Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Cost of Long Term Care Services and Supports

Each year Genworth reports on the cost of long term care in the United States. It surveys nearly 15,000 long term care providers in 437 regions nationwide. The resulting details “can help consumers plan for long term care costs in their preferred location and care setting.”

What is Long Term Care

Long term care refers to the types of assistance you may need if you have a prolonged physical illness, disability or severe cognitive impairment (such as Alzheimer’s disease) that keeps you from living independently. These limitations may prevent you from carrying out basic self-care tasks, such as bathing, dressing or eating, called Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). And you may need assistance with Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs), including meal preparation, money management, house cleaning, medication management, and transportation.

About 70 percent of people age 65 or older will need long term care services at some point in their lifetime

Unfortunately, the cost long term care services and supports is generally not covered by Medicare or other health insurance. It can easily bankrupt the recipient and destroy a family's financial security.  The Genworth survey provides locally based cost of care information that can help families understand, prepare for, and perhaps avoid a long term care personal and financial catastrophe.

Facility rates are increasing more rapidly than home care

The Genworth 2013 survey has now been published. Here is its overview:

     Looking back at the past five years of survey results, Genworth recognizes emerging trends across the long term care services landscape. Overall, the cost of care among facility-based providers has steadily increased. For example, in 2008 the median annual rate for a private nursing home room was $67,525, compared with the 2013 median annual rate of $83,950. This means that Americans can expect to pay approximately $16,425 more per year today for a nursing home than they had to pay in 2008.This increase represents a 4.45 percent compound annual growth rate over that period.

In contrast to facility-based care, rates charged by home care providers for “non-skilled” services have remained relatively flat over the past five years. For example, whereas the national hourly private pay median rate charged by a licensed home health agency for a home health aide was $18.50 in 2008, the 2013 hourly rate has only slowly crept up to $19. The historical compound annual growth rate for this type of care service has been only 1 percent over a five-year period. Home care rates have remained flat in part because of increased competition among agencies and the availability of unskilled labor, and because the companies that provide these types of services do not incur the costs associated with maintaining stand-alone health care facilities.

Care Rates for Williamsport and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

The study provides a list of rates being charged in individual localities throughout the nation including Williamsport and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in Pennsylvania.

The median rates for various services in Williamsport and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre are:

Homemaker Services Hourly Rates
$18 Williamsport
$19 Scranton-Wilkes-Barre

Home Health Aide Services Hourly Rates
$19 Williamsport
$20 Scranton-Wilkes-Barre

Adult Day Health Care Daily Rates
$75 Williamsport
$64 Scranton-Wilkes-Barre

Assisted Living Facility Monthly Rates
$3,365 Williamsport
$2,800 Scranton-Wilkes-Barre

Nursing Home Daily Rates (semi-private room)
$259 Williamsport
$260 Scranton-Wilkes-Barre

Nursing Home Daily Rates (private room)
$296 Williamsport
$270 Scranton-Wilkes-Barre

The median annual rate for a semi-private nursing home room in Williamsport is $94,535, and the median private room rate is $108,040.

Here is a link to the Pennsylvania State-Specific Data from the Genworth 2013 Survey:

As Genworth notes in the report: “With long term care costs on the rise, planning and preparation are more important than ever.” Pennsylvania residents can meet with an elder law attorney at Marshall, Parker and Weber to set up a plan that will protect you and your family.


Emmy Shields said...

People with disabilities will need long term care services that will include assistance with daily living. But majority of long term care insurance cost estimate are very high that is why only a few people have private long term care insurance.

Thomas Rockford said...

My husband I bought LTC insurance in the late 90s. There is no "average" cost of policy because you pay for what you buy -- and there is great flexibility in benefits depending on how much you want to spend on your annual premiums.

We paid my husband's premium for 10 years; the last four he was in failing health. Finally, I could no longer care for him myself and my insurance company sent a nurse to evaluate his needs and make a recommendation for his care going forward. Ironically and sadly, he died that night. But for the last year of his life, when it became increasingly apparent he would need more care than I could provide, I counted my blessings that he had LTC insurance. What would I have done without it? You cannot imagine my relief that it was there when he needed it. The bottom line is that we paid his premiums for 10 years and he never collected on the plan. But I have no regrets that I had the comfort of knowing he would be cared for because of our LTC policy.

- Tom -