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Long Term Care Costs Continue to Increase

Long-term care costs continue to increase with the cost of a private nursing home room, edging closer to $100,000 annually, according to a survey from Genworth Financial.

Americans also are paying more for other care options like home health aides and assisted living communities.

Private nursing home rooms now have a median annual bill of $92,378, an increase of 1.2% from last year and nearly 19% since 2011. That breaks down to a monthly bill of $7,698 according to Genworth Financial. The information was based on a study from 15,000 long-term care providers.

As the cost to purchase long-term care insurance also rises, it is becoming more and more difficult for the average family to afford it. Medicare doesn’t cover long-term stays so a large number of people who need that coverage wind up spending down their assets until they qualify for the government’s health insurance program for the poor, Medicaid.

There are no cheap options for those without long-term coverage. Semi-private nursing home rooms cost $82,125 annually, a bill that has climbed nearly 17% over the past five years, according to Genworth.

According to the study, nursing home costs are rising largely because residents are more likely to arrive with chronic conditions like diabetes or emphysema that need more medical attention and the average nursing home resident takes 11 prescription medications.

The study also found that the median annual cost for assisted living communities adds up to $43,539 this year. In-home health aides, who help patients with non-medical tasks like bathing or dressing, cost $46,332 annually, or $3,861 a month.

Annually, the cost of most health care services rose a minimum of 11% since 2011. This is why the need to plan for long-term care as much as possible is critical.


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