Health care

Families' health-care tab has doubled in less than a decade

May 23, 2011 at 7:44 AM ET

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The total cost of health care for a typical American family of four will hit $19,393 this year. That's more than double what it was in 2002.

While the rising cost of health care has slowed compared with prior years, the average household covered by a preferred provider plan will pay 7.3 percent more for health care this year than it did in 2010, according to the annual Milliman Medical Index report (.pdf file).

Furthermore, employees' share of the tab for health insurance coverage continues to grow, effectively doubling over the last nine years, according to the index. The typical worker paid $3,634 (36.8 percent of the bil) for coverage in 2002. This year the tab is $8,008 (39.7 percent of the total).

The report points out that coming health-care reform will affect the cost trends measured by the index. Premium rates for some people will be affected, but the overall impact on the cost of health care is expected to be limited.