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Rising Nursing Home Costs a Reminder of the Importance of Medicaid Planning

Quality 3d render of rising costs concept

Long-term care after retirement is expensive, often prohibitively so. Nursing home care can cost upwards of $100,000 or more annually, depending on location and type of facility. While Medicare covers some medical costs, it does not cover long-term care in nursing homes. For many people, the only way to afford long-term care as a Florida senior is to qualify for Medicaid. Unfortunately, the issue is only getting worse: According to the results of a study by Georgetown University Medical Center, nursing costs are not only on the rise but in fact are outpacing both general inflation and the cost of other medical care. Continue reading for a discussion of the study’s findings, and contact a seasoned West Palm Beach Medicaid planning and elder law attorney for assistance.

Georgetown University finds U.S. nursing home costs are skyrocketing

Georgetown researchers conducted a six-year study of the out-of-pocket costs for nursing home care, specifically as compared to the rate of inflation and the costs of other medical services. The study reviewed nursing home prices in eight states between the years 2005-2010.

The study compared prices geographically, noting that prices varied significantly across states. States including California, New York, and Florida saw average price hikes much higher than the 11.6% rise in inflation during that period; in California, the annual out-of-pocket costs jumped as high as 30% during the period. By 2010, Texas had the lowest average out-of-pocket cost at around $47,800 annually, while New York had the highest at $334 daily or $121,910 annually.

Additional data makes clear that the upward trend has continued since 2010: In Florida, the current median annual cost for a private room in a nursing home ranges from around $90,000 to over $100,000 depending on the type of room. According to seniorliving.org, Florida has actually seen a decrease in nursing home costs since 2016, which is encouraging.

The Georgetown study also compared different prices between different types of nursing homes, with some surprising results. Researchers found that for-profit nursing home chains actually charged the lowest prices, while nonprofit nursing home chains charged the most. For-profit and nonprofit chains differed on average around $4,160 annually, representing just over six percent of the average price for for-profit nursing homes. The difference was limited to chains: There was no notable difference between for-profit and nonprofit independently operated nursing homes. The study also found that locales with a higher concentration of nursing homes were likely to charge more for nursing home services, and that nursing homes nearing capacity also charged more than nursing homes with more ample space.

Planning for Medicaid Eligibility in Florida

For anyone expecting to rely on long-term nursing home care for themselves, their spouse, their parents or other loved ones, if these costs seem prohibitive, then it is time to start planning for Medicaid eligibility. A skilled West Palm Beach special needs planning attorney can help you and your family plan appropriately to maximize your chances for needs-based eligibility. If you are in need of an experienced and compassionate Florida Medicaid planning and elder law attorney, contact the seasoned, dedicated, and effective West Palm Beach trust and estates attorneys Shalloway & Shalloway at 561-686-6200.

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