Despite a rise in the cost of health care and more change on the way as a result of the Affordable Care Act, home health care rates remain flat, according to a recent report by the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance.
While rates vary from region to region, the national average hourly rate for home health care aides was $21 and for homemaker or companion services was $19, according to the report.
“Rates for home health care have remained relatively stable over the past few years,” explains Jesse Slome, executive director of the association. “However, costs can vary significantly from one market to another and even among service providers within a particular locale.”
In Boston, for example, the average runs around $27 per hour, while in Dallas the lowest rates are $12.
Long term care insurance, the study finds, continues to be an important driver for home health care services, with half of all new long term care insurance claims beginning with the policyholder receiving care at home.
“Long-term care insurance has really become nursing home avoidance protection,” Slome said. “Today, people purchase this important protection in order to receive care in their own home for as long as possible. When costs remain stable, people are able to purchase more affordable levels of insurance coverage that will pay for longer periods of time.”
Written by Elizabeth Ecker