Survey shows long-term care costs rose in 2012

A new market survey by MetLife finds that in 2012, national average long-term care rates increased from last year. Average long-term care costs rose in nearly all categories, except for home health aides and adult day services.

The national average cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home rose 3.7 percent, from $214 daily to $222, and private room rates rose 3.8 percent, from $239 to $248. Once again, Alaska has the highest rates at an average of $682 daily for a semi-private room and $687 for a private room.

National average assisted living base rates rose by 2.1 percent from $3,477 monthly in 2011 to $3,550 in 2012. Arkansas has the lowest average monthly rate at $2,355 and Washington, D.C. has the highest at $5,933.

The national average hourly rates (private pay) for home health aides stayed the same at $21 but the national average hourly rate for a homemaker increased from $19 in 2011 to $20 in 2012. Arkansas and Alabama have the lowest average hourly rates for home health aides at $17 and Minnesota has the highest at $30. Louisiana and Alabama have the lowest average hourly rates for homemakers at $16 and Alaska has the highest at $26.

The national average of private-pay daily rates for adult day services remained unchanged from 2011 at $70 per day. Alabama has the lowest average daily rates at $39 and Vermont has the highest at $141.

“This year’s cost increases come on top of significant escalations from 2010 to 2011 and previous years. These costs, added to the healthcare inflation rate, which currently hovers around 4 percent, can derail a family’s financial security,” said Sandra Timmermann, EdD, director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute, in a press release. “We attribute some of the higher pricing to rising energy and overall operating and employment costs. Those planning for long-term care for themselves or their parents will do well to consider such pricing, and to save and invest bearing in mind that these expenses have a history of rising measurably from year to year.”

MetLife Mature Market Institute’s survey, in its tenth year, included data from 2,078 nursing homes, 1,513 assisted living communities, 1,732 home care agencies and 1,363 adult day services centers across the country.



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