Medical Expense for a Family of Four Rises

Filed in Uncategorized by on May 21, 2009 1 Comment

Yesterday we took a look at Health Insurance CEO pay, and noted that Mr. Ronald Williams of Aetna made $467,309.85 per week in 2008, while Ms. Braly of Wellpoint was left to make ends meet on $189,311.76 per week, and Mr. Hemsley of United Health was forced to manage on  $62,327.73 per week (though one might hope that Mr. Hemsley had the presence of mind to put a little something away the year prior when he had made $253,164.02 per week).

Today we take a brief look at how the other half lives. HealthCare Finance News reports that according to the Milliman Medical Index (MMI) the average medical bill for a typical family of four covered by an employer-sponsored preferred provider organization (PPO) program rose 7.4 percent from 2008 to 2009. In actual dollars:

The total 2009 medical bill for a typical American family of four is $16,771, compared with the 2008 figure of $15,609. The $1,162 increase is the highest measured by the MMI since the 2006 increase of $1,168, when cost trends were at 9.6 percent.

The MMI found that employers are expected to pay $9,9947, or 5.4 percent more than in 2008, while employees are expected to contribute $4,004 toward their health costs, an increase of 14.7 percent, and pay $2,820 in out-of-pocket expenses, an increase of 5.4 percent.

According to Health and Human Services: “The estimated median income for a four-person family living in the United States is $70,354 for FFY 2009” (slightly more than Mr. Hemsley’s weekly paycheck). According to the MMI, of that $70,000, nearly $7,000 in employee wage goes to healthcare expense. That’s 10 per cent or $583.33 per month. That’s more than enough to make the payment on a brand new Cadillac.

In addition, one should also note that the employers’ contribution is nearly $10,000 per year, or $833.33 per month. Together, the actual total is $16,771 or $1397.59 per month. Which is to say that the average expense for medical for a family of four is $1400.00 per month. According to the Census Bureau, the average price of a house in the U.S. in March of 2009 was $201,400.00.

According to the current average for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage is 5.24% but rates are “all over the map.” We’ll use 7%. The monthly mortgage payment on $201,400 for a 30 year fixed rate at 7% is $1339.92. The average monthly medical expense amounts to $1397.59.

That’s a house. The average monthly medical expense for a family of four amounts to a house, maybe not one that Mr. Williams, Ms. Braly or Mr. Hemsley would live in, but a house nonetheless. Oh, and there’s still $57.67 left over– enough to catch the earlybird special at the Family Buffet.

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