At least 70 percent of people over age 65 will require some long-term care services at some point in their lives. Contrary to what many people believe Medicare and private health insurance programs do not pay for the majority of long-term care services that most people need, including daily independent activities that can no longer be performed. Planning is essential for you to be able to get the care you might need.
Long-term care is expensive. Based on the 2008 national average, one year of care in a semi-private room nursing home costs over $68,000. One year of care at home, assuming you need periodic personal care help from a home health aide, would cost about $18,000 a year.
Costs for long-term care services vary greatly depending on the type and amount of care you need, the provider you use, and where you live. For example, many care facilities charge extra for services provided beyond the basic room-and-board charge. Some others may have “all inclusive” fees. Home health and home care services are usually provided in two-to-four-hour blocks of time referred to as “visits.” An evening, weekend, or holiday visit may cost more than a weekday visit. Some community programs, such as adult day service programs, are provided at a per-day rate. Rates may also differ based on the type and variety of programs and services offered.