Home Care Sees Slower Cost Increase Than Alternatives

As the least expensive care option when compared with nursing home care and assisted living, the cost of in-home care is also rising at a slower rate than its alternatives, according to a new study released this week.

The cost of care in a private room in a U.S. nursing home averages roughly $94,170 per year, with the costs of assisted living averaging $41,124 annually, according to a report by John Hancock Life Insurance Company.

Home care, in comparison, averages $29,640 annually, the study finds based on responses from 16,000 long term care providers nationwide. Long term care across all service types having increased over the past year, with home care having increased least. 

Based on a five-year average, the company finds the cost of nursing home care has risen most, at 3.6% per year for both private and semi-private room options. Assisted living, in contrast, has risen 2% annually while the cost of a home health aide has risen 1.3%. Costs vary by geography, the company notes, showing geographic discrepancies through its national long term care calculator.

“The cost of long-term care continues to be one of the most significant uninsured financial risks that an individual can face,” said Michael Doughty, Executive Vice President & General Manager, John Hancock Insurance. “[We] hope that our cost of care studies will raise consumer awareness and will help them understand how important planning ahead for a potential long-term care event can be to their future.”

The findings compare with similar results of an annual Genworth Financial Survey indicating care costs have risen 5% year over year in 2013 for assisted living, 3.6% more for nursing home care, and 1.4% for home care.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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Elizabeth Ecker
Director of Content at Home Health Care News
Curious about all things, when not writing about senior housing topics, Liz is an avid explorer of food. She loves trying new recipes, new restaurants and new ice cream flavors. (Current favorite: Goat cheese with red cherries.)

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