New 2014 Cost of Long-Term Care Study Released

Residents throughout New York continue to experience “sticker shock” when exploring their long-term care options. Whether you are planning for possible needs in the future or working quickly to secure support for an ailing loved one, there is a good chance you may be surprised by the overall costs of this care. Naturally, there is a spectrum of care–from occasional, at-home aides to a move into a skilled nursing home. And there are wide variances in quality among specific caregivers. In most cases, however, the overall cost is quite significant, particularly in a relatively expensive state like New York.

The Cost Data – 2014
A helpful starting point to understand the financial toll of long-term care is to examine the newly released 2014 Cost of Care Survey from Genworth. This particular survey has been conducted for over a decade, allowing an understanding of year over year trends on top of providing information on current costs.

Some important New York figures include:

***It costs an average of $50,000 annually for basic home health aide support ***On average, a semi-private nursing home room costs $124,000 a year. A private room can run an $10,000 or more (if they are available at all).
***Costs of nursing home care have increased about 5% annually over the last 5 years.
***The average resident in New York must come up with nearly $11,000 per month to pay for a private room. This is an average about of $360 per day of care. Consider that the national average for skilled nursing homes is roughly $240 per day.

Nationwide, the overall survey results shows clearly that long-term care costs are increasingly steadily. In particular, the “facility-based” costs are rising at a quicker clip than home care options.

Plan Ahead
Families trying to figure out how to pay for long-term care and otherwise secure help for an ailing senior may be dismayed by these figures. But never forget that you may have unique options to plan ahead or act prudently to secure care that is affordable and of respectable quality.

For those thinking ahead, long-term care insurance is a prudent choice, offering many options to receive superior care no matter what the future holds. If insurance is not financially feasible, then Medicaid is likely the best avenue for support. In those situations it may be worthwhile to use a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust (MAPT) to protect asset for possible Medicaid enrollment. Even if your need for care is immediate, some options may exist to save assets from the Medicaid spend down requirement.

Contact an established NY elder law estate planning attorney for help with all of these matters.

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