April 15, 2014

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Article

Survey Shows Increased Costs of Long-Term Care

Press Release

April 15, 2014

In its 11th year, the Genworth 2014 Cost of Care Survey shows the cost to receive long-term care services at home in Utah through a home health aide increased over the past five years. On a national level, the survey shows a dramatic increase in facility based care, such as an assisted living facility or nursing home, while the cost to receive care at home through homemaker services or a home health aide is rising at a moderate growth rate. This is good news for consumers as almost three quarters of people needing long term care prefer receiving it in their homes, according to Genworth's extensive claims data.

The Cost of Long Term Care

Nationally, the 2014 median hourly cost for the services of a homemaker or home health aide hired from a home care agency is $19 and $19.75 respectively. Homemaker costs nationally have risen annually 1.2 percent on average over the past five years and home health aide services have risen, on average, 1.32 percent annually over the past five years. In Utah, the median hourly cost of homemaker services is $21 and the median hourly cost of home health aide services is $21. The median hourly cost for homemaker services in Utah has increased 3.1 percent annually over the past five years, and the hourly cost of home health aide services has increased 2.0 percent over the same period of time.

By comparison, the median annual cost for care in an assisted living facility is $42,000 nationally and $36,732 in Utah. The national yearly cost of assisted living has increased 4.29 percent annually over the past five years and increased 2.9 percent over the same time period in Utah. The comparable cost for a private nursing home room rose 4.19 percent annualized over the past five years to $87,600 nationally, and increased 4.5 percent over the past five years to $73,000 in Utah.

Bob Bua, Genworth vice president and business leader of its wholly owned subsidiary, CareScout, explains, "Since we first launched this study, we have seen long term care costs march higher year after year. If you live to 65, there is a 70 percent chance you will need some form of long term care services so creating a sound financial plan for managing future long term care costs is very important."

Drivers of Rising Long Term Care Costs

Long term care costs are being driven up by a combination of economic and market factors. As a result, these associated costs are being passed along to consumers.

Based on Genworth's claims experience, the average length of a long term care claim is about three years. Assuming three years of in-home care provided by a home health aide, the national cost of care would be nearly $136,000. In an assisted living facility, this cost would approach $143,000, nationally. In a private nursing home room, this national cost would exceed$260,000. At a three percent inflation rate, in 25 years, when many baby boomers will require long term care services, national costs for an average length of stay in a private nursing home facility will be about $840,000, a huge expense that most Americans cannot afford.

"It is well known that most Americans do not have traditional pensions and many have saved far too little in their 401(k) plans or other products. For the vast majority of Americans, long term care costs are not covered by Medicare, and Medicaid provides coverage only after life long savings have been nearly exhausted. Given these factors, private long term care insurance remains one of the most effective ways for Americans to prepare for this potentially significant expense later in life," McInerney said.

 

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