As long term care costs have risen 3% from 2017 to 2018, seniors need to keep these rising health care costs in mind as they plan for retirement, the latest cost-of-care data shows.
On Tuesday, Genworth Financial, an insurance holding company, released its 15th Annual Cost of Care SurveyÂ looking at the costs of assisted living facilities, semi-private nursing homes, private nursing homes, adult day care, home health aides, and homemaker services. The company contacted more than 49,000 of these providers for a total of 15,000 surveys nationwide, the surveyâ€™s press release states.
The 3% increase is a blended annual median cost of these services, with individual costs ranging from $18,720 for adult day care services to $100,375 for a private nursing home room. Assisted living facilities experienced the biggest cost increase from 2017 to 2018 at 6.67%.
Since the first Annual Cost of Care Survey was conducted 15 years ago, all care settings have increased in costs anywhere from 19% to 67%.
Gordon Saunders, senior brand marketing manager at Genworth and the manager of the survey, said in a statement that the costs are rising quickly â€świth no sign of slowing down,â€ť and that many seniors and their families are unprepared for it.
Because of these rising costs, Gencareâ€™s president and CEO David Oâ€™Leary said in the release that he strongly recommends having a longterm care plan in place early on.
â€śWe strongly advocate people at all stages of life begin planning now for the very real possibility of needing care as they grow older,â€ť Oâ€™Leary said in the statement. â€śStarting a conversation about potential long term care needs and the issues of aging isnâ€™t always easy. But honest conversations are essential to making sure that people can live life on their own terms as they grow older.â€ť
The survey release encouraged readers to explore long term care financing options and the possibility of using an annuity for these costs. Julie Westermann, Genworthâ€™s senior director of public relations, told RMD in an email that many people use a variety of means to pay for these costs.
â€śThey can include unpaid, informal caregivers, such as family and friends; personal savings; government programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Veteranâ€™s Administration benefits; traditional or group long term care insurance; and hybrid insurance products such as life insurance policies or annuities that have long term care benefits or riders,â€ť she said.
The survey also identified several reasons behind the rising costs including shortage of skilled workers, higher minimum wages and changes to overtime pay rules, finding and keeping qualified workers, business constraints, increase in cases of Alzheimerâ€™s and dementia, and a growing need for more specialized care â€” a result of patients waiting too long to see medical care.
Written by Maggie Callahan