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2012 LTC rate report: Nursing homes reach $90k, market ripe for adult day services

November 13, 2012
by Pamela Tabar, Associate Editor
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Most long-term care sectors increased costs by 3-4 percent in the past year, but two sectors—adult day services and home health aides—saw no cost increase at all, according to the 2012 MetLife Mature Market Survey of Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, Adult Day Services and Home Care Costs.

WHERE DO YOUR RATES FALL?

Nursing homes-Private room (U.S. avg: $248/day)

  <$165/day  AR, LA, KS, ND

  >$400/day  AK, CT

[results for semi-private rooms are similar]

Assisted living (U.S. avg: $3,550/mo.)

  <$2,700/mo.  AR, ND, OK, SD

  >$5,000/mo.  DE, District of Columbia, NH

Adult day services (U.S. avg: $70/hr)

   Low: $39/hr.  AL   

   High: $141/hr.  VT

Home Health Aides (U.S. avg: $21/hr)       

   Low: $17/hr.  AL, AR

   High: $30/hr.  MN

Homemakers (U.S. avg: $20/hr)

  Low: $16/hr.  AL, LA

  High: $26/hr.  AK

Nursing home costs for a private room rose to $90,520 a year in 2012, up 3.8 percent since last year. Semi-private rooms kept pace, increasing to $81,030 a year ($222 a day), or 3.7 percent higher than 2011.

Assisted living costs rose to $3,550 a month, up by 2.1 percent, about the same as the 2012 U.S. inflation rate.

The report surveyed 2,078 nursing homes, 1,513 assisted living communities, 1,732 home care agencies and 1,363 adult day services locations across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Of note, the cost of adult day services is the same as in 2011, about $70 per day. The rates for home health aides also remain unchanged ($21 per hour) since 2011.

Conversely, the rates for homemakers/companions rose from $19 in 2011 to $20 per hour in 2012, a 5.3 percent increase.

LOCATION MATTERS FOR LTC COSTS

How much consumers will pay for long-term care services depends—often greatly—on where the services are. But narrowing the cost trends down to the state level isn’t quite that simple.

The Deep South may have some of the best nursing home rates, but then again, so does North Dakota. Washington, D.C. has the nation’s highest assisted living costs by far ($5,933/mo.), but the highest home health aide rates ($30/hr.) are in Minnesota.

Do LTC services in remote regions cost more? Not necessarily; although one of the two highest nursing home rates is Alaska, the other one is Connecticut. In addition, eight states and the District of Columbia have higher assisted living rates than Hawaii.

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