Average Health Care Costs Up in 2006
Medical care for a "typical" insured family of four in the U.S. will cost about $13,382 this year, a 9.6% increase from 2005, according to the second annual Milliman Medical Index, CQ HealthBeat reports. The study, conducted by Milliman, estimates that a typical family of four will be responsible for about 38% of total annual medical costs, including $2,210 in out-of-pocket spending and $2,810 in payroll deductions.
Employers will be responsible for 62%, or $8,362, of the total costs (CQ HealthBeat, 6/29). According to the New York Daily News, overall health care costs for insured families have increased by about 10% annually for the past five years, while out-of-pocket spending has increased by an average of 8% annually for the past five years (Croghan, New York Daily News, 6/30).
The study also finds that cost increases in each area studied vary by year. For example, outpatient care costs increased 12.6% in 2006 but decreased in previous years. In addition, the study finds that physician care, which represents the largest proportion of medical costs at 36%, will cost about $4,793 in 2006 (CQ HealthBeat, 6/29).