Why the health reform law is important: New numbers on rising health costs
Health care costs for a family of four covered by workplace health insurance will exceed $20,000 for the first time ever in 2012, according to a new study released by Millman, a firm that consults with companies on employee benefits. At $20,728, this figure amounts to a $1,335 increase from last year.
Millman’s report found that a family of four will pay $5,114 in premiums for a preferred provider organization plan, a common type of health insurance, along with $3,470 in out-of-pocket costs like co-payments for doctor visits and prescription drugs. The remainder of the expenses will be paid by employers, though money spent on health care and other fringe benefits is money not spent on higher wages.
These findings are troubling for children and their families. It is compounded by the fact that nearly 50 million Americans had no health insurance as of the 2010 census. All this while more families are going without medical care they need for their children because of cost, employees are being asked to pay a greater share of the burden for their family’s health care costs, and more employers are dropping health coverage altogether in light of the increased costs.
In light of these findings, it is even more important for the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the health reform law. Health reform provides families with many cost-limiting provisions that are only beginning to take effect, and the health reform law ensures that nearly every American is enrolled in health coverage later this decade.