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States with the highest long-term care costs

  • States with the highest long-term care costs

    Long-term care costs can prove insurmountable for many families, with average prices fluctuating wildly across state lines. The recently released Genworth Cost of Care Survey 2018, conducted by CareScout in June 2018, shows exactly how much such care costs vary from state to state and reveals trends from 2004 to 2018. The study also explains why the price of care has increased.

    The study goes in-depth across 440 regions with 15,550 completed surveys, and demonstrates that even in states where costs for long-term care are relatively low, they’re rarely cheap. Nationally, people spend on average $4,000 a month for assisted-care facilities, more than $8,000 a month for a private room in a nursing home (or $7,441 for a semi-private room), and in excess of $4,000 for a home health aide. Each one of those metrics is expected to cost well more than double those amounts by 2048, when many millennials will be making tough decisions about elderly loved ones.

    Stacker created a ranking for each state based on this information, assigning a cost index on a scale of one to 100 based on costs compared to other states. Each component of the ranking—including homemaker services, home health aide, adult day health care, assisted living/private bedroom, nursing home/semi-private room, and nursing home/private room—was given equal weighting. The higher the index score, the higher the long-term care costs.

    It’s important to note that nursing home (semi-private and private) scores excluded Alaska in their calculations, as costs are about twice as high there as the next most expensive state.

    Read on to find out where your state ranks regarding its long-term care costs.

    ALSO: How much does your state spend on health care?

  • #50. Louisiana

    - Cost index: 9.8
    - Homemaker services: $36,608 (#50 most expensive among all states, 2.7% 5-year annual growth)
    - Home health aide: $36,608 (#50 most expensive, 1.3% growth)
    - Adult day health care: $16,380 (#39 most expensive, 2% growth)
    - Assisted living/private bedroom: $42,600 (#36 most expensive, 2.4% growth)
    - Nursing home/semi-private bedroom: $62,780 (#47 most expensive, 2.8% growth)
    - Nursing home/private bedroom: $66,503 (#49 most expensive, 2.7% growth)

    Louisiana is about to face penalties at the majority of its nursing homes. A new Medicare program will penalize facilities based on the number of times patients were readmitted for care. In Louisiana, that’s about 85% of the skilled nursing homes.

  • #49. Alabama

    - Cost index: 10.8
    - Homemaker services: $38,896 (#47 most expensive among all states, 1.2% 5-year annual growth)
    - Home health aide: $38,896 (#47 most expensive, 1.2% growth)
    - Adult day health care: $9,100 (#48 most expensive, 7% growth)
    - Assisted living/private bedroom: $39,252 (#47 most expensive, 4.7% growth)
    - Nursing home/semi-private bedroom: $75,347 (#41 most expensive, 2.8% growth)
    - Nursing home/private bedroom: $79,935 (#43 most expensive, 2.8% growth)

    When the opportunity to expand Medicaid came up, Alabama was one of 14 states that decided against it. A new study shows that may have been a bad idea and will potentially cost the state an $11 billion economic boost over the next four years, according to a recent study.

  • #48. Mississippi

    - Cost index: 13.5
    - Homemaker services: $38,896 (#47 most expensive among all states, 0.3% 5-year annual growth)
    - Home health aide: $38,896 (#47 most expensive, 0% decrease)
    - Adult day health care: $9,100 (#48 most expensive, 11.1% decrease)
    - Assisted living/private bedroom: $41,910 (#42 most expensive, 3.1% growth)
    - Nursing home/semi-private bedroom: $80,300 (#35 most expensive, 1.9% growth)
    - Nursing home/private bedroom: $85,045 (#38 most expensive, 2.4% growth)

    In Mississippi, Medicaid only covers seniors and the disabled for long-term care if they are below income limits set according to the federal poverty level. To qualify, they have to make less than $6,000 per year. But state leaders are considering a limited expansion of the program, and public opinion polls show that 60% of Mississippi residents are in favor of it.

  • #47. Arkansas

    - Cost index: 17.5
    - Homemaker services: $41,184 (#45 most expensive among all states, 1.2% 5-year annual growth)
    - Home health aide: $43,312 (#46 most expensive, 2.2% growth)
    - Adult day health care: $20,800 (#18 most expensive, 4.6% growth)
    - Assisted living/private bedroom: $36,443 (#49 most expensive, 1.2% growth)
    - Nursing home/semi-private bedroom: $64,240 (#46 most expensive, 3.3% growth)
    - Nursing home/private bedroom: $71,832 (#46 most expensive, 3.6% growth)

    Costs in Arkansas may be among the lowest of all the states, but there may be internal problems at the state agency that licenses and inspects long-term care facilities. At the end of January, the director of the Office of Long Term Care quit over conflicts with her boss. She did say that the department’s work won’t suffer because of it.

