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The Expense of It: What Long Term Care Costs

When considering the purchase of long term care insurance, it’s only natural to focus on the cost of the coverage. But let’s redirect our gaze to the cost that is truly important: the possible cost of not being insured.

So, what is the cost when professional long term care is actually needed?  Those of you who have personal experience in this know the answer, and it’s probably why you’re looking into coverage! When it comes to extended unskilled** care needs, the bill is not paid by Medicare, but it’s normally paid by one of three sources:

  1.  Medicaid- A means-tested government program that pays for most extended nursing home stays in this country. In most states, Medicaid cannot be relied upon to pay for home care or assisted living care.
  2.  Personal savings and income
  3.  Long term care insurance- It’s the only coverage designed to cover the cost of extended care.

From a practical point-of-view, it’s payment source #2 that can wreak havoc on your finances. When you pay for long term care with personal accounts, income, or assets that you hadn’t earmarked for the purpose, that can hurt!

So, what is the actual number?  How much hurt are we talking about if you end up privately paying for care?

Enter Genworth Financial’s Cost of Care Survey. Genworth has been a market leader in long term care insurance for decades, and its cost of care survey is the most relied upon source of long term care costs by planners, agents, advisors, consumers, and media.

The Survey reports the following national median costs for a year of the following types of services:

           Homemaker Services:  $48,048

           Home Health Aide:  $50,336

           Adult Day Health Care:  $18,720

           Assisted Living Facility:  $48,000

           Semi-Private Room in a Nursing Home:  $89,297

           Private Room in a Nursing Home: $100,375

While these are the median costs, the individual costs in your area may differ  depending on several variables. Most significant of these variables is geography. Because of the wide variance due to geography, as even areas within the same state can vary tremendously, you’ll want to visit the survey yourself or call us for an idea of local costs in your area.

Almost worse than knowing what the current costs of long term care are is the realization that those costs, and therefore the total bill, will increase with inflation. It’s a sobering picture overall. So if you think long term care insurance is expensive, you haven’t fully considered the cost of not being insured! Feel free to contact Baygroup Insurance at http://www.baygroupinsurance.com/forms/contact-us or call us at 410-557-7907 for information on long term care costs in your area and possible LTCI options.

**The vast majority of long term care is unskilled care. This kind of care is also referred to as custodial care.  It is not normally delivered under a prescription or medical order, and is not delivered by a health care practitioner such as a nurse, or physical or occupational therapist. This unskilled care is often provided by a nurse’s aide, a friend, or family member.