Health insurance costs have been increasing at the lowest rate in the past two decades.
The total costs for a typical family of four insured by the most common health plan offered by employers will average $28,166 this year, according to the annual Milliman Medical Index. That’s up from 2010, when the cost crossed $20,000. Just two years ago, it topped $25,000.
The estimate includes the average cost of health insurance paid by employers and employees, as well as deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses.
The Milliman Medical Index is great because it gives you a snapshot of what people covered by employer-sponsored insurance get and what that coverage costs,” said Melinda Beeuwkes Buntin, a professor and chair of the Department of Health Policy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
The index also estimates deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses. The largest share of the total cost is the health insurance premium paid by employers.
Last year, the premium for the most popular health plan offered by employers — what is known as a preferred provider organization — for family coverage was $19,481, according to the annual survey done by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust. Employers paid $13,430 and employees paid $6,050 of the premium on average.
This year, the Milliman Medical Index increased 4.5%. That was only slightly higher than the 4.3% increase last year, the lowest increase in the 18 years that Milliman has compiled the index.