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Cost of at-home care on the rise

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The cost of receiving long-term medical care at home increased slightly in Illinois over the last four years, according to a Cost of Care Study from Genworth.

The 12th annual study by Genworth showed at-home care from a home health aide increased by a higher rate throughtout the nation during the same period.

On a national level, the survey showed a dramatic increase in facility based care, including assisted living and nursing home facilities, while the cost to receive care at home through a home health aide is rising at a more moderate growth rate. 

"There is something very difficult about facing some of the challenges and issues that come with aging, including the high costs of long term care services," said Tom McInerney, president and CEO at Genworth. "Part of our mission at Genworth with the Cost of Care study is to continue educating Americans on how to have tough conversations around long term care and the importance of planning. In fact, last year we embarked on a journey to help facilitate these discussions through our Let's Talk national initiative."

Nationally, the 2015 median hourly cost for services of a home health aide hired from a home care agency is $20. Home health aide services have risen, on average, 1 percent annually over the past five years. In Illinois, the median hourly cost of home health aide services is $21. The median hourly cost for home health aide services in Illinois have increased, on average, 1.4 percent annually over the past five years.

By comparison, the median annual cost for care in an assisted living facility is $43,200 nationally and $48,600 in Illinois. The national yearly cost of assisted living has increased, on average, 2.5 percent annually over the past five years and increased, on average, 2.4 percent over the same period of time in Illinois. The comparable cost for a private nursing home room rose, on average, 4 percent annually over the past five years to $91,250 nationally, and increased, on average, 3.2 percent over the past five years to $74,460 in Illinois.

“Planning today can help save families from facing a crisis tomorrow. Having the right talk, the right way, at the right time, can ease the emotional and financial pressures of planning for long term care needs. Knowing the cost of long term care services and the financing options available can help Americans age gracefully in the setting where they are most comfortable,” Genworth said in its report.

Learn what financing options are appropriate for your needs:

  • 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, linked benefits products or long term care riders on other insurance can help fill the gap between public assistance and the high cost of long term care services. For more information please visit https://www.genworth.com/long-term-care-insurance/source/get-the-facts/options.html.
  • 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 https://www.genworth.com/long-term-care-insurance/source/make-a-plan/payment-options/self-funded.html.

Keep in mind that individual plans can combine several of these approaches.

Genworth's annual Cost of Care Study is one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind, covering nearly 15,000 long term care providers nationwide. The survey includes 440 regions, including all Metropolitan Statistical Areas defined by the 2014 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.

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