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Average annual healthcare cost for a family tops $20,000

May 15, 2012|By Chad Terhune
  • A new report says the average healthcare cost for a family equate to the price for a mid-size sedan.
A new report says the average healthcare cost for a family equate to the price… (Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press )

Healthcare or a Hyundai?

The average cost of healthcare for a family of four this year has increased nearly 7% to $20,728 annually, according to a new study by benefits consultant Milliman, or similar to the cost of a mid-size sedan.

A quick online search turned up a 2012 Hyundai Elantra selling for $20,728 in Michigan sporting “volcanic” red paint. You can nab a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air in Santa Maria for the same amount or for better mileage a 2010 Toyota Prius with just 36,000 miles in Miami.

Milliman said the 6.9% annual increase was the lowest it has recorded in 12 years of its survey, but the jump in dollars from last year was the largest thus far at $1,335.

Increasingly workers are shouldering more of those medical costs through higher premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. Milliman's figures reflect the employer and employee costs for a common preferred-provider plan, or PPO.

On average, employees through payroll deductions and cost sharing pay $8,584, or 41%, of the $20,728 for medical care and prescriptions, according to Milliman. Employers pick up the balance.

The average cost in Los Angeles, $20,908, was just slightly above the national figure. Miami was the most expensive of the 14 cities surveyed, at $24,965, Milliman found, and Phoenix was the cheapest, at $18,365.

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