Family health care costs dipped last year, but it’s not why you might think

August 10, 2021

For the first time in 16 years, health care costs for a family of four dropped.  But it’s not because health care got cheaper.

It’s because families deferred care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, families spent about $26,078 , down from $27,233 in 2019, according to the Milliman Medical Index (MMI), which measures the projected total cost of health care for families with an employer-sponsored PPO plan. Costs for individuals dipped as well, down about $200 to $6,052 in 2020.

Families declined treatment and care because they didn’t want to be exposed to the coronavirus, according to a previous report. Analysts believe there could be a surge of people returning to their providers in 2021.

Costs for a family of four are expected to jump 9 percent to more than $28,000 – an increase that may set new records.

“As we look ahead to 2021, we are faced with more uncertainty than ever before,” Milliman’s report states.