Study: Health Care for Family of Four Costs More Than One Year's Groceries

| by Michael Allen
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According to a new study presented by the consulting firm Milliman Inc., yearly health care expenses for a family of four cost more than a year's worth of groceries for the same family.

Forbes reports: “The total share of this cost borne directly by the family — $9,144 in payroll deductions and out-of-pocket costs — now exceeds the cost of groceries for the (Milliman Medical Index’s) typical family of four,” the study says. “The out-of-pocket cost alone — $3,600 for co-pays, coinsurance and other cost sharing, is more than the average U.S. household spends on gas in a year.”

“It is a huge expense,” Chris Girod, an actuary at Milliman Inc., told Forbes. “Although the trends are slowing down, the total dollar amount has risen $1,300 per year each of the last four years.”

The 2013 Milliman Medical Index noted: “Our typical family is well aware of the increasing cost of care, even if it is only responsible for paying 41 cents of every healthcare dollar.”

The report also says that the Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Obama has not yet impacted the cost of health care for families. However, it will not go into full effect until 2014.

Earlier this year, The Atlantic reported on a NIH-funded study that said the average emergency room visit, $2,168, is 40 percent more than what the average American pays in monthly rent.

Source: Forbes and The Atlantic