The cost of home care appears to be increasing far less rapidly than the cost of nursing home care, according to Genworth Financial Inc. (NYSE:GNW).
Nursing home rates have climbed at an annual median rate of 4.5% for private nursing home rooms over the past 5 years, while the annual median increase has been just 1.7% for licensed home health aides and 2.4% for licensed homemaker services over that same period, according to Genworth, Richmond, Va.
The median increase in assisted living facility costs over the 5-year period was 6.7%, in part because the facilities were providing more intensive support for their residents, Genworth says.
Genworth has based those figures on a survey of about 13,000 LTC providers in 436 regions nationwide conduct from January through March.
Genworth reports that 73% of its own initial LTC benefit claims are for home health care.
The annual cost of a private room in a nursing home rose to a median of $75,190, from $74,208 in 2009, Genworth says.
The median annual cost of receiving care from a licensed home health aide rose to $43,472, from $42,238.
The median cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home rose to $67,525, from $66,850.
The median cost of homemaker services rose to $41,184, from $38,896.
Home health care agency competition has helped keep home care rates in check, and availability of labor has also helped, Genworth says.
Alaska, Minnesota and Rhode Island are the most expensive states for home care, at a median rate of $25 per hour for a home health aide provided by a state-licensed agency. The most affordable states in that category are Alabama and West Virginia, at a median of $15 per hour.
Alaska was also tops in nursing home care costs, with the annual tab for a private room in the state at a median of $202,210. It was followed by Connecticut in that category, at a median of $137,058, and the District of Columbia, at $131,400.
The least expensive areas in terms of median rates for a private nursing home room were Louisiana, $51,056, and Missouri, $51,191.