Home > Health > How Much a Healthy Family Spends on Medical Care in a Year

About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.


  1. I think we are probably in the same relative range that your family was for the year. We don’t track it religiously, though since most of our stuff came out of the HSA I could relatively easily find out the given number. We’re all relatively healthy and the only regular thing we need to buy is an allergy med for Nicole, so that helps quite a bit.

    • Those allergy meds seem to be super common these days. I guess when I was a kid we just had runny noses all the time. I am so thankful for Singulair or the generic version I guess. It has saved us so much sleep because it cures that constant cough they get with allergies.

  2. I am really blessed that because of my military status its all on Uncle Sam’s dime right now, but once I retire due to the lack of good service from the VA Hospitals I am really considering researching health insurance to ensure proper care for me and my child. It is just so sad that medical insurance is so expensive in the U.S. and so many people are suffering because they cannot afford it.

    • The VA system is a mess, but it’s exciting that vets are now able to see private doctors if they don’t live close to a VA medical center or if the wait is too long. We’ve had a few come through our office and it’s been a win win. Are you able to keep Tricare when you retire? That seems like a great insurance plan.

  3. We track our health care spending. Most of our spending outside of paying for health insurance is dental as well even though we have healthy teeth.

  4. Healthcare spending is actually not something we actively monitor, but we pay for everything through our HSA so we could probably figure it out easily. Our biggest healthcare expense is my son’s medication for his ADHD. It’s a painful monthly expense but it definitely helps him focus in school, so it’s worth it to us and to him.

    • Luckily our daughter’s allergy medicine is available as a generic, but I would pay any amount if she needed something to keep her healthy or focused.

  5. How much are your dental xrays (per your comment)? I don’t have my fee guide in front of me but 2 bitewings- the type of xray I take every 12-18 months at cleaning I think MIGHT cost $20. Dental xrays are usually pretty cheap….unless you do a Panorex xray which we reallly only do PRN and maybe costs $100 every 5-10 years.

    Spending $100-200 per person on cleanings anually is MUCH cheaper than any restorative work…money well spent 😉

    • I feel like x-rays are around $60? I do that Panorex thing every so often too. It’s probably overkill, but what if it did find something small before it becomes a problem? My dentist is not cheap, but I really like him and he actually came in after hours once to see me when I was having a toothache. It turned out to be nothing, but he didn’t even charge me. I’ve been loyal every since. I love my hygenist too and can’t imagine having anyone else clean my teeth.

  6. I need to start tracking healthcare expenses! Right now, we have some decent insurance through work… but we home to be FI in a few years, and right now healthcare is my biggest unknown expense! Especially having two young children, I worry about it quite a bit. Currently, I want to budget ~$10k for health/dental in the future, which would be about 20% of our expenses. My father (in his 60s) tracks his and my mom’s and they are closer to $20k/year.

    • Wow, $20K! Are they eligible for Medicare yet or does that include insurance premiums? I think my Mom and Dad were paying something like $1500 per month in health premiums before they became eligible for Medicare.

  7. We pay $1,220/month to add myself and two kids to the hubbies healthcare plan. Ugh! Hate that it’s so expensive but so thankful that we have it! The price did increase when Obamacare was introduced. Last year we paid quite a bit in medical expenses and we are hoping this year will be less eventful;0)

  8. I shudder to think what we’d pay in your situation. We’ve both got multiple health problems. Even generic prescriptions are pricey when there’s no insurance to soften the blow. And I take 3 a month. Ugh.

    • Yep, we’d be screwed if we had chronic conditions. It would be cheaper to get on the group plan at $800 a month.

  9. Ugh, health costs are just ridiculous! I haven’t had much of a need for my insurance til this year, and it was truly eye opening. Going forward, I am MUCH more aware of my out of pocket costs and will certainly be budgeting for down the road to offset any more surprises. I think this is something largely overlooked by most people, unfortunately.

  10. I definitely feel strongly about preventative care, too, and am lucky that adding my husband on to my plan through my employer is really cheap. My husband, on the other hand, hadn´t had a physical with blood work and all in that probably 10 years! But I made him go just last month, and it turns out everything was fine. But definitely better safe than sorry!

    • I’d rather know than wonder. It’s kind of stressful waiting for results, but I’ve seen how much better finding out problems early is over waiting until symptoms do show up.

  11. I don’t usually track our medical spending but I regularly check my health insurance. Last year, when I got hospitalized I was really thankful that my medical care covered my hospital bills.

  12. I found it so interesting to see how much you spent on medical care. It goes to show how fast it can all add up. I would rather brush my teeth and floss than have to pay for a cavity. Next time I don’t feel like brushing I will think about this. Thanks for sharing.

  13. I think it is so great that you and your family have regular checkups! So many people do not think about preventative care or how important it is. My cliche motto is, “better safe than sorry.” I take very good care of my teeth but I try to visit the dentist at least every year to make sure everything is in good shape. Thank you for sharing your tips!

  14. Oh, that sure is quite interesting to know about the cost that each family spends at a medical clinic. Are some of the costs based on vaccines being given, sustaining injuries, or being hospitalized? I ask this because it’s something that my wife and I are needing to learn now that we have a daughter on the way.

    • Vaccines and well child care should be covered if you have an ACA approved insurance plan. Our costs are for basic dental, prescriptions, and if we have to go to the doctor for an illness. We did have a few ER visits when my daughter was a baby for high fevers and once when she fell off a counter. Thankfully, that has gotten better as she’s gotten older!

  15. I usually use generic meds. I can save a lot of money. Once in a while a generic does not work as well as the originial.

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