The results of the annual MetLife survey of long-term care costs have recently
been released (
www.metlife.com/assets/cao/mmi/publications/studies/2011/mmi-market-survey-nursing-home-assisted-living-adult-day-services-costs.pdf). The survey gives a state by state listing of the average costs of care
for a nursing home, assisted living community and adult day services.
This year’s results contain unwelcome news for people who need or
will need this care – the costs are increasing.
The national average cost for a private room in a nursing home increased
4.4% to $87,235. The national average cost for assisted living increased
5.6% to $41,724 annually and the national average cost for adult day services
increased 4.5% to $70 per day. These numbers are staggering for most people.
You can save for your later years your whole life and not be able to absorb
these types of costs without some help.
Help can come in many forms. If you are healthy enough, you may be able
to receive help in the form of a long-term care insurance policy. This
industry has exploded with various options and ways for people to get
the insurance coverage they need so if you haven’t looked at long-term
care insurance lately, or you have never looked at it, do yourself and
your family a favor and research your options. Don’t wait for tomorrow,
do it today.
If you can’t qualify for long-term care insurance and you aren’t
independently wealthy, then you may have to turn to government benefits
in the form of Medicaid or Veterans Administration benefits to pay for
your long-term care. Don’t make the mistake of confusing Medicaid
with Medicare. Most people will qualify for Medicare at age 65 but Medicare
doesn’t pay for custodial long-term care needs. That cost is covered
by Medicaid and Medicaid has strict asset and income qualification limits.
These survey results are a wake-up call for all of us. If you have the
option to plan ahead, grab it and count your blessings that you have time
on your side. The sooner you face the fact these costs could happen to
you, the better your chances to be prepared with a plan of your choosing
rather than a plan you have to accept by default.