Hitting Record Highs

The rising cost of healthcare is not only a concern for retirees…

The annual cost of health care for a typical American family – two parents and two children covered by an employer-sponsored preferred provider organization -- is $28,166 this year, according to the 2018 Milliman Medical Index released Tuesday.

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Health care costs have risen every year since Milliman began tracking them in 2001, but the rate of increase has fallen in recent years. Even so, the relatively small increase of 4.5 percent in 2018 translates into a price hike of more than $1,200 a year.

On the one hand it's heartening to see the rate of healthcare cost increase slow year-over-year. On the other hand, we're still talking about more than $28,000 in total healthcare costs for the typical American family!

Prescription drugs costs are still rising, although the 6 percent increase in 2018 is the smallest in the past three years and well below the double-digit price hikes seen a decade ago. See the trends in other components of care below.

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One other hit to the American worker: the increased costs are not shared evenly between employees and employers, and the larger increase for employees in 2018 is part of an ongoing trend. Over the long-term, the study finds that employees are footing an increasingly higher percentage of the total. That trend continues in 2018, with employee expenses increasing by 5.9% while employer expenses increased by only 3.5%.