The good news is not everyone ends up needing long-term health care. The bad news is that 69% of Americans who are 65 years old now will need such care — which includes assisted living, living in a nursing home, and homemaker or home health-aide services — in their remaining years, according to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. The additional bad news: A lot of people have to hire someone to provide that care, which can be costly.
So if you’re already saving and investing, with an eye toward eventually paying for such care for yourself or a loved one, here are some cost targets to help you with your financial planning.
You can take limited relief in the fact that not all long-term health care costs go up every single year. This year, for example, the daily median cost of Adult Day Health Care (ADC) — you know, a day-care center for seniors — actually declined 1.25% since 2015, according to the newly released 13th annual Cost of Care Study by Genworth, an insurer that sells long-term-care insurance coverage.
That’s the first time since 2011 that average costs have declined in any category tracked by Genworth. But there’s little else to celebrate. Even in that category, average costs rose at a compound annual growth rate of 2.53% over the past five years.
The median national daily rate for ADC is now $68. It ranges from a statewide high average of $100 in Alaska to a statewide low average of $20 in Alabama. The national annual median cost is $17,680.
Other categories show average annual cost hikes, some larger than the rise in ADC costs.
Nursing Home, Private Room
This is the category with the biggest increase in annual cost. That cost jumped an average of 3.51% over the past five years. Nationally, the median now stands at $92,378. It ranges from a statewide low of $61,663 in Louisiana to a statewide high of $297,840 in Alaska. California’s average is $112,055. In New York it’s $135,963.
Nursing Home, Semi-Private Room
This cost is not far from the tab for a private room. Its national median is $82,125. That’s up 3.12% annually on average over five years. Private and semi-private room costs rose 2.27% and 1.24% over the past year alone.
Assisted-Living Facility, Private Room
An assisted-living facility provides a home for people who need help making and eating meals and with daily tasks such as managing medication, bathing, dressing and transportation. Unlike a nursing home, an assisted-living facility does not provide advanced, 24/7 medical care or monitoring. The median cost of an assisted-living private room is now $43,539. That price rose an average of 2.16% annually over the past five years.
Care in the home often resembles assisted-living care — except it is provided in the recipient’s own home or the home of a friend or relative. Caregivers provide help with daily activities that don’t require advanced skills. Activities include such things as cooking, cleaning and running errands. Family members may find it emotionally difficult to provide some forms of assistance. They also may find it hard to deal with an elderly loved one’s errant behavior, dementia or depression.
So how much does it cost for paid assistance?
Home Health Care, Homemaker Services
The annual median cost for homemaker services hit $45,760 this year. That’s an increase of 2.56% since 2015. The five-year average annual cost increase is 2.13%.
Home Health Care, Homemaker Health Aide
If your loved one needs more extensive care — such as being fed, lifted or carried, bathed, dressed or toileted — that can require the services of a home health aide. The median national annual cost is $46,332. That’s up 1.25% since last year. And its five-year average annual cost hike is 1.28%.
Source: Investor’s Business Daily