Start saving: nursing home costs are on the rise

There comes a time in many of our lives when we must admit ourselves, our parent or other loved one into a nursing home facility, assisted living facility or obtain in-home nursing care. The unfortunate reality? It’s never cheap, especially nursing homes and is only becoming more and more expensive.

The average cost for nursing home care is astronomical. A semi-private room will cost you, on average, $245 per day, $7,441 per month and $89,297 per year.

A private room will run you $275 per day, $8,365 per month and $100,375 per year.

There are many factors that lead to such staggering fees, like the length of stay, location, and required care services. Nursing homes provide care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The length of stay is factored in because some nursing homes provide short-term stays for those rehabbing an illness, surgery or injury that requires nurses skilled in convalescent care and/or therapists. Convalescent care is a form of care that provides a home-like environment during post-surgery or injury recovery. It’s also called transitional care.

How much have average costs risen?

In 2016, a semi-private room cost over $82,000 per year and a private room cost over $92,000 per year. By the year 2028, those rooms will average over $120,000 and $134,000 respectively.

Massachusetts has the fifth highest average monthly cost for nursing home care rounding out between $12,000 and $13,000 for semi-private and private rooms respectively.

How do the average costs of nursing homes costs stack up to other healthcare options on an annual basis?

Nursing homes: Between $89,000 to over $100,000 per year

Assisted Living facilities: $48,000 per year

In-home care: $59,000 per year

Compared to other health care options, nursing homes often charge a premium price because it provides seniors a more stable, homely, and social environment while receiving the medical care, rehabilitation and therapy services they need.

One bright spot about the high prices, is that the costs associated with medical care are tax deductible. Also, other than paying for the services privately, the cost can be offset through health insurance, life insurance, long-term insurance policies, personal savings, reverse mortgages or local and regional agency assistance. Medicare, Medicaid and veteran’s programs can sometimes cover the costs of nursing home care, but, that depends on each individual situation.

What has led to the rising costs?

According to Genworth Financial Inc., the costs have steadily increased due to a shortage of skilled labor, high minimum wage requirements, changes in overtime pay rules, difficulty attracting and retaining qualified workers, and a greater need for specialized care due to the increase of Alzheimer’s disease.

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Attorney Christopher J. Fein

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