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Long-term care costs growing

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The cost of long-term care continues to rise, with the median yearly cost of nursing home care in Virginia growing 3.5 percent a year to  $84,315.

In addition, the annual cost of care in assisted-living care facilities in Virginia grew 5.2 percent each year to $47,880, according to an annual survey by Richmond-based insurer Genworth Financial Inc.

The Richmond-based insurer said its survey shows that at-home care can provide a less expensive option (between $18 and $19 per hour in Virginia). The cost of at-home services provided by a homemaker or home health aide in Virginia have risen 1.8 percent and 1.1. percent each year, the survey found.

Nationally, the average annual cost of nursing-home care is $87,600, with costs in assisted-living facilities coming in at $42,000, according to Genworth. Hourly rates for at-home care are between $19 and $19.75, the survey found.

"With the number of Americans over 65 projected to double over the next 40 years, continued increases in the cost of care and limited public financing options available to cover these costs, long term care is one of the most important social issues of our time,” Thomas McInerney, president and CEO of Genworth, said in a statement.

Genworth said, based on its claims history, that the average length of a long-term care claim is about three years. That means that the average cost of in-home health care would be $136,000, $143,000 in an assisted-living facility and $260,000 in a private nursing home.

Genworth’s Cost of Care survey included nearly 15,000 long-term care providers around the country and was conducted in January and February. CareScout, the company’s long-term care insurance company, has conducted the survey since 2004.


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