  • #46. Texas

    - Cost index: 17.7
    - Homemaker services: $45,760 (#33 most expensive among all states, 2.2% 5-year annual growth)
    - Home health aide: $45,760 (#39 most expensive, 2.1% growth)
    - Adult day health care: $9,100 (#48 most expensive, 1.2% growth)
    - Assisted living/private bedroom: $45,540 (#32 most expensive, 2.6% growth)
    - Nursing home/semi-private bedroom: $57,579 (#49 most expensive, 3.9% growth)
    - Nursing home/private bedroom: $78,475 (#44 most expensive, 5.1% growth)

    Despite staffing challenges caused by low wages and heavy turnover, long-term care facilities in Texas seem to be doing fairly well meeting goals of the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living’s Quality Initiative Recognition Program. Two facilities were honored recently for meeting at least four major goals.

  • #45. Oklahoma

    - Cost index: 18.8
    - Homemaker services: $45,760 (#33 most expensive among all states, 2.1% 5-year annual growth)
    - Home health aide: $49,718 (#32 most expensive, 2.8% growth)
    - Adult day health care: $15,600 (#42 most expensive, 0% decrease)
    - Assisted living/private bedroom: $39,900 (#45 most expensive, 2.3% growth)
    - Nursing home/semi-private bedroom: $55,663 (#50 most expensive, 2.5% growth)
    - Nursing home/private bedroom: $63,510 (#50 most expensive, 2.8% growth)

    Oklahoma’s new governor opposed Medicaid expansion on the campaign trail, but he may have had a change of heart. Gov. Kevin Stitt recently said that he’s open to negotiating a version of it. The solution may be a waiver that allows the state to create its own expansion plan.

  • #44. Georgia

    - Cost index: 20.8
    - Homemaker services: $43,472 (#41 most expensive among all states, 2.3% 5-year annual growth)
    - Home health aide: $45,760 (#39 most expensive, 2.7% growth)
    - Adult day health care: $15,600 (#42 most expensive, 0.5% decrease)
    - Assisted living/private bedroom: $37,200 (#48 most expensive, 2.8% growth)
    - Nursing home/semi-private bedroom: $76,103 (#40 most expensive, 3.8% growth)
    - Nursing home/private bedroom: $81,213 (#41 most expensive, 3.8% growth)

    By 2050, the number of Georgia citizens over the age of 85 is expected to quadruple. Luckily for the state, though, long-term care costs aren’t too bad, and fewer people than the national average are seeking out care. Medicaid currently pays for 76% of the state’s nursing home care and 13% of home-based care.

  • #43. Missouri

    - Cost index: 20.9
    - Homemaker services: $45,760 (#33 most expensive among all states, 3.3% 5-year annual growth)
    - Home health aide: $48,048 (#34 most expensive, 3.1% growth)
    - Adult day health care: $21,840 (#14 most expensive, 3.7% growth)
    - Assisted living/private bedroom: $34,128 (#50 most expensive, 4.5% growth)
    - Nursing home/semi-private bedroom: $60,225 (#48 most expensive, 2.7% growth)
    - Nursing home/private bedroom: $66,521 (#48 most expensive, 2.8% growth)

    Missouri may be on the lower end of long-term-care costs, but that didn’t stop the state from cutting key funding for senior care. Now advocates for the aging will seek new protections, returned funding, and the ability to retain current programs during this year’s legislative session.

  • #42. South Carolina

    - Cost index: 23.7
    - Homemaker services: $43,472 (#41 most expensive among all states, 2.3% 5-year annual growth)
    - Home health aide: $45,760 (#39 most expensive, 2.1% growth)
    - Adult day health care: $15,595 (#45 most expensive, 3.7% growth)
    - Assisted living/private bedroom: $42,000 (#38 most expensive, 3.1% growth)
    - Nursing home/semi-private bedroom: $77,015 (#38 most expensive, 2.2% growth)
    - Nursing home/private bedroom: $86,505 (#37 most expensive, 3.4% growth)

    Because of the high cost of long-term-care, many South Carolina residents purchased long-term care health insurance—and now they’re suffering for it. Premium rates have increased just as quickly as facility costs have, and they are pricing people out. Many paying for insurance are likely to be forced off their plans because of the prohibitive premiums.

  • #41. North Carolina

    - Cost index: 24.9
    - Homemaker services: $42,328 (#44 most expensive among all states, 1.7% 5-year annual growth)
    - Home health aide: $45,188 (#44 most expensive, 2.5% growth)
    - Adult day health care: $14,300 (#46 most expensive, 1.9% growth)
    - Assisted living/private bedroom: $44,318 (#34 most expensive, 5% growth)
    - Nursing home/semi-private bedroom: $83,403 (#31 most expensive, 3.1% growth)
    - Nursing home/private bedroom: $92,528 (#30 most expensive, 3.6% growth)

    In early January, officials in North Carolina learned surprising news: About $29 million earmarked for long-term care costs is sitting in an account, unused. The money is for grants that nursing homes and other facilities can apply for, but not enough applications have come in to use up the funds.

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