RICHMOND, Va., April 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The cost of long term care continues rising at a rate outpacing inflation creating significant financial planning challenges for the nearly 12 million Americans currently in need of long term care services. According to the Genworth (NYSE: GNW) 2014 Cost of Care Survey released today, the cost of receiving in-home care continues to rise, though at a more moderate rate of growth. This is good news for consumers as almost three quarters of people needing long term care prefer receiving it in their homes, according to Genworth's extensive claims data (Long term care claims Experience Data for Genworth Life Insurance Company and affiliates – December 1974-June 30, 2013).
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"Over the past 40 years, Genworth has worked hard to educate today's families on the need to plan for the significant financial risk that long term care could impose on them," said Tom McInerney, Genworth president and chief executive officer. "With the number of Americans over 65 projected to double over the next 40 years, continued increases in the cost of care and limited public financing options available to cover these costs, long term care is one of the most important social issues of our time."
The Cost of Long Term CareNationally, the 2014 median hourly cost for the services of a homemaker or home health aide hired from a home care agency is $19 and $19.75 respectively. Homemaker costs have risen annually 1.2 percent on average over the past five years. Home health aide services have risen, on average, 1.32 percent annually over the past five years. The cost to receive care in an assisted living facility is rising at a much faster rate. The median annual cost for care in an assisted living facility is $42,000. This represents an increase of 4.29 percent annually over the past five years. The comparable cost for a private nursing home room is $87,600, which has increased 4.19 percent annually over the past five years. Bob Bua, Genworth vice president and business leader of its wholly owned subsidiary, CareScout, explains, "Since we first launched this study, we have seen long term care costs march higher year after year. If you live to 65, there is a 70 percent chance you will need some form of long term care services so creating a sound financial plan for managing future long term care costs is very important." Drivers of Rising Long Term Care Costs Long term care costs are being driven up by a combination of economic and market factors. As a result, these associated costs are being passed along to consumers.