Assisted Living Costs Mount More Than LTC Alternatives

Consumers have more choices for long-term care than ever before, says Genworth in its latest Cost of Care report, but those options come with a price tag that keeps getting bigger.

Out of those options, which encompass home care and home health services, adult day care, and skilled nursing, assisted living costs have grown the most since 2009.

“Overall, while the cost of care among all care providers has steadily increased, the cost of facility-based providers has grown at a much greater rate than that for home care,” says Genworth in the 2014 Cost of Care Survey.

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Homemaker services—non-medical care such as cooking, cleaning, or running errands—saw a sharp year-over-year increase of 4.11% to a national median hourly rate of $19 in 2014. However, when considering the cost of these services over a five-year trajectory, it has only gone up 1.2% annually.

While home health aide services grew just 1.59% from 2013 to national median rate of $20 an hour, it has seen a slightly higher (1.32%) five-year annual growth.

Adult day care is the only service Genworth includes under its “community care” category, with assisted living and skilled nursing both under its “institutional/facility” category. The cost of adult day care centers didn’t increase from last year, but has demonstrated a 3.4% five-year annual growth, with the national median daily rate at $65 in 2014.

Assisted living care, meanwhile, increased 1.45% from 2013 to a national median monthly rate of $3,500. However, cost of assisted living care has grown 4.29% annually on a five-year basis—the highest of all the long-term care settings included in the Genworth survey.

Skilled nursing rates remain among the highest at a national median daily rate of $212 for a semi-private room and $240 for a private room.

For shared rooms, that’s a 2.62% increase in 2014 from last year and a five-year annual growth of 3.91%. Private room rates grew even more at 4.35% with a five-year annual growth of 4.19%.

“Long term care is becoming an increasingly important issue in this country. The aging Baby Boomer population in the U.S. is approaching 80
million,” Genworth notes, citing the CMS National Medicare Handbook. “At least 70 percent of people over age 65 will need long term care services and support at some point in their lifetime.”

Click here to access Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey 2014, which includes state-by-state data for each long-term care segment.

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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