The cost to receive long-term care continues to increase each year, according to the 2013 Genworth Cost of Care Survey.
In the 10 years that Genworth has conducted its annual study, the median annual cost of a room in a private nursing home has jumped from $65,200 to $83,950, an increase of more than 4 percent a year. The cost to receive care in an assisted-living facility also has increased more than 4 percent a year for the past several years, with the national average now $41,400 annually.
If you think this is one cost you don't have to plan for, think again. One in eight individuals 65 and older suffers from Alzheimer's disease, and 45 percent of people age 85 and older have it, according to the Alzheimer's Association. Health insurance and Medicare don't cover the sort of long-term care needed to help someone with Alzheimer's handle daily-living activities.
If you're a veteran, you might be able to get help paying for long-term care from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Medicaid rules vary by state, but in general the government program does pay for long-term-care services (primarily nursing home care). However, you might have to deplete your assets first to become eligible.
To avoid paying out of pocket, you can buy a long-term-care insurance policy. Unfortunately, rates for long-term-care insurance have spiked over the past few years, and policies have become more restrictive.
Kiplinger's Kimberly Lankford has written about a new approach to buying long-term-care insurance to keep the cost manageable. See A New Strategy for Long-Term Care. (http://www.kiplinger.com/article/insurance/T036-C000-S002-a-new-strategy-for-paying-for-long-term-care.html)
For more advice on planning and paying for long-term-care, here's a roundup of what Kiplinger's editors have written recently:
Navigate a Course for Long-Term Care (http://www.kiplinger.com/article/insurance/T066-C000-S001-navigate-a-course-for-long-term-care.html)
The long-term-care insurance business is in turmoil. But these options can help you steer through the turbulent marketplace.
How to Choose a Long-Term-Care Facility (http://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T066-C000-S001-how-to-choose-a-long-term-care-facility-for-a-love.html)
This step-by-step guide can help you find the right place to meet your loved one's needs.
A Reliable Home Aide Can Be Hard to Find (http://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T066-C000-S001-a-reliable-home-aide-can-be-hard-to-find.html)
Whether you hire in-home help directly or through an agency, ask detailed questions about caregivers' background and training.
Planning for Alzheimerâs (http://www.kiplinger.com/article/insurance/T027-C000-S002-planning-for-alzheimers.html)
Nothing will erase the emotional toll this disease takes on families. But you can take steps to stem the financial bleeding.
Does Insurance Cover Alzheimerâs Care (http://www.kiplinger.com/article/insurance/T066-C000-S001-does-insurance-cover-alzheimer-s-care.html)
Private and government insurance programs may pay for some of the costs.
Tax Breaks for Alzheimerâs Care (http://www.kiplinger.com/article/taxes/T066-C000-S001-tax-breaks-for-alzheimer-s.html)
Caring for someone with a chronic illness can be expensive, but these tax-saving moves may help defray some of the costs.
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