Cost of Long Term Care Continues to Rise in US
It’s that time of the year again: Genworth Financial has released their 2014 Cost of Care Survey. Every year, the Long Term Care Insurance provider publishes their annual report that details the cost of long term care across the United States to help consumers learn more about the different care settings and options available.
Who Needs Long Term Care?
Long term care refers to care received when someone is in need of care for an extended period of time. The most common long term care settings are nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and at home. Long term care often consists of help for those who are disabled or fragile and need assistance with basic activities of daily living like eating, bathing, and dressing. Cognitive impairment like dementia is also another common reason people require long term care.
Since last year’s report, the cost of long term care has risen for almost all care settings. According to this year’s data, though, the cost of facility care is growing much more quickly than the cost of home health care. Nursing homes are the most expensive care setting across the nation, but they are also the least preferred. Nearly all surveys find that receiving care in the comfort of their own home is what most people prefer.
According to this year’s Cost of Care Survey, the median cost of a home health aide is $20 hourly or $45,188 annually, up 1.59% from 2013. Home health aides are health professionals that provide long term care at the patient’s home. Many people prefer this option because it allows them to remain in the comfort of their home and community, therefore avoiding isolation, while still receiving the care they need. Home health aide services are the most costly in Minnesota, where the median annual cost is $58,916, and least costly in Louisiana, where the median annual cost if $34,320.
Assisted living facilities, another popular choice among retirees and long term care recipients, have also gone up in cost. The median cost for a private room in an assisted living facility is $3,500 monthly or $42,000 annually, up 1.45% from 2013. The cost of a room in an assisted living facility is highest in Washington DC, where the median annual cost is $82,674, followed by Alaska and Delaware, which both have a median annual cost of $66,000. Rooms in an assisted living facility are the least expensive in Georgia and Missouri, where the median annual cost is $30,000.
Prepare for the High Price
The cost of a private room in a nursing home rose the most among the three main care settings. A private room in a nursing home has a median cost of $240 daily or $87,600 annually, up 4.35% from 2013. This specific care setting is the most expensive in Alaska, with a staggering median annual cost of $240,900, followed by Connecticut at $155,125, and Hawaii at $135, 050. A private room in a nursing home will cost you more than $100,000 in almost all states in the Northeast part of the United States. Oklahoma boasts the lowest median annual cost at $57,488.
The need for long term care is rapidly increasing throughout the country and it’s crucial that Americans are aware of this risk and are preparing for it. Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey is a great way to learn more about the cost of care in your specific state and find out more about planning for this cost. Learn more about planning for long term care here.