Health Coverage For Typical Family Of Four Costs $23,215 In 2014

The average cost of health care for a typical family of four covered under an employer-sponsored health plan was $23,215 in 2014, according to the 2014 Milliman Medical Index. Milliman noted that while the amount has more than doubled over the past ten years, growing from $11,192 in 2004 to $23,215 in 2014, the growth rate in 2014 was 5.4 percent—the lowest annual change since Milliman began tracking annual health care costs.

Employers pay the largest portion of health care costs, contributing $13,520 per year, or 58 percent of the total. However, the study found that increasing proportions of costs have been shifted to employees. Since 2007, when the economic recession began, the average cost to employers has increased 52 percent—an average of 6 percent per year—while the expenses borne by the family, through payroll deductions and out-of-pocket costs, have grown at an even faster rate, 73 percent (average of 8 percent per year).

According to Milliman, the emerging reforms required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) have had little direct impact on the cost of care for the family of four in 2014, because they tend to be insured through large group health plans. Some of the most far-reaching reforms are focused on access to insurance in the individual and small employer markets. Additionally, while the reforms are having immediate impacts on premium rates in those markets (the individual market, in particular), it is unclear whether they will ultimately have meaningful effects on growth in the cost of health care services, Milliman noted.

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