Every few years, Genworth conducts surveys of long-term care across the U.S. and summarizes the data in a Cost of Care Study, in an effort to spur Americans to plan ahead for the potential cost based on their preferred location and setting. The 2016 survey has been released and it provides state-specific cost of care data for all 50 states and comparison to the national median.

Unfortunately, according to the study’s findings, the cost of receiving care continues to rise sharply year over year, especially for services in the home, where most Americans prefer to receive long-term care. Below are some highlights from the survey:

  • Home Care Costs Rise Sharply: Nationally, the median monthly costs Home Health Aide Services is $20 per hour.  For 56 hours a week (8 hours a day), that equates to roughly $4,853 per month, a 2.56% increase from last year.   
  • Assisted Living Facilities Saw a Slight Increase:   Nationally, the median cost of assisted living rose .78% to $3,628 per month. For the Virginia median, Assisted Living costs an average of $3,950 per month ($47,400) per year. 
  • Cost for Semi-Private Rooms Increased: Nationally, the median cost of a semi-private nursing home room is up 2.27% to $6,844 per month. In Virginia, the average cost is $6,714 per month.  That’s $80,574 per year on average!    
  • Cost for Private Nursing Home Rooms Increased: Nationally, the median cost of a private nursing home room is $7,698, up 1.24% from 2015.  In Virginia, on average, the cost is $7,422 per month, or  $89,060 a year!  

For the full report, see Genworth’s Website, and/or download Genworth's Cost of Care App from iTunes.

The good news is that Medicaid planning can be started while you are still able to make legal and financial decisions, or can be initiated by an adult child acting as agent under a properly-drafted Power of Attorney even if you are already in a nursing home or receiving other long-term care.  In fact, the majority of our Medicaid Asset Protection clients come to us when nursing home or rehabilitative care is already in place or is imminent.

Generally, the earlier someone plans for long-term care needs, the better.  But it is never too late to begin your planning.

Just as car insurance does not stop you from having a wreck, asset protection planning for long-term care will not eliminate your risk of needing long term care in the future, but it does enable you to see your options and make your own decisions ahead of time. As a result, you’ll have the peace of mind that no matter what happens, you will know what to do as a family.