Northwestern Mutual Releases 2010 Cost of Long-Term Care Study

Northwestern Mutual, like the MetLife Mature Market Institute, has studied the costs of long-term care around the country. In their 2010 report, released on December 7, 2010, they unveil the national averages for home health care, assisted living, and nursing homes. Because costs of long-term care vary widely depending on the geographic location of the resident, this type of research is essential for individuals who are researching long-term care in various areas of the United States. Long-term care costs vary by geographic region

To obtain data, Long Term Care Group, Inc. conducted a survey of nearly 2,000 assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and home care providers in different areas on behalf of Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company. The research was conducted in June 2010.

Interestingly, Northwestern Mutual’s research mirrors the results of their similar study from 2008, indicating that costs vary depending on the type of care needed and geographic location.  Northwestern Mutual’s research indicates that costs for long-term care are highest in the East. For instance, Washington D.C. and six other states have average assisted living costs above $4,000 per month. The least expensive state — in terms of assisted living care — is North Dakota, which averages just $1,900 per month.

Alaska residents may be shocked to learn that their state has the highest average costs for nursing home care at $538 per day, which is significantly higher than the next highest state average — Connecticut, which averages $352 per day. Lousiana residents, on the other hand, can take advantage of the lowest nursing home rates nationally at just $127 per day.

Costs for home health care also vary widely based on geographic location, with Missouri and Montana boasting average hourly rates of just $19 per hour, compared to West Virginia, where average hourly rates are around $60 per hour. To compare daily rates in terms of an eight-hour day, West Virginian home-care recipients pay on average $328 per day more than home-care recipients in Missouri or Montana — or $85,600 per year.

In terms of seniors’ expectations, a related study, Financial Matters (also conducted by Northwestern Mutual), finds that just 17 percent of Americans estimate the costs of long-term care within 20  percent of their home state’s average.

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