KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Costs For Long-Term Care Rise, Home Health Care Costs Fairly Stable

U.S. News & World Report Blog: "Institutional costs for long term care continued to post big increases last year even as the economy sputtered along, according to the seventh annual Cost of Care survey from Genworth Financial, a major seller of long term care insurance. The good news in the survey is that costs for in-home care -- where nearly 80 percent of people prefer being cared for -- have risen very little during the past five years."  Among the survey's other findings, "[n]early 70 percent of the people who begin receiving in-home care under the company's policies stay at home throughout the time they need care. ... The Genworth survey includes a useful interactive tool that displays costs by state and local area, and permits comparisons of up to four locations at a time." The tool also allows for "projections of what future prices will be" (Moeller, 4/27). 

San Diego Union Tribune: "The average cost of staying in an assisted living center in San Diego County increased by more than 8 percent over last year, while a room in a nursing home went up by more than 5 percent, according to a survey released Tuesday by Genworth Financial, a national provider of long-term care insurance. … Because Medicare generally doesn't cover these types of services, most of the costs are paid for by patients, private long-term care insurance plans or Medi-Cal, the government's health program for the poor. Many people don't purchase long-term care insurance in part because the policies can be expensive and must be purchased years before the services are needed" (Darcé, 4/28).

Chicago Sun-Times: "Home care costs and the costs of other long-term health care services are higher in Illinois than they are nationally, according to an annual report from Genworth Financial. ... It found the median annual rate for home care costs in Illinois is $45,760, 5 percent greater than the median annual rate of $43,472 nationally. In the Chicago area, costs are 13 percent greater than national levels, the report found" (Knowles, 4/28).

Milwaukee Small Business Times: "The costs for home health care, nursing home care and assisted living care in Wisconsin are higher than the national rates, according to Genworth's 2010 Cost of Care Survey. The median annual rate for home care in Wisconsin is $48,917 statewide, 13 percent greater than the median annual rate of $43,472 nationally. Wisconsin is the 11th-most expensive state for home care services" (4/27).

Pacific Business News: "Hawaii's home care costs are among the highest in the nation," according to the survey. "Hawaii ranked as the seventh most expensive state for home care services, with a median annual rate of $51,480" (4/27).

South Florida Business Journal: "Florida is the 17th most affordable state for home health care services. ... The median annual rate for home care costs in Florida is $41,710 statewide, which is about 4 percent below the national median annual rate. ...  The Sunshine State's median hourly rate for home care is $18. The national average is $19" (4/27). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.