Employee Health Care Costs Rise 4.3%: Milliman

The overall increase is the lowest since 2001

Health care expenses for the typical Milliman index family may average $26,944 this year. (Photo: Thinkstock) Health care expenses for the typical Milliman index family may average $26,944 this year. (Photo: Thinkstock)

Total health care spending for a typical family of four with solid employer coverage may be just 4.3% higher this year than it was last year.

Analysts at Milliman, an actuarial consulting firm, have published that prediction in their latest medical spending index report.

Overall spending for the Milliman index family may rise to $26,944 in 2017, but the rate of increase is the lowest Milliman has recorded since the firm began publishing the spending index reports in 2001.

(Related: Health Numbers: S&P Dow Jones, UBA, Gallup)

The analysts assume the family has preferred provider organization coverage.

The index spending total includes the cost of inpatient hospital care, outpatient hospital care, health care professional services and prescription drugs. The total also includes bills for ambulance services, prosthetics, home health care services, and medical equipment and supplies.

The analysts get much of the data for the index from an employer survey and the research Milliman does for a medical cost guideline service.

The employer of the 2017 index family will pay 57% of the family's health care bills. The employee and the employee's family will pay the rest, with some of the spending going toward the employee's share of the group coverage premiums and some going toward out-of-pocket costs.

The employer's spending will rise just 3.2% this year, to $15,259, the Milliman analysts estimate.

The family's out-of-pocket costs will rise 5.1%, to $4,534, and the family's out-of-pocket spending will rise to $7,151.

--- Read 5 New Facts About Retirees’ Real Health Care Bills on ThinkAdvisor.

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