Cost of long-term health care to increase

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The cost of long-term health has been steadily increasing by at least three percent for the last decade, and it’s expected to increase to about five percent during the next decade.

“Right now there are an estimated 10 million Americans that receive long-term health care. That number is going to grow exponentially,” said Jesse Slome, executive director for American Assocition for Long Term Care Insurance, “There are a limited number of care givers now, and there are going to be fewer in the future. Those types of things drive up prices.”

The Federal Long Term Health Care Insurance Program estimates that during 2008, the average cost of care for an elderly family member in Colorado averaged about $20 an hour for in-home health care, $3,250 per month for an assisted living facility and about $186 per day for skilled nursing care.

Basing its estimates on two years of home care, including five, five-hour visits per week, one year of assisted living care and the final two years in a nursing home, Colorado residents who do not fall under Medicaid coverage (no assets) can expect to pay about $227,000 per person for the last five years of life.

Here’s a look at the 2008 average costs estimates for all U.S. residents – government and non-government employees:

  • $187/day for a semi-private room in a nursing home
  • $209/day for a private room in a nursing home
  • $3,008/month for care in an assisted living facility (for a one-bedroom unit)
  • $29/hour for a home health aide
  • $18/hour for homemaker services
  • $59/day for care in an adult day health care center