Feature

Health spending nears $23,000 per family


 

Health care spending for a family of four covered by insurance from a large employer in the United States averaged almost $23,000 in 2018, the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) said.

That average cost represents the employer’s contribution to the insurance premium ($15,159), along with the employee’s premium ($4,706) and the family’s out-of-pocket spending ($3,020), according to a KFF analysis of IBM MarketScan data and the 2018 KFF Employer Health Benefits Survey.

“Buying a new car every year would be a very impractical expense. It would also be cheaper than a year’s worth of health care for a family,” KFF President and CEO Drew Altman, PhD, wrote in his Axios column.

A little searching on the Kelley Blue Book Car Finder shows that the average family could have purchased a pretty nice new vehicle for the $22,885 that was spent on their health care in 2018:

  • Mazda6 sedan: $22,845.
  • Mini 2-door hatchback: $22,450.
  • Jeep Renegade SUV: $21,040.
  • Nissan Frontier king cab pickup: $20,035.

“The cost-shifting and complexity of health insurance can hide its high cost, which crowds out families’ other needs and depresses workers’ wages,” Dr. Altman said.

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