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Nursing home and assisted living costs rise, survey says
By Insure.com staff

Long-term care costs continued to rise in the last year, according to the Market Survey of Long-Term Care Costs released Oct. 26 by the MetLife Mature Market Institute.

Private-room nursing home rates increased 4.6 percent to $229 per day or $83,585 per year in 2010. The average assisted living rates jumped 5.2 percent to $3,293 per month or $39,516 per year. The increases follow a 3.3 percent rise in nursing home and assisted living costs from 2008 to 2009.

Costs for home health aides and adult day services remained the same in the last year. The average cost for home health aides is $21 per hour. The average costs for adult day services is $67 per day.

Nursing home costs are highest in Alaska, where the average rate for a private room is $687 per day and the average rate for a semi-private room is $610 per day. Costs are lowest outside the Baton Rouge and Shreveport metropolitan areas in Louisiana, where the average rate for a private room is $138 per day.

Assisted living rates are highest in Washington, D.C., with a monthly base rate of $5,231, and lowest in Arkansas outside the Little Rock area, where the monthly rate averages $2,073.

Without long-term care insurance, these costs can be a financial blow to a person. In a press statement, MetLife Mature Market Institute Director Sandra Timmermann said that high long-term care costs can derail families' financial planning efforts. "There is very good reason for individuals and families to look into savings plans, annuities and long-term care insurance to hedge the possibilities."

Traditional health insurance, including Medicare, doesn't cover most long-term care expenses.

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