MetLife Report Details the Cost of Long-Term Care Options

Dorian Martin Health Guide
  • My older friends often tell me that aging isn’t for sissies.  Well, a new study indicates that it’s also not an easy road if you don’t have money or long term care insurance.

    MetLife Mature Market Institute has just released its 2011 Market Survey of Long-Term Care Costs, a survey that the institute has been conducting since 2002.  The researchers gathered data about daily private-pay rates for private and semi-private rooms in licensed nursing homes, monthly base rates for assisted living communities, hourly rates for home health aides from licensed agencies and agency-provided homemaker companion services, and daily rates for adult day services around the United States. Following is a summary of the report.

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    Nursing Homes
    MetLife found that the average rates for a private room in a nursing home as well as a semi-private room have increased by 4.4% since 2010. Nationally, the rate for a private room is now $239 daily ($87,235 annually). The rate for a semi-private room in 2011 is $214 daily ($78,110 annually). The lowest rates nationally for a private room were in parts of Louisiana, averaging $141 per day. The lowest daily rates nationally for a semi-private room were in parts of Oklahoma and Texas, which averaged $128 per day. The highest average daily rates in both categories were in Alaska at more than $650 per day.

    Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care in Nursing Homes
    MetLife found that 87% of the nursing homes that were surveyed did provide Alzheimer’s or dementia care. Approximately one third of these nursing homes had a separate unit or wing. In addition, 1% of these respondents said the whole facility was devoted to Alzheimer’s. More than 80% charged the same rate for residents who have dementia. However, some nursing homes did charge a different rate for residents with dementia. That rate was $251 ($91,615 annually) for a private room and $222 ($81,030 annually) for a semi-private room.

    Assisted Living Communities
    The national average base rate for assisted living (which includes room and board, two meals per day, housekeeping and some personal care assistance) has increased 5.6% from 2010 to 2011. The cost in 2011 was $3,477 monthly ($41,724 annually). The lowest average cost for assisted living was found in parts of Arkansas, with a monthly base rate of $2,156. The highest average monthly base rate was in Washington, D.C. at $5,757 per month. Additionally, rates for assisted living are differentiated based on the number of additional services, which often are offered ala carte, that are added. For instance, basic base cost (five services or less) was $3,088 a month in 2011 while standard base cost (6-9 services) was $3,412 a month. Inclusive base cost (10 services or more) was $3,776 a month. There are additional monthly charges for services not included in the base rate, which can include bathing assistance ($307), dressing assistance ($352), other personal care such as eating, transferring and toileting ($530), and medication management ($370). The median length of stay in residents in assisted living is 25.6 months.

  • Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care in Assisted Living Communities
    MetLife found that 72% of assisted living communities that responded provide Alzheimer’s and dementia care for residents. Half of these communities charge an extra fee for this service. The average assisted living base rate for Alzheimer’s and dementia care in assisted living was $4,619 a month ($55,428 annually).

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    Home Care Services
    Interesting, the rate for hourly private-pay home care services remained the same from 2010 to 2011. The national average for home health aides was $21 while the rate for homemaker/companion services was $19. The lowest rates nationally were found in Louisiana, with $14 an hour for a home health aide and $13 an hour for a homemaker/companion. The highest average rates were in Minnesota, with $34 an hour being charged for a home health aide and $29 an hour for a homemaker/companion.

    Adult Day Services
    The rates for private-pay adult day services have increased by 4.5% from 2010 to 2011. The daily rate in 2011 was $70 per day.  Alabama had the lowest average daily rate ($29) while Vermont topped the list with $148 a day.

    Many of these numbers were eye opening to me since I never had to pay the bills for Mom’s care. Therefore, I wanted to share them with other caregivers so they can realize (and plan for) the costs related to nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home health care services and adult day care.

Published On: October 28, 2011