Assisted Living Costs

Insurance policies to help offset the cost of living in an assisted living facility are priced based upon the amount of benefit that one feels they need or can afford. People in their 50’s and 60’s often consider this insurance, but it isn’t cheap, neither is the cost of living in a facility.  The costs of care are often paid from a combination of an individual’s insurance (either a long-term care policy or a rider on a life insurance policy or annuity), investments, sale of property such as their home, social security income and Medicaid. Seniors are often shocked by the cost of long-term care:

  • 50,000 assisted-living units were surveyed, and found the medium cost is $3,700 per month
  • According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners 44% of people reaching age 65 are expected to enter a nursing home
  • 53%will stay for one year or more
  • 63% are persons aged 65 and older, 37% are 64 years of age or younger
  • The average length of stay is 2.5 years

Insurers are finding this insurance difficult to market and price, in part due to the unpredictable nature of this industry. Some companies are getting out of the business all together, like when Prudential recently announced they are no longer issuing policies, or raising premiums dramatically like John Hancock did last year. People considering purchasing this type of coverage should get quotes from several companies from a long-term care insurance specialist, they might also want to consider what discounts might be available from an association they are a member of, or through their own or their children’s group health insurance at work.

Care for the elderly or disabled can be provided by:

  • Family: either the senior moves into someone’s home or receive care at home
  • Assisted living at home, with a home health care provider helping with some of their needs
  • Combination of home based care and a facility, using an adult day care facility, or overnight care in a nursing home to provide respite care for the care giver

There are several types of facilities that provide care,  from Family Care Givers Online:

Smaller and less expensive, often in traditional homes in residential neighborhoods with shared bathrooms and bedrooms:
• Personal Care Homes
• Sheltered Housing
• Homes for Adults
• Board and Care
• Domiciliary Care
• Adult Foster Care
• Senior Group Homes  

Larger more expensive complexes, with an emphasis on independence and privacy. Most offer private rooms or apartments along with large common areas for activities and meals:

• Residential Care Facilities
• Assisted Living Facilities

Large complexes providing a variety of options ranging from independent living to skilled-nursing home care within one community:

  • Adult Congregate Living
  • Continuing Care Retirement Communities 
  • Life Care Facilities