Survey: Nursing Home Costs Exceeding Average Salaries
The average annual cost for nursing home care in seven California cities ranked higher than the average household income in California in 2005, according to a survey by Genworth Financial, a long-term care insurer, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The survey, conducted in January and February, found that:
- San Francisco had the highest annual average cost for nursing home care at $110,120;
- Los Angeles had the lowest cost at $80,077 (Darcé, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/4); and
- California was the eighth-most-expensive state in the U.S. for nursing home care at $87,845 per year (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 4/4).
The average household income in California in 2005 was $51,312, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The prices were applied to nursing home residents who pay out-of-pocket for care. However, most nursing home residents are covered by Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program, according to the Union-Tribune.
Beth Ludden, senior vice president of product development for Genworth, said, "Our purpose in publishing this report is to make consumers aware of the cost." She added, "We are hoping that it will spur more concrete planning around the risks that occur along with long-term care."
Private long-term care insurance in recent years has become an alternative method for affording nursing homes as well as assisted-living centers and home health care, according to the Union-Tribune. While the rate of people obtaining private long-term care insurance is growing, they still represent a small portion of the nursing home population (San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/4).
Ludden said annual premiums for such coverage in California are about 5% more than the $2,000 national average because of state requirements that policies cover additional health care providers and services (San Francisco Chronicle, 4/4).