Will You Go Broke Paying For Nursing Home Care?

The Expenses of Nursing Home CareAn increasing number of people are slowly but surely accepting the fact that we live in a new ‘economic reality’. However, the recent release of the annual Genworth Cost of Care Survey may raise a few eyebrows. This survey represents the median cost of long-term care at home, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes. The survey shows that elder care may be even more expensive than most people realize.

How expensive is it?

According to the latest figures from Genworth, the annual cost of a private room in a nursing home is going to cost around $87,600. This would represent an increase of more than 4 percent (4.35) in just one year. Assuming that the costs do not increase (which seems unlikely given these statistics), a three-year stay would cost about $262,800. Semi-private homes are no bargains either, prices are up 2.62 percent compared to 2013 and stand at $77,380

Why it should matter to you

The reason that these figures are important is because if you yourself live to be older than 65 or have relatives that do, there is a 70 percent chance that you need some type of long-term care services. The U.S Department of Health and Human Services estimates that the number of Americans who need long-term support and care services are going to skyrocket from 12 million in 2010 to as much as 27 million by the time 2050 comes around.

The increase in private room costs

One of the reasons that the price of a private room increases as much as it does is because the private room allows the nursing home to be a bit more profitable. The semi-private rooms are often (partially) covered by Medicaid. So in order to help cover the costs of government reimbursement, the private rooms can be a bit more expensive. If people have the money necessary to pay for a private room, they will likely do so because of the added benefits.

Costs are dependent on where you live

The study also showed that when it comes to long-term care costs, where you live matters. There is a sizable regional variation. For example, in Alaska a private room in a nursing home costs upwards of $240,900, compare that to the $52,925 that a similar room costs in Oklahoma. The median rate for an assisted-living facility ($42,000) was exceeded in Washington, D.C, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Alaska, Delaware, and Connecticut

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What it means for you

This means that just because care is more expensive in one specific part of the country, it does not necessarily mean that you would receive ‘better care’. When it comes to the quality of services provided and an area’s higher cost of care, there is no proven correlation.

What you can do right now

Those figures should inspire you to either star saving your money or invest in a long-term care insurance policy. According to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, a couple at 60 years old would each receive $164,000 worth of protection and pay $3,840 a year for the insurance.

There is no denying that long-term care costs are high. However, you have the option to take proactive steps to ensure that they do not exhaust all the savings that you have. Make sure to educate yourself on the options available and become part of the 35 percent of Americans who are prepared for their future.

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For laws related to Alaska nursing homes, look here.

For more information on nursing homes in Washington look here. For laws related to Washington nursing homes, look here.

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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
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After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric