The amount of money the average American family of four pays towards healthcare has surpassed the amount paid on monthly groceries. According to the 2013 Milliman Medical Index (MMI), a typical household of four could spend up to $22,030 in health care expenses.

Founded back in 1947, Milliman, Inc. is a consulting and actuarial firm with offices in major cities around the world. The MMI is released annually to survey medical expenses paid out by the average American family using an employer-sponsored preferred provider organization plan (PP0), Reuters reported.

In 2012, the MMI marked the cost of the average American family's medical bill at around $20,728. This year's data saw a 6.3 percent rise, consistent with the past four years, which have shown cost increases of over $1,300.

"The total share of this cost borne directly by the family-$9,144 in payroll deductions and out-of-pocket costs-now exceeds the cost of groceries for the MMI's typical family of four," researchers explained. "The out-of-pocket cost alone-$3,600 for co-pays, coinsurance, and other cost sharing-is more than the average U.S. household spends on gas in a year."

Researchers could only speculate as to what causes the continuing fluctuation of health care costs. However, they were able to offer possible explanations including approval of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), integration of medical providers, and the online sale of designer drugs.

Although reforms implemented by the ACA will have an effect on nearly every aspect of health care payouts, a family of four should be exempt from most of these added expenditures if they are a part of a larger group health plan.

"Whether our family fully realizes the degree to which total healthcare costs eclipse so many other household costs is another question. The employer pays a significant share of our typical family's healthcare cost; some of these costs are not visible in the family budget," researchers concluded.

"But for four of the last five years, our family has seen a larger percentage increase in costs than the employer. Our typical family is well aware of the increasing cost of care, even if it is only responsible for paying 41 cents of every healthcare dollar."