Milliman: Americans' healthcare costs have tripled since 2001

In 2016, an employer-sponsored PPO health plan for an American family of four costs $25,826, on average, an amount that has more than tripled since 2001 when the average cost was $8,414.

That finding comes from a new medical index report assembled by Milliman, a global consulting actuary. The MMI measures total cost of healthcare benefits, including premiums and employer's share of the expense load.

Below are seven findings from the report.

1. This is the first time the MMI has exceeded the $25,000 threshold. The cost of care for an American family of four was measured at $24,671 in 2015.

2. The MMI increased by 4.7 percent between 2015 and 2016, the lowest annual increase recorded since 2001.

3. However, the rate of increase in the MMII is still well above growth in both the consumer price index for medical services and median household income. Between 2001 and 2016, MMI grew an average of 6.8 percent annually and CPI increased 3.2 percent annually. Between 2004 and 2014, median household income increased by an average of 2 percent annually.

4. Employee healthcare expenses are increasing at rates higher than employer expenses. In 2016, employees will pay on average $11,033 for medical costs, a 5.3 percent increase from what they paid in 2015. Employer healthcare expenses only increased 4.2 percent from 2015.

5. Employees are shouldering an increasing proportion of medical costs. In 2001, employers paid 61 percent of costs and employees paid 39 percent. In 2016, employers pay 57 percent of costs and employees pay 43 percent.

6. Prescription drugs account for nearly 17 percent of total healthcare spend. In 2016, family prescription drug costs will reach $4,270, nearly four times higher than drug expenditures in 2001.

7. Annual rates of healthcare cost increase are slowing down overall. During the past 15 years, annual rate increases have declined from 10 percent to less than 5 percent on average.

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