Every year, Genworth conducts a Cost of Care survey that pinpoints the median cost of private nursing home rooms in the United States. This year’s survey results were released at the end of October, and indicated a three percent increase in the median cost of a private nursing home from 2017. Now, that figure is up to $100,375.
The median cost of a semi-private room grew even more from its 2017 mark, up four percent to $89,297. Together, these increases are significant, though are not as large as the 5.5 and 4.4 percent gains from 2016 to 2017.
However, there was a sharper increase in the median cost of assisted living facilities—a 6.7 increase to $4,000 a month. In addition, the national median rate for the services of a home health aide is now $22 an hour, and the cost of so-called “adult day care” services that offer support services in protective settings during the day rose to $72 per day, up from $70.
The median costs in each individual state varied widely. Oklahoma was the most affordable state, with a median annual cost of $63,510 for a private room. In Alaska, however, the cost is an exorbitant $330,873. In Massachusetts nursing home care costs reach $153,300 for private rooms and $144,175 for semi-private living.
This was the 15th straight year this survey was conducted, and the information was gathered from more than 15,500 nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home care providers and adult day cares via telephone during May and June 2018.
Analyzing the results
So what is the takeaway from this year’s survey results?
Obviously, the big message is that nursing home care is more expensive than it’s ever been. This is one of the biggest reasons why it’s so important for elders to implement Medicaid planning as part of an estate plan. Even if you never end up needing to go into a nursing home or use these other aforementioned services, it’s important to have a plan for how you’d be able to afford it.
Just because you are in good health does not mean you should not plan for the worst. Unfortunately, your health status can change quickly, especially as you get further into your old age. More than two thirds of people over the age of 65 will eventually require some form of long-term care, so it’s important to have a contingency plan in place.
Develop a plan to pay for nursing home – manage the risks
Whether you are dealing with a loved one that needs nursing home care now or are managing the risk that you may need long-term care in nursing home in the future, develop a plan. There are a variety of strategies you can implement in your estate plan and your financial planning to qualify for MassHealth in Massachusetts. We strongly recommend you contact an experienced elder law attorney at Baker Law Group, P.C. for more information and advice for your specific situation so you do not have to risk your life savings yourself to get the care you need.