RICHMOND, Va., April 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- According to Genworth's (NYSE: GNW) 2012 Cost of Care Survey, the cost to receive care in the home through home health aide services in Alaska has risen only slightly over the past five years.
"Overwhelmingly, Americans prefer to receive long term care in the home and the relatively muted rise in home care costs nationally over the past few years can be viewed as a positive for consumers in Alaska," said Steve Zabel, senior vice president of Long Term Care at Genworth. "Consumer demand for home care services has led to a proliferation of home care services providers and more choice for consumers. This competition has kept home care costs relatively stable, especially when compared to the cost of care in a nursing home or assisted living facility."
Nationally, the median hourly cost for homemaker services and home health aide services is $18 and $19, respectively. In Alaska, by comparison, the median cost for both types of services is $24 per hour. The median hourly cost for homemaker services in Alaska has remained flat over the past five years, while the hourly cost of home health aide services has increased only 0.4 percent over the same period of time.
By comparison, the median annual cost for care in an assisted living facility is $39,600 nationally. The comparable cost in Alaska is $66,000. The national yearly cost for assisted living has increased 5.7 percent a year over the past five years, while long term care costs in Alaska have increased 9.5 percent a year during the same time period. Nationally, the median annual cost for a private nursing home room rose 4.3 percent annually over the past five years to $81,030, while costs in Alaska increased 1.6 percent a year during the comparable time period to $232,505.
Then and Now: Increased Options Benefit Consumers
Consumers have more long term care options today than ever before as seen by the increasing number of home care agencies. According to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare, there were approximately 9,200 Medicare-certified home care agencies in the U.S. at the start of 2008. Today, there are slightly over 11,000, representing an increase of 20 percent. Conversely, during this same period of time, the number of Medicare-certified nursing homes has increased less than one half of 1.0 percent from just over 15,000 to 15,100. The number of nursing homes is increasing at a slower rate and no longer represents the only option.
While consumers' options have increased dramatically, creating a tangible plan for long term care is a critical step many overlook. According to Genworth claims data, the youngest claimant ever was 27 years old. Although that is not the norm, it underscores the necessity for a care roadmap. Consumers can create a long term care plan and learn more about the cost of care in their local market and nationally by visiting www.Genworth.com/CostofCare. The site is rich with a range of educational and planning tools to help consumers compare costs across geographies, project future costs and share comparisons and calculations with family, friends or a financial professional.
"Understanding long term care costs in your local market and how these costs tend to change over time is vital to developing a plan to cover expected future costs," Zabel said. "Genworth's Cost of Care Survey is the most comprehensive of its kind and provides invaluable information on long term care costs that enable family members to conduct informed discussions with loved ones about future long term needs and preferences to be more informed consumers of long term care services."
Now in its 9th year, Genworth's Cost of Care Survey provides Americans with both national and local long term care cost data, as well as information on cost inflation over time. Resources include an interactive long term care map (also available as a free downloadable iPhone and iPad App) of long term care costs in 437 regions across all 50 states, including 11 in Alaska.
- Genworth's "Let's Talk" campaign was developed to help families initiate conversations about long term care preferences, options and strategies.
- Genworth Celebrates Caregivers Facebook Page: Caregivers can have their questions about caregiving challenges answered by a professional care advocate.
- Caregiver Support Resource
- An interactive Cost of Care press release containing downloadable content such as the Cost of Care Map; a view of the Long Term Care industry and compelling stories from real people who have suffered a long term care event.
About Genworth's 2012 Cost of Care Survey
Genworth's Cost of Care Survey is the most comprehensive study of its kind, covering nearly 15,300 long term care providers nationwide. The survey includes 437 regions which cover all Metropolitan Statistical Areas defined for the 2010 U.S. Census. Genworth annually surveys the cost of long term care across the U.S. to help Americans plan for the potential costs associated with the various types of long term care available in their preferred location and setting. CareScout®, part of the Genworth Financial family of companies, has conducted the survey since 2004. Located in Waltham, Massachusetts, CareScout has specialized in helping families find long term care providers nationwide since 1997. Genworth's 2012 Cost of Care Survey was conducted during January, February and March 2012.
About Genworth Financial
Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE: GNW) is a leading Fortune 500 insurance holding company that is dedicated to helping people secure their financial lives, families and futures. Genworth has leadership positions in offerings that assist consumers in protecting themselves, investing for the future and planning for retirement -- including life insurance, long term care insurance, financial protection coverages, and independent advisor-based wealth management -- and mortgage insurance that helps consumers achieve homeownership while assisting lenders in managing their risk and capital. Genworth has approximately 6,500 employees and operates through three segments: Retirement and Protection, U.S. Mortgage Insurance and International. Its products and services are offered through financial intermediaries, advisors, independent distributors and sales specialists. Genworth Financial, Inc., which traces its roots back to 1871, became a public company in 2004 and is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. For more information, visit genworth.com. From time to time, Genworