The cost of health care for American families inemployer-sponsored preferred provider plans continues to rise,albeit more slowly, according to the 2017 Milliman Medical Index released byMilliman, Inc., a Seattle-based consulting and actuarial firm.

The cost of health care for the typical American family of fourin an average PPO plan is $26,944, compared to $25,826 in 2016.While the dollar amount remains high, the index’s annual rate ofincrease is 4.3 percent, the lowest rate since the firm begantracking the MMI in 2001.

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Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Katie Kuehner-Hebert is a freelance writer based in Running Springs, Calif. She has more than three decades of journalism experience, with particular expertise in employee benefits and other human resource topics.