premiums for a preferred provider organization plan, a common type of health insurance, along with $3,470 in out-of-pocket costs like co-payments for doctor visits and prescription drugs. The balance is generally paid by employers through employee health benefits which are given in lieu of higher wages.
Doctors and hospitals still make up the biggest sources of healthcare costs. According to the Milliman study, spending on physician services will reach $6,647 and spending on hospital stays will rise to $6,531, making them the two biggest components of a typical family’s annual health care expenses.
It’s even worse news if you live in New York or Miami. Out of the 14 metropolitan areas studied by Milliman, those two cities topped the heap as the most expensive, with costs about 20 percent higher than the national average. Phoenix, Atlanta and Seattle were the only three cities in the study where annual costs are still expected to be less than $20,000 this year.
How much do you think that your family will be paying in healthcare costs this year? Tell us about it in our discussion forum!
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