HEALTH CARE NEWS

Financial Burden of Long-Term Care Increasing, Survey Reports

May 11, 2016

The cost of long-term care has increased in the past year, with some nursing home (NH) rooms costing nearly $100,000 annually, according to the results of a new survey released by Genworth Financial Inc on Tuesday.

The study was based on information from 15,000 long-term care providers. 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 5 years, according to Genworth. Genworth Financial, who sells long-term care coverage, did not, however, address cost of coverage in the study.

The median annual cost of a private NH room is $92,378—a 1.2% increase from last year and a nearly 19% increase since 2011. Older adults and their families are also paying more for alternative care options including home health aides and assisted-living communities. Specifically, Genworth 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. The median annual cost for adult day care fell $224 to $17,680.

NH costs are rising largely because residents are more likely to arrive with chronic conditions like diabetes or emphysema that need more medical attention, said Greg Crist, a spokesman for the American Health Care Association, the country’s largest trade group for NHs. He added that the average NH resident takes 11 prescription medications.

“They're living longer, they’re not necessarily living healthier,” he said. —Amanda Del Signore

 

Reference

Genworth 2016 Annual Cost of Care Study: Costs Continue to Rise, Particularly for Services in Home [press release]. May 10, 2016.