Long Term Care Insurance

A couple planning for their future independence by purchasing long term care insurance. Purchase long term care insurance to protect your assets, have health care choices, and age at home. Long Term Care Insurance
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What Does Long Term Care Cost?

What does long term care cost?  Is it expensive?The cost of long-term care can vary greatly depending on where you live and the place you receive your care. The chart below can be used as a guide, but within a state the cost of care in a given area may be more or less.

At the skilled nursing level, costs differ for private and semi-private rooms. Home care on average is less than a nursing home. It is a good rule of thumb to base a plan on what is potentially the highest cost and that is a nursing home.

Private Room Costs for Skilled Nursing Care By State

State Daily Rate State Daily Rate State Daily Rate
Alabama $158 Kentucky $177 North Dakota $139
Alaska $515 Louisiana $125 Ohio $191
Arizona $197 Maine $233 Oklahoma $141
Arkansas $137 Maryland $195 Oregon $193
California $200 Massachusetts $291 Pennsylvania $221
Colorado $206 Michigan $201 Rhode Island $248
Connecticut $328 Minnesota $141 South Carolina $158
Delaware $210 Mississippi $174 South Dakota $157
D.C. $216 Missouri $126 Tennessee $159
Florida $202 Montana $163 Texas $144
Georgia $143 Nebraska $156 Utah $157
Hawaii $295 Nevada $209 Vermont $232
Idaho $185 New Hampshire $259 Virginia $170
Illinois $157 New Jersey $263 Washington $211
Indiana $188 New Mexico $162 West Virginia $185
Iowa $137 New York $251 Wisconsin $198
Kansas $133 North Carolina $183 Wyoming $176
Source: Genworth Financial 2008 Cost of Care Survey April 2008. The cost of care in a metropolitan area may differ from the state average rate.

Nursing home costs have increased by an average 4% compounded annually over the last 5 years according to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey. The national average is $209/day for skilled nursing care. At this rate, the costs of long term care could double every 15 years. That means that care today that costs $60,000/year could cost as much as $240,000/year 30 years from now.

Assisted living facilities have a nationwide average cost of $3008/month. This is an 11% increase over 2007 with an average growth of 6% compound annual increases over the last 5 years. These rates may be increasing at a higher rate due to more people seeing this as a viable care option. There are more facilities opening in many areas.

Licensed home health aide services from non-Medicare certified agencies run an average of $19/hr nationwide. The Genworth Cost of care Survey states that the rates have gone up by an average 1% compound annual increase over the last 5 years. This is not a large increase possibly due to increased competition among agencies, availability of unskilled labor and because agencies can avoid, for the most part, the cost of maintaining a facility.

Another cost that is hard to quantify is the cost of someone needing care on the family. There is a physical and emotional toll that is paid. Many times family caregivers hold full time jobs and provide care giving at night. They often have families of their own to care for in addition to a parent.


How Long Might I Need Long Term Care?

Length of Stay % of Nursing
Home Patients
Less than 3 months 20.0%
3 to 6 months 9.8%
6-12 months 14.3%
1-3 years 30.3%
3-5 years 13.6%
Over 5 years 12.0%

It would be wonderful to have a crystal ball so you would know how long you would need long-term care. You can look at some statistics to see what some of the industry "averages" are, but that is no guarantee that if you needed long-term care you wouldn't be "above average" or "below average".

There have been a lot of studies on the average length of a nursing home stay, but it is difficult to get studies that show how long people need are in an assisted care facility or in their home. Because of the wider range of options available, people are able to spend more time in settings other than a nursing home.

The average person will experience between 4 to 6 years of total long term care.

Source: The National Nursing Home Survey, National Center for Health Statistics, US Department of Health and Human Services. June 2008. Table 12.