Long-term care may be provided at home, at a community center, in an assisted living facility, or in a skilled nursing home. And long-term care is not exclusively for the elderly; it is possible to need long-term care at any age.
How Much Does Long-Term Care Cost?
Fast Fact: Getting Care Now. Some 1.4 million adults live in skilled nursing facilities. Another 4.8 million remain in their own homes but get help with personal care from other people.
Sources: CDC, 2015. (Data from 2013 report is the latest available.)
Long–term care costs vary state–by–state, and region–by–region. The national average for care in a skilled care facility (single occupancy in a nursing home) is $91,250 a year. The national average for care in an assisted living center (single occupancy) is $43,200 a year. Home health aides cost a median $20 per hour, but that rate may increase when a licensed nurse is required.2
What Are the Payment Options?
Often, long-term care is provided by family and friends. Providing care can be a burden, however, and the need for assistance tends to increase with age.4
Individuals who would rather not burden their family and friends have two main options for covering the cost of long-term care: they can choose to self-insure or they can purchase long-term care insurance.
Many self-insure by default—simply because they haven’t made other arrangements. Those who self-insure may depend on personal savings and investments to fund any long-term care needs. The other approach is to consider purchasing long-term care insurance, which can cover all levels of care, from skilled care to custodial care to in-home assistance.
When it comes to addressing your long-term care needs, many look to select a strategy that may help them protect assets, preserve dignity, and maintain independence. If those concepts are important to you, consider your approach for long-term care.
The Best-Laid Plans
Source: U.S. News and World Report, November 13, 2015
1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2015
2. Genworth 2015 Cost of Care Survey
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Source: Ascent Wealth Management, a financial services partner. https://myascentwealth.com/