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The cost of family coverage offered through employers' health plans is expected to rise only modestly this year, but that still will push the average cost past $25,000, Milliman Inc. said Tuesday.
The total cost of coverage for a family of four under an employer-sponsored preferred provider organization plan — including premiums and employees' out-of-pocket expenses — rose 4.7% to an average of $25,886, Seattle-based Milliman said it in its annual “Milliman Medical Index” report.
While that is the smallest percentage gain in the history of the analysis that began in 2001, the $1,155 increase is the 11th consecutive year that the annual increase has exceeded $1,100, according to the consulting and actuarial firm.
Surpassing $25,000 a year for family coverage is “a significant and somewhat unsettling milestone,” Chris Girod, a San Diego based Milliman principal and consulting actuary, said in a statement.
The report attributed much of this year's increase in overall health plan costs to a 9.1% jump in prescription drug costs. At an average of $4,270 per family, prescription drugs account for about 17% of the total cost of coverage. In contrast, all other health care services increased just 3.8%, Milliman said.
Employers paid just over 57%, or $14,793, of health plan costs this year, according to the analysis. Employees paid an average of $6,717 in premium contributions and $4,316 in out-of-pocket expenses, such as for health care services that fall under their plans' deductibles.
The percentage of Americans without health insurance continues to fall, dropping for the first time to below 10% in 2015, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.