Spending on senior care services, which includes skilled nursing, home health care and assisted living are predicted to grow 5.2 percent annually and will amount to $319.5 billion by 2016 according to the Freedonia Group.
Skilled nursing saw facilities revenue come in at $106.9 billion in 2011 according to the study and are projected to grow to $126.5 billion in 2016 and $146.5 billion by 2021. Revenues for home health care services were reported and projected to be $61.1 billion, $85.5 billion and $120.5 billion for the same time periods.
The growth will be driven by the baby boomers entering their retirement years, but could be constrained by efforts at the state and federal levels to cut Medicare and Medicaid.
“There is no question that there will be an enormous growth in demand for eldercare services which will place an enormous burden on families,” declares Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. “Medicare and Medicaid will not be able to carry the burden without seeking additional tax revenue or forcing states to reduce allocations to other programs such as education. You just can’t have everything unless someone is willing and able to pay.”
Slome predicts the growth of interest in long term care insurance a private form of coverage already owned by some eight million aging Americans. “If you want to have some choice in your care you either have to have sufficient dollars to pay, have a family member willing to provide free care or some insurance that will cover some of the cost,” Slome explains. “People are increasingly aware of the importance and more are looking into the area every day.”
Written by John Yedinak