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Hancock: LTC Costs In Step With Inflation

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Long term care providers seem to be increasing their prices at about the same rate as the general inflation rate.

The total cost of 2008 care averaged about $75,000 per year for a private room in a nursing home, $67,000 for a semiprivate room in a nursing home, and $35,000 for a unit in an assisted living facility, according to researchers at John Hancock Life Insurance Company, Boston, a unit of Manulife Financial Corp., Toronto.

The average cost of home care was about $19 per hour.

The researchers based their statistics on data from 11,000 care providers collected by an outside firm.

Another firm supplied the data when Hancock conducted a similar analysis in 2002.

The annual increase in the Consumer Price Index has been about 3.3% since 2002, and the increases in LTC costs have been similar to the CPI increase, Hancock researchers report.

The average annual cost increase has been 3.2% for private nursing home rooms, 2.7% for semiprivate nursing home rooms, 4% for assisted living units, and just 1.4% for an hour of care by a home health aide.

Increases in the cost of care have moderated substantially since the 1990s, says Marianne Harrison, president of John Hancock Long Term Care Insurance.

“With the expansion of other viable long term care settings, such as home and community-based care, annual increases in the cost of care today appear to be stabilizing,” Harrison says. “Nevertheless, at this rate, baby boomers are looking at spending a startling $750,000 to $1,250,000 for a 3- to 5-year long term care event 30 years from today.”


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