The Future Looks Terrible for U.S Nursing Home Costs

A recent article talks about the stark reality of skyrocketing nursing home costs. Georgetown University Medical Center conducted a six-year survey that revealed that the prices of nursing homes have been increasing quickly all over the country. The trend shows no signs of slowing down.

From 2005 to 2011, the period of time reviewed by the survey, Florida as well as other big states like California New York and Texas all saw increases that surpassed the inflation rate. The study found nursing home price rises over the period measured generally outpaced increases in overall medical care (20.2%) and general consumer prices (11.7%). Because of the costs of long-term care and the laws governing it, many nursing home residents must spend down the bulk of their life savings before qualifying for federal assistance.

It could be an issue of supply and demand, with more people needing long-term care than facilities that provide those services. More elderly Americans mean more demand for nursing home care, and more demand for nursing home employees. Wages go up, and the cost is passed along to consumers who, under the current system by which America looks after its elderly, coverage is limited. Dr. Sean Huang, the study’s lead author, explained that the growing population of those in nursing homes are those that are there for long stays, including those with Parkinson’s and dementia. “Medicare does not cover that. They will pay out-of-pocket until they use all of their wealth.” 

And it does not look like the trend will be changing any time soon, especially with Wall Street seeing money signs. Four out of the ten largest for-profit nursing home chains were purchased by private equity firms from 2003-2008, and studies on the effect of these purchases show mixed results for consumer effects.

This article is a vivid reminder that each one of us needs to get our affairs in order and develop a plan to protect our assets in case we ever need long-term care. Don’t let the family treasure get looted by nursing home costs. Plan well to leave a legacy to the family.

Learn how the elder law attorneys at Legacy Planning Law Group can help people protect their family treasure in case they need long-term care. Call them at (904) 880-5554.