The latest project for the consulting and actuarial firm Milliman is an analysis of health care costs for the American family. No one is surprised at all when the company said the average family of four will spend 6.3% more in 2015 than it did in 2014.
Prescription drug costs are the major culprit for the hike Milliman said.
Breaking it down a bit, spokeswoman Sue Hart — who co-authored the Milliman Medical Index (MMI) — said the total price tag for an employee using an employer sponsored preferred provider plan (PPO) will be $24,671. The employer will pay $14,198 of the bill and the employee $10,473.
“Healthcare costs for this family have doubled in the past decade, and tripled since we began tracking this information in 2001. As has been the case throughout the time we have studied costs for this family, the rate of increases far outpace the consumer price index, “ she said.
Hart also noted this is the fifth straight year that employees have been forced to assume an increased share of the burden. And with that she put out some statistics:
• Total employee cost — payroll deductions plus out-of-pocket expenses — has jumped 43% from 2010 to 2015.
• Employer cost in the same time frame has gone up 32% on average.
• Of the $10,473 in total health care costs paid by this typical family in 2015, $6,408 was paid via payroll deductions.
• The out-of-pocket expenses of $6,408 came at the point of care.
Here Hart’s MMI co-author Scott Seltz emphasized that prescription costs are the main reason for the high increase:
• The biggest contributor to the $1,456 increase for the year is the $467 jump in prescription drug costs.
• That’s a 13.6% increase.
• Prices have only gone up 6.8% cumulatively for the last five-years.
• And the 13.6% jump follows last year’s all-time low of 5.4%.
“The rate at which prescription drug costs increased this year doubled over the average increase of the prior five years. This was driven by a combination of factors, including the introduction of new specialty drugs, a continued increase in compound drugs, and price increases for both brand name and generic drugs,” he said.
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