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MetLife: Most Long Term Care Costs Hold Steady

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Long term care costs have flattened out or increased only modestly this year.

Researchers at the MetLife Mature Market Institute, Westport, Conn., an affiliate of MetLife Inc., New York, have reported data supporting that conclusion in a summary of its latest LTC provider survey.

Researchers found that average daily rates for a private room in a nursing home in 2008 have fallen 0.5% between 2007 and 2008, to $212.

For a semiprivate room, the average daily rate has increased 1.1%, to $191.

Assisted living community costs have increased 2.1%, to $3,031.

The highest nursing home costs were reported for Alaska, which had an average daily nursing home rate of $577 for a private room and $566 for a semiprivate room.

Maine has the highest assisted living cost: $4,708 per month.

The least expensive nursing home care was available in semiprivate rooms in non-metropolitan and non-suburban parts of Minnesota and Oklahoma. Semiprivate rooms in rural and small city nursing homes in those states are charging average daily rates of $121.

Nebraska has the lowest reported assisted living monthly cost: $1,980.

Assisted living costs vary widely, however, based on the extent of assisted-living services needed by residents, according to MetLife Mature Institute researchers.

The average monthly rate for assisted living communities offering help with activities of daily living is $386 above the base rate.