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A typical American family of four will experience the lowest annual increase in its health care bill this year since 2001. But the annual increase — 4.7 percent — still far outpaces that family’s average annual income growth by more than double.

This information comes from the Millman Medical Index, a survey of family health care spending that actuarial consulting firm Millman initiated in 2001. The latest results demonstrate that the national effort to restrain the spiraling costs of health care are working, to a degree. Not long ago, the index showed a 9 percent annual increase. Nonetheless, families are being forced to budget even more for medical costs every year.

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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.

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