Genworth Financial has released its 2017 survey of long-term care costs. The picture is not encouraging. Although the cost of care has always been shockingly expensive, and increased annually without fail, the rate of increase seems to be picking up.
Nationally, the median cost of a private room in a long-term care facility is now $97,455, a 5.5% increase over 2016. This is three times the national inflation rate. Compare this to the 1.24% increase from 2015 to 2016. In South Florida, the cost is even higher than the national median: $116,800 annually for a private room.
It’s not just nursing homes that cost more. So do other long-term care services. The national median cost of a home health aide rose even more sharply than nursing home costs, up 6.17% from last year, to $21.50 per hour. Homemaker services rose 4.75%, to $21 per hour. Even adult day care services costs rose, up 2.94% to $70 per day.
Despite these daunting numbers, two thirds of Americans still believe that government programs such as Medicare will cover all or some of their care if they ever need it! Every day my office receives panicked calls from family members who have discovered that assumption isn’t so. Unless you are very poor or very wealthy, you are on your own.
With no coherent national policy to address the growing crisis, each of us has to take steps in anticipation that we will need long-term care at some point in our lives. For some, that means securing long-term care insurance. Contact our office and we can put you in touch with someone who can discuss your insurance options. Alternatively, make proactive plans to secure Medicaid benefits for long-term care. Contact a Florida Bar Certified Elder Law Attorney to discuss how you can protect all or some of your assets from the cost of long-term care.
Check out the costs of long-term care services in your state here.