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Pru: Nursing Home Prices Jump

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The cost of private nursing home care may have increased about 14% over the past 2 years.

Prudential Financial Inc., Newark, N.J. (NYSE:PRU), has reported that figure in its 2010 long term care cost study.

Prudential found that the cost of assisting living facilities has increased just 2% since it published a review of 2008 long term care prices. The recession has slowed cost increases at some facilities and caused others to close down completely, the company says.

The average daily cost of a private nursing home room was $247, or $90,155 a year. Rates for a semiprivate room averaged $215 daily, or $78,800 yearly, Prudential says.

Home health care costs are up an average of 13%, but the average hourly rate for a home health aide or certified nursing assistant remained flat at $21 per hour. For licensed practical nurses, rates increased 17%, to $54 an hour.

The states with the highest nursing home private room costs were Alaska ($232,100 annually), Connecticut ($143,800) and New York ($138,300). Louisiana ($55,900), Arkansas ($55,800), and Missouri ($57,700) had the lowest costs for this type of facility.

For home health care, the highest-cost states in average

hourly rates were Alaska ($32), Wyoming ($31) and Connecticut ($27). The least costly states for home care services were Texas ($12), Louisiana ($15) and Alabama ($15).

For assisted-living facilities, the highest costs were found in Delaware (annual average base rate: $63,000), Maine ($58,400) and Connecticut $54,000). Lowest cost states in this category: Indiana ($25,600), Florida ($26,400) and Nebraska ($27,300).

Prudential notes that 74% of consumers ages 55 to 65 polled for a recent survey said they are concerned about needing some kind of long term care, and that 25% of all consumers admitted that they have no idea what a day in a nursing home costs. Only 22% of the participants mentioned the idea of using private LTC insurance to pay for care.


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