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Family health care coverage continues to get more expensive

Published: Thursday, May 23 2013 12:48 p.m. MDT

Family Nurse Practitioner Ruth Wiley examines Elizabeth Knowles at a Walgreens Take Care Clinic Wednesday, April 3, 2013, in Indianapolis. Walgreens Take Care Clinics are expanding the scope of health care services offered. The new services, now available at the more than 330 Take Care Clinics located at select Walgreens, include assessment, treatment and management for chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, asthma and others, as well as additional preventive health services. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Darron Cummings, AP

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Health care costs in general may be slowing, but family coverage is getting more expensive, now exceeding $22,000 a year including employer subsidies for a typical family of four.

Reed Abelson's article in The New York Times, "Family medical costs still rising," points out that many analysts continue to focus on discovering the source of the slowing health care costs, but either way there aren’t any strong indications that the trend downward will spill over into family health care savings.

According to the Milliman Medical Index, of the $22,030 to insure a family of four, the employer pays roughly $12,886 in employer subsidies. In this scenario, the employee pays the remaining $9,144, which is a combination of $5,544 in payroll deductions and $3,600 in employee out-of-pocket costs.

That's a year-over-year increase of 6.3 percent, according to the index.

Abelson cites the analysis of the index for 2013 as an indication that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will likely have little impact on family health care prices this year.

“The new marketplaces for health insurance, expected to make their debut in October to offer coverage in 2014, are largely aimed at people who have to buy insurance on their own,” Abelson wrote on Wednesday.

He continued by stating that though there are provisions in the federal law designed to reduce health care costs, “it may take awhile to see any proof that these steps are effective.”

JJ Feinauer is a graduate of Southern Virginia University and an intern for the Moneywise page on DeseretNews.com. Email: jfeinauer@deseretdigital.com, Twitter: @johnorjj.

Read more about family health care on The New York Times.

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