By Cyril Tuohy
The towns of Bridgeport, Stamford and Norwalk in southern Connecticut are the most expensive in the U.S. for long-term care. The daily cost of a private room in a nursing home will come to an average annual rate of $159,359 per year, a new study by New York Life has found.
The three towns, part of the same metropolitan statistical area, moved up one spot from the No. 2 rank in 2009.
Anchorage, where the daily cost of a private room in a nursing home will come to an average annual rate of $156,950, dropped to second place from the No. 1 spot in 2009, according to the survey of the nation’s 25 most expensive long-term care markets.
Craig DeSanto, senior vice president of New York Life, called the cost of nursing home care “staggering.”
Other areas in the top 10 were New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island; Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, N.Y.; Hartford; Boston-Worcester-Lawrence, Mass.; Rochester, N.Y.; San Diego; Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton, Wash.; and San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Calif., according to the survey.
The survey was conducted by Univita Health, a long-term care administrator, in partnership with New York Life. The survey found that a private room in a nursing home in a top 10 most expensive market costs at least $130,283 a year in 2014.
Towns are grouped together in twos and threes to conform with the Metropolitan Statistical Areas as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The metropolitan areas with the biggest jumps among the list of top-25 most expensive markets over the five-year period ending in 2014 were San Diego, which jumped to the No. 8 spot from the No. 15 spot in 2009; Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton, which vaulted to the No. 9 spot, up 11 places; and Sacramento-Yolo, Calif., which jumped to the No. 17 spot, up five places.
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., and Boise, Idaho, joined the list of 25 most expensive markets for the first time, the survey also found.
The national average annual rate for a private room at a nursing home was $95,706 in 2014, an increase of 20 percent from $79,935 in 2009.
The national average monthly cost of a room in an assisted living facility in 2014 was $4,139, an increase of 34 percent from $3,100 in 2009, the survey also found.
The hourly cost of home health care in 2014 came to $21.86, up 4 percent from $21 in 2009.
“The staggering cost of nursing home care tells only part of the story,” DeSanto said. Often, long-term care patients need a combination of all three: home care, time in an assisted living facility and then a nursing home stay.
“The combined cost of that care can easily eliminate a family’s entire savings,” he said.
Long-term care insurance companies paid nearly $7.5 billion in claim benefits to 273,000 individuals in 2013 according to the American Association of Long-Term Care Insurance.
Cyril Tuohy is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at [email protected].
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