A family of four with employer-sponsored health coverage is shelling out substantially more since the advent of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The cost of family coverage also is rising so fast that even this standard employee coverage package could trigger the 2018 Cadillac tax.

These were among the findings of a recent analysis of the cost of providing coverage for a four-member family by the actuarial consulting firm Milliman Inc., which produces an annual medical index that tracks the various cost components of health insurance.

Not only is the average cost rising faster year over year, Milliman said, but the family's share of the cost has also increased dramatically. And much of the increase can be attributed to the ever-rising price tag for prescription drugs.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.