6 Key Statistics on Employer-Sponsored Family Health Plan Cost Growth

The growth of the total annual cost of healthcare for a typical family of four covered by an employer-sponsored preferred provider organization plan slowed this year to its lowest rate since 2002, according to the 2014 Milliman Medical Index.

The growth rate likely slowed because of a number of factors, including the economy, healthcare provider engagement in cost control, transparency, specialty pharmacies, and supply and demand influences, according to the MMI.

The MMI is issued each year by global consulting and actuarial firm Milliman Inc. and offers an actuarial analysis of the projected total cost of healthcare benefits for a hypothetical family covered by employer-sponsored health insurance. Here are six key statistics from this year's MMI.

1. The total annual cost of healthcare for a typical family of four covered by an employer-sponsored PPO plan is $23,215 this year.

2. That cost represents a year-over-year increase of 5.4 percent, the lowest growth rate ever recorded by the MMI.

3. The highest recorded growth rate for the cost of healthcare for a typical family of four covered by employer-sponsored insurance was 10.1 percent in both 2003 and 2004.

4. During the past four years, employees have taken on a larger amount of the total cost of their care. The total employee cost — including payroll deductions and out-of-pocket spending — rose by about 32 percent from 2010 to 2014.

5. During the same four-year time period, employer costs (premium contributions) increase by 26 percent.

6. Employers still pay a larger share of healthcare costs at $13,520 per year, or 58 percent of the total.

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