Consulting and actuarial firm Milliman reported Wednesday a typical family of four is paying $1,319 more this year for a preferred provider organization (PPO) plan — the highest dollar amount increase in the history of its Milliman Medical Index (MMI).

However, the 2011 MMI cost is $19,393, an increase of 7.3 percent over 2010, which is the lowest annual rate of increase in more than a decade.

Nevertheless, says Lorraine Mayne, Milliman principal and consulting actuary, "In 2002, American families had healthcare costs of $9,235, and those costs have now doubled in fewer than nine years. As costs continue to grow—and even as the cost trend decelerates—the total cost of care for American families constitutes a larger and larger portion of the household budget."

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