The cost of long term care in Alabama is rising at a rate outpacing inflation across much of the state, putting significant financial pressure on those in or near retirement, according to an annual study by Genworth Financial. At the same time, the current economic downturn has led to a decline in home values and investment returns for many residents of Alabama, creating further financial planning challenges for many in the state.
Nationwide, the annual cost for a private nursing home room is $74,208, or $203 per day, representing an increase of 4 percent annually since 2005. This represents a rate of growth nearly twice that of the median annual inflation rate of 2.3 percent over the same period of time, measured using the Core CPI (which excludes food and fuel) reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In Alabama, this cost has risen 6 percent in Birmingham and Montgomery, while costs in Mobile have increased 1 percent.
Since 2004, Genworth has surveyed the cost of long term care across the U.S. to provide Americans with a clear understanding of the cost of care in their part of the country. With this knowledge, individuals and families can begin to prudently plan for these potential costs. The most comprehensive study of its kind, Genworth's 2009 Cost of Care Survey, conducted by CareScout®, covers more than 14,000 nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home health and adult day health care providers in 331 regions across America, including 12 regions in Alabama.
"Many Alabama residents who had planned to tap their hard-earned nest egg to cover future long term care costs are finding this may no longer be a viable option given the economic downturn," said Buck Stinson, president, insurance products at Genworth Financial. "Two-thirds of people over age 65 will need long term care in their lifetimes. The localized information provided by Genworth's 2009 Cost of Care Survey is invaluable to families and their trusted advisors in mapping out a financial security strategy to cover the growing cost of this vital care."
A Snapshot of Alabama Long Term Care Costs
Nursing Homes: The median annual cost for a private nursing home room statewide ranges from $58,035 in Dothan to $64,652 in Anniston. The annual cost in Birmingham is $61,707, while the cost in Montgomery is $63,839 and $59,313 in Mobile.
Assisted Living: Assisted living costs are rising faster than nursing home costs across much of Alabama and range statewide from a median annual cost of $22,350 in Gadsden to $50,400 in Anniston. The annual cost in Birmingham is $37,470, an increase of 16 percent a year over the past five years. In Montgomery, costs have risen 15 percent a year since 2005 to $37,200. Costs are rising even faster in Mobile at a rate of 18 percent annually over the past five years to $34,350 a year. Nationally, the annual cost for a private room in an assisted living facility is $33,903 and costs have increased 5 percent a year over the past five years.
Home Care: The median hourly rate for a non-Medicare certified, state licensed home health aide in Alabama ranges from $13 in Florence to $20 in Dothan. Costs have risen 2 percent annually over the past five years in Birmingham to $15 per hour, 5 percent annually in Montgomery to $16 per hour and 5 percent annually in Mobile to $15 per hour. The cost nationally for this type of care is $18 per hour, with costs increasing 2 percent a year over the past five years.
Adult Day Health Care: For adult day health care services, the median daily rate statewide ranges from $18 in Mobile to $25 in Birmingham (comparable costs are not available for Montgomery). The daily rate nationally is $54, significantly higher than the rates in Alabama.
Full results of Genworth's 2009 Cost of Care Survey, including detailed information about costs in Alabama, an interactive map of the cost of care in all 50 states and 331 geographic regions, and other useful tools and information, are available online at http://www.genworth.com/costofcare.
Genworth's 2009 Cost of Care Survey was conducted by CareScout during January, February and March 2009. CareScout, which was acquired by Genworth Financial in June 2008, has conducted the Genworth Cost of Care Survey since 2004.
About Genworth Financial
Genworth Financial, Inc. is a leading Fortune 500 global financial security company. Genworth has more than $100 billion in assets and employs approximately 6,000 people with a presence in more than 25 countries. Its products and services help meet the investment, protection, retirement and lifestyle needs of more than 15 million customers. Genworth operates through three segments: Retirement and Protection, U.S. Mortgage Insurance and International. Its products and services are offered through financial intermediaries, advisors, independent distributors and sales specialists. Genworth Financial, which traces its roots back to 1871, became a public company in 2004 and is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. For more information, visit Genworth.com. From time to time Genworth releases important information via postings on its corporate website. Accordingly, investors and other interested parties are encouraged to enroll to receive automatic email alerts and Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds regarding new postings. Enrollment information is found under the "Investors" section of Genworth.com.
Long term care insurance is underwritten by Genworth Life Insurance Company, and in New York, Genworth Life Insurance Company of New York, Administrative Offices: Richmond, Virginia. Coverage may not be available in all states.
Headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, CareScout helps Americans across the United States find quality care providers for their long term care needs. As an objective source for this provider information, CareScout, now part of the Genworth Financial family of companies, developed the nation's first quality-of-care ratings system for certified nursing homes and home care providers. Large employers, risk underwriters and families rely on CareScout's proprietary ratings system, the CareScout network and database of more than 90,000 nursing homes, assisted living facilities and home care agencies to help find and arrange the most appropriate care for loved ones. For more information, visit www.carescout.com.
NOTE TO EDITORS: National costs for nursing home, assisted living, home
care and adult day health care are calculated by averaging the median costs
for these types of care in all 331 geographic regions surveyed.
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SOURCE: Genworth Financial
CONTACT: Yokima Cureton of Genworth Financial, +1-804-662-2598,
Web Site: http://www.genworth.com/