Long-term health care costs can double or triple from a day care situation to a private room in a nursing home.
As the population of the United States ages, the need for long-term care increases and the arguments over long-term health care insurance get louder.
But for those who do not have insurance that covers long-term health care, the cost of such services is significant, and can reach into six figures annually depending on the level of care.
Genworth Financial has issued its 11th annual Cost of Care Survey, which determines the most expensive and least expensive states in the union for long-term health care. It averages the amount a citizen would spend for four levels of care – adult day care, licensed home care, assisted living and a private room at a nursing home.
In producing its survey, Genworth Financial promotes the need for long-term care insurance. While the cost of such insurance is high, it is not nearly as high as the cost of the services, and consumers must include in their calculations the cost to a caregiver who is trying to maintain a job while caring themselves for an aging parent or loved one.
“For the vast majority of Americans, LTC costs are not covered by Medicare and Medicaid provides coverage only after lifelong savings have been nearly exhausted,’’ said Tom McInerney, President and CEO of Genworth “Given these factors, private LTC insurance remains one of the most effective ways for Americans to prepare for this potentially significant expense later in life.”
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State regulations, the cost of property and services, the cost of living and tax considerations all weigh into the overall cost of long-term care in individual states. So does competition, so that the states with the most long-term health care facilities are likely to be less expensive.
According to the Genworth study, the least expensive state for long-term care is Louisiana, with an average annual cost of $35,743. The rest of the top 10 least expensive states for care are Alabama, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Georgia, Texas, South Carolina, Mississippi and Tennessee, which averages $41,888.
The other end of the spectrum is the most expensive states, and the most expensive state of all is Alaska, with an average cost of $97,468 annually, and an average annual cost of a private room in a nursing home reaching $240,900.
Following Alaska, the most expensive states were Connecticut, Massachusetts, Hawaii, New Jersey, Vermont, New York, New Hampshire, Delaware and Maine, with an obvious bend toward northeast and eastern seaboard.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.