By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff
In 2019, the cost of health care for a hypothetical American family of four covered by an average employer-sponsored preferred provider organization (PPO) plan is $28,386, according to the 2019 Milliman Medical Index (MMI). Milliman noted that costs grew by 3.8 percent from 2018 to 2019.
The study found that drug costs for the hypothetical family increased by approximately 4.5 percent from 2017 to 2018, and then by only 2.1% from 2018 to 2019. However, past volatility in prescription drug expenses means that these rates can jump significantly, up or down, continuing the uncertainty around future growth rates, Milliman noted.
The long-term trend has been for employees to pay an increasingly higher percentage of total costs, according to Milliman. However, from 2017 to 2018, that trend was disrupted—possibly due to low unemployment rates and a relatively strong economic outlook—with employer contributions increasing by 5.1 percent and employee cost growing by less than 1 percent. From 2018 to 2019, Milliman estimates that employer versus employee contribution rates have grown at similar rates, 3.6 percent versus 4.0 percent, respectively.
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