PROVIDENCE – Long-term health care costs in Rhode Island have risen more rapidly over the past five years than in the United States as a whole and can cost as much as 40 percent more each year than the national average, according to the Genworth 2014 Cost of Care Survey released Monday.
In Rhode Island, the median hourly cost for homemaker services (including assistance with shopping, finances, cooking, errands and transportation) is $22, or $50,908 annually, a cost 17.1 percent higher than the national median of $19 per hour, or $43,472 annually.
Similarly, the median cost for a home health aide to help with bathing, dressing and toileting is $24 per hour, or $54,912 annually, compared with $19.75 per hour, or $45,188 annually, in the U.S. as a whole.
Homemaker costs nationally have risen 1.2 percent annually on average during the past five years, compared with 2.2 percent annually in the Ocean State. Annual increases in the price of home health aide services were roughly the same in Rhode Island and the U.S., at about 1.3 percent.
While the median annual cost for care in an assisted living facility is $42,000 nationally, in Rhode Island long-term care patients and their families can expect to pay $58,740 for a year of assisted living facility care, which is 39.9 percent more than the national median cost. Over the past five years, the national yearly cost of assisted living has increased 4.29 percent annually, compared with 7 percent during the same time period in Rhode Island.
A private nursing home room in Rhode Island costs $109,500 annually, 25 percent more than the national median cost of $87,600.
“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,” said Tom McInerney, president and CEO of Genworth Financial Inc., an insurance company headquartered in Richmond, Va.
Bob Bua, Genworth vice president and business leader of its wholly owned subsidiary, CareScout, said, “Since we first launched this study, we have seen long-term care costs march higher year after year. If you live to 65, there is a 70 percent chance you will need some form of long-term care services, so creating a sound financial plan for managing future long-term care costs is very important.”
CareScout has conducted the Genworth Cost of Care Survey annually since 2004. This year, CareScout contacted more than 43,300 providers to complete more than 14,800 surveys of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult day health facilities and home care providers.