Cost of In-Home Care Rising Slower than Other Options

While long-term care costs continue to rise nationally, the cost for in-home care is rising at a much slower pace, according to Genworth’s 2010 Cost of Care Survey.

The survey found the cost to receive care in the home has risen at an annual rate of just 1.7% over the past five years, compared to annual increases of 6.7% for assisted living facilities and 4.5% for a private room in a nursing home over the same period. 

Genworth noted that this is good news since a majority of Americans say they wish to receive care in the home. According to another Genworth survey conducted earlier this year, when asked to identify the setting most preferred to receive long term care, 78% chose the home, 18% chose assisted living, and only 2% selected a nursing home. 

In 2005 the median annual rate for a private nursing home room was $60,225, compared with the 2010 median annual rate of $75,190, Genworth found. The national hourly private pay median rate charged by a licensed home health agency for a home health aide was $17.50 in 2005, while the 2010 hourly rate has gradually risen to $19.  

Genworth said home care rates have remained in check partly due to increased competition among agencies, the availability of unskilled labor, and the absence of costs associated with maintaining stand-alone health care facilities. 

The survey revealed that Alaska, Minnesota, and Rhode Island are the most expensive states for home care, at a median rate of $25 per hour for a home health aide provided by a state-licensed agency. The most affordable states are Alabama and West Virginia, at a median rate of $15 per hour.

Genworth offers an interactive map of long term care costs in all 50 states and full survey results at  

Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey covers nearly 13,000 long-term care providers in 436 regions nationwide. The survey was conducted during January, February, and March.