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Americans underestimate cost of home care by nearly 50%, while nursing home room now tops $92,000 per year

Brian Anderson

RICHMOND, Va.– According to the Genworth 2016 Cost of Care Study, released May 10, the cost of receiving care continues to rise sharply year over year, especially for services in the home, where the vast majority of Americans receive long-term care and for a longer period of time than facilities.[1]

The 2016 study marks the 13th year of the annual report that details care costs on a national and state-by-state basis across the spectrum of long-term care settings.

Nationally, the median monthly costs for the services of a homemaker[2] or an in-home health aide[3] for 44 hours a week are $3,813 and $3,861, respectively. Homemaker costs are up 2.56% from 2015, marking the highest year-over-year increase across all care categories. By comparison, home care aide services rose modestly at 1.25% since 2015. Over the past five years, home maker costs have risen 11.1% and 6.6% for health aides.

Year over year, the national median cost of care rose across all care settings, except adult day care, which decreased slightly. The monthly cost of a private nursing home room is $7,698 (or $92,378 per year), up 1.24% from 2015. The cost of a semi-private room is up 2.27% to $6,844 per month ($82,125 per year). Assisted living communities saw a slight increase in costs of .8% to $3,628 per month ($43,539 per year). Adult day care costs fell 1.25% to about $17,680 per year.

“Although the high cost of long-term care in America is considered the ‘new normal,’ it does not change the reality of what is certainly one of the biggest societal issues of our time – that at least 70% of Americans over age 65 will need some form of long-term care services and support during their lives,” saidTom McInerney, president and CEO at Genworth.

“Planning ahead for long-term care and how to fund it can be daunting for even the savviest of consumers. Our mission at Genworth is to help protect consumers and families from the financial risk of a long-term care need. We conduct the annual Cost of Care study to help illuminate care options and costs with the hope that consumers will not only plan ahead, but also take action now so they will have a choice about how and where they will receive long term care when they need it.”

Home care costs much higher than consumers think

According to a complementary Genworth online caregiving survey, four out of five adults underestimate the costs of home healthcare. Despite this being the most popular care option, nearly one-third of Americans (30%) incorrectly believe that costs for these services run under $417per month[4], when in actuality, the national median rate is $3,861 per month for an in-home aide or $3,813 per month for homemaker care[5]. All told, the average American underestimates the cost of in-home care by almost 50%, according to the Genworth study.[6]

Interestingly, people who stand to be affected most by long-term care events are also more likely to underestimate the cost of care, according to the complementary study. This includes women (who are statistically more likely to enter caregiving roles), single adults (who may not have a partner to rely on for caregiving needs), and younger adults (aged 25-45, who are more likely to deal with the reality of a parent needing care).

“The data from our complementary study dramatically demonstrated the huge disparity between what consumers think costs are and what they actually are, which is why it’s so important for families to educate themselves about the costs and plan ahead for how they will pay for those costs before it’s too late,” said McInerney.

Through its “Let’s Talk” online platform, Genworth offers a suite of tools and advice to assist families in beginning the planning discussion. This online resource provides tips on how to begin conversations surrounding long term care needs. Let’s Talk also addresses common misconceptions surrounding care and provides a step-by-step discussion guide alongside key issues to cover – cost of care being one of them.

• See Genworth Cost of Care Summary of 2016 Survey Findings

About Genworth’s 2016 Cost of Care Study: Genworth’s annual Cost of Care Survey is one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind, covering over 43,000 long-term care providers nationwide. The survey includes 440 regions which include all Metropolitan Statistical Areas defined by the 2015 Office of Management and Budget. Genworth annually surveys the cost of long-term care across the U.S. to help Americans plan for the potential cost associated with the various types of long-term care available in their preferred location and setting. The survey also provides state-specific cost of care data for all 50 states and comparison to the national median. CareScout®, part of the Genworth Financial family of companies, has conducted the survey since 2004. Genworth’s 2016 Cost of Care Survey was conducted during January and February 2016.

About Genworth Financial: Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE: GNW) is a Fortune 500 insurance holding company committed to helping families achieve the dream of homeownership and address the financial challenges of aging through its leadership positions in mortgage insurance and long term care insurance. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, Genworth traces its roots back to 1871 and became a public company in 2004. For more information, visitgenworth.com.

[1]longtermcare.gov, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Accessed onMay 9, 2016)
[2] Homemaker services provide help with “hands-off” care — household tasks that cannot be managed alone, such as cooking, cleaning and running errands.
[3] Home health aides offer services to people who need more extensive care. It is “hands-on” personal care, but not medical care. This is the rate charged by a non-Medicare certified, licensed agency.
[4] Genworth Long Term Care/Caregiving Online Survey, conducted January 2016
[5] Genworth 2016 Cost of Care Survey, conducted by CareScout, May 2016. CareScout is a Genworth company.
[6] Genworth Long Term Care/Caregiving Online Survey, conductedJanuary 2016



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