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Some observers say the U.S. labor market is heating up, but it’s still cool enough that the typical employer can pass big health benefits cost increases on to employees.

Average total spending on group health benefits provided through a preferred provider organization plan has increased 4.5% this year, to $28,166 for a family of four, according to analysts at Milliman Inc.

(Related: Employee Health Care Costs Rise 4.3%: Milliman)

The average employer is letting its own spending on that health benefits package increase just 3.2%, to $15,788.

Average employee out-of-pocket spending has increased 3.7%, to $4,704, and average employee spending on premiums has increased 7.3%, to $7,674.

The analysts note that the benchmark PPO plan they used covers about 83% of the actuarial value of the Affordable Care Act essential health benefits package. That would make the plan a gold plan.

Milliman has posted a copy of its analysis here.

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