Living a long life isn’t an uncommon desire; in fact, it’s quite common to hear someone say they want to live to 100 years old (or even older!). With a long life come certain changes, though. Long term care is one of them. If you are planning to live a long life, you must also be prepared for the high financial risk that long term care poses.
Genworth Financial recently published their 2014 Cost of Care Survey, which details just how expensive long term care is across the country, including Texas, and helps consumers plan for that cost.
Long Term Care in Texas
Long term care refers to services received in a variety of settings like a nursing home, assisted living facility, adult day care, and even at home from a home health aide. As life spans in the United States continue to rise and the cost of health care goes up with it, planning for the cost of long term care makes a great deal of sense when it comes to retirement planning.
Planning your retirement won’t do any good if you are suddenly injured or diagnosed with an illness that requires expensive care for an extended period of time. Fortunately, here in Texas, long term care is cheaper than the national average, but chances are the price tags will still shock you.
Cost Across Care Settings
The median annual cost of a home health aide in Texas is $41,184. Home health aides are nurses or health professionals that provide long term care in the comfort of your home. When asked, most people express that they would prefer this type of care over facility care. This number has seen a 1% growth rate over the past 5 years and is about $4,000 lower than the national median cost.
Adult day care facilities, which are public centers where adults can be dropped off for the day, typically during business hours, have a median annual cost of $8,970 in Texas. The cost of adult day care services in Texas has increased 3% in the past 5 years, but is still about half of the national median cost.
Assisted living facilities, another commonly preferred care setting, have seen a 5% growth rate in the past 5 years in Texas. Assisted living facilities provide long term care but in a more independent setting than a nursing home. They are often similar to apartment complexes, but have medical personnel on staff in case of any emergencies. The median annual cost of a single room in an assisted living facility in Texas is $42,270, which is less than $300 higher than the national median cost.
Nursing homes are usually the least preferred care setting but the most necessary for those with severe health problems. They are also the most expensive form of long term care. A private room in a nursing home in Texas will cost you an average of $65,700. This number is significantly lower than the national median cost of $87,600. Similarly, the cost of a semi-private room in Texas will cost an average of $50,735, compared to the national average of $77,380.
Less than Average
All in all, long term care in Texas is usually less expensive than the national average, but it varies from city to city and facility to facility. The important thing to remember about the high cost of long term care is most people can’t cover the cost on their own. Because health insurance and Medicare won’t cover it, either, it’s crucial to implement a plan to prepare for the potential cost. Long Term Care Insurance is a great way to do just that.
Long Term Care Insurance helps you plan for the cost of long term care without having to save up hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets. Instead, you transfer the financial risk to the insurance company and just pay regular premiums, which pale in comparison to the full cost of care. Buying Long Term Care Insurance shouldn’t be a last minute decision, though, so be sure to do your research and buy as early as possible to get the best rates.