An index following the average cost for health care is up a fourth consecutive time since the index hit its lowest annual growth rate in April, Standard & Poor says.

According to S&P's latest health care economic composite index, the average per capita cost of health care covered by commercial insurance and Medicare rose to 5.73 percent over a 12-month period that ended in August. The increase is just above the 5.69 percent index level set in July. The index hit its lowest point in April at 5.32 percent.

Health care costs covered by commercial insurance increased by 7.89 percent over the year ending August 2011, also increasing for the fourth consecutive month.

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