RICHMOND, Va., May 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the Genworth 2016 Cost of Care Study, the cost of receiving care continues to rise sharply year over year, especially for services in the home, where the vast majority of Americans receive long term care and for a longer period of time than facilities.
The 2016 study marks the 13th year of the annual report that details care costs on a national and state-by-state basis across the spectrum of long term care settings.
Nationally, the median monthly costs for the services of a homemaker or an in-home health aide for 44 hours a week are $3,813 and $3,861, respectively. Homemaker costs are up 2.56 percent from 2015, marking the highest year over year increase across all care categories. By comparison, home care aide services rose modestly at 1.25 percent since 2015. Over the past five years, home maker costs have risen 11.1 percent and 6.6 percent for health aides.
Year over year, the national median cost of care rose across all care settings, except adult day care, which decreased slightly. The monthly cost of a private nursing home room is $7,698, up 1.24 percent from 2015. The cost of a semi-private room is up 2.27 percent to $6,844 per month. Assisted living communities saw a slight increase in costs of .8 percent to $3,628 per month. Adult day care costs fell 1.25 percent.
"Although the high cost of long term care in America is considered the 'new normal,' it does not change the reality of what is certainly one of the biggest societal issues of our time – that at least 70 percent of Americans over age 65 will need some form of long term care services and support during their lives," said Tom McInerney, president and chief executive officer at Genworth.
"Planning ahead for long term care and how to fund it can be daunting for even the savviest of consumers. Our mission at Genworth is to help protect consumers and families from the financial risk of a long term care need. We conduct the annual Cost of Care study to help illuminate care options and costs with the hope that consumers will not only plan ahead, but also take action now so they will have a choice about how and where they will receive long term care when they need it."
Home Care Costs Much Higher than Consumers Think
According to a complementary Genworth online caregiving survey, four out of five adults underestimate the costs of home healthcare. Despite this being the most popular care option, nearly one-third of Americans (30 percent) incorrectly believe that costs for these services run under $417 per month, when in actuality, the national median rate is $3,861 per month for an in-home aide or $3,813 per month for homemaker care. All told, the average American underestimates the cost of in-home care by almost 50 percent, according to the complementary Genworth study.
Interestingly, people who stand to be affected most by long term care events are also more likely to underestimate the cost of care, according to the complementary study. This includes women (who are statistically more likely to enter caregiving roles), single adults (who may not have a partner to rely on for caregiving needs), and younger adults (aged 25-45, who are more likely to deal with the reality of a parent needing care).
"The data from our complementary study dramatically demonstrated the huge disparity between what consumers think costs are and what they actually are, which is why it's so important for families to educate themselves about the costs and plan ahead for how they will pay for those costs before it's too late," said McInerney.
Through its "Let's Talk" online platform, Genworth offers a suite of tools and advice to assist families in beginning the planning discussion. This online resource provides tips on how to begin conversations surrounding long term care needs. Let's Talk also addresses common misconceptions surrounding care and provides a step-by-step discussion guide alongside key issues to cover – cost of care being one of them.
Resources for Understanding and Funding Care Options
As costs continue to rise, the focus on solutions that can help consumers plan for and fund long term care has also increased. Consumers should educate themselves on the numerous options for funding care, which can range from self-funding to government assistance to long term care insurance.
- Download Genworth's Cost of Care App from iTunes.
- Saving for long term care on your own can be difficult and take years to accumulate funds. To learn more information and see if self-funding will take care of your long term care needs please visit www.genworth.com/long-term-care-insurance/source/make-a-plan/payment-options/self-funded.html.
- Medicare pays for long term care if you require skilled services or rehabilitative care such as in a nursing home (max 100 days) and at home if you are also receiving skilled home health or other skilled in-home services (provided for a short period of time). For more information please visit longtermcare.gov.
- Medicaid covers a large share of long term care services but to qualify your income must be below a certain level and you must meet minimum state eligibility requirements and be in a Medicaid-approved facility. For more information please visit Medicaid.gov.
- If you qualify, private payment options such as long term care insurance products are available. For more planning options, please visit genworth.com
- Beyond traditional insurance products, a single premium immediate need annuity can be purchased by older, less healthy Americans or their families to provide a guaranteed lifetime source of income that can be used to pay for care or other expenses. Learn more here: www.genworth.com/products/immediate-need-annuity.html.
- The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) provides a wide range of advisory resources for Americans who have questions about aging.
About Genworth's 2016 Cost of Care Study
Genworth's annual Cost of Care Survey is one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind, covering over 43,000 long term care providers nationwide. The survey includes 440 regions which include all Metropolitan Statistical Areas defined by the 2015 Office of Management and Budget. Genworth annually surveys the cost of long term care across the U.S. to help Americans plan for the potential cost associated with the various types of long term care available in their preferred location and setting. The survey also provides state-specific cost of care data for all 50 states and comparison to the national median. CareScout®, part of the Genworth Financial family of companies, has conducted the survey since 2004. Located in Waltham, Massachusetts, CareScout has specialized in helping families find long term care providers nationwide since 1997. Genworth's 2016 Cost of Care Survey was conducted during January and February 2016.
About Genworth Financial
Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE: GNW) is a Fortune 500 insurance holding company committed to helping families achieve the dream of homeownership and address the financial challenges of aging through its leadership positions in mortgage insurance and long term care insurance. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, Genworth traces its roots back to 1871 and became a public company in 2004. 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. From time to time, Genworth's publicly traded subsidiaries, Genworth MI Canada Inc. and Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australia Limited, separately release financial and other information about their operations. This information can be found at http://genworth.ca and http://www.genworth.com.au.
 longtermcare.gov, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Accessed on May 9, 2016)
 Homemaker services provide help with "hands-off" care -- household tasks that cannot be managed alone, such as cooking, cleaning and running errands.
 Home health aides offer services to people who need more extensive care. It is "hands-on" personal care, but not medical care. This is the rate charged by a non-Medicare certified, licensed agency.
 Genworth Long Term Care/Caregiving Online Survey, conducted January 2016
 Genworth 2016 Cost of Care Survey, conducted by CareScout, May 2016. CareScout is a Genworth company.
 Genworth Long Term Care/Caregiving Online Survey, conducted January 2016
SOURCE Genworth Financial, Inc.