Lower percentage, higher dollars

The Huffington Post uses the Milliman Medical Index to call out one of those classic good news/bad news stories.

U.S. healthcare is so expensive that records are broken even when cost increases slow.

According to a new report by Milliman, a global consulting and actuarial firm, the total cost of healthcare for the average family of four, if covered by a preferred provider organization, is now a now a record $19,393.

That might be only 7.3 percent higher than last year’s average cost of $18.074, which is the smallest year-over-year increase in almost a decade. But it’s also the highest year-over-year increase in total dollars spent per family at $1,319.

Trends over the last decade more completely illustrate the toll taken on the average American by rising healthcare costs.

Decelerating trends are a positive sign—but it’s the total dollar amount that matters most to the American family.

Still, if we can focus for a moment on the positive news, here’s a graph of the trend:

And (because we’re realists) here’s the impact in terms of pure dollars for the same five-year period: