Health care costs now the biggest recurring family expense; governments look to employers to help

A new Milliman report indicates that the average health care cost for a family of four is $ 22,030. This compares with average annual mortgage payments of $ 12,732. Indeed, it is close to the average amount spent to send a child to a public college or university ($ 22,261).

On average, the employer currently pays about $ 12,886 of the cost of health care in the form of employer subsidy. The Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) does not change this reliance on employer subsidies as the main funding mechanism for health care. So, what measures are being taken to encourage employers to continue or expand health care subsidies? Clearly, both the Affordable Care Act itself and the various state proposals being considered are controversial. Because they continue and even increase the reliance on employers to provide health coverage, they are vulnerable to opposition based on the potential to decrease job creation. At the same time, in the absence of a comprehensive health system based on something other than employment, and with health care costs continuing to rise, employers can expect increasing pressure to provide health coverage for their workers.

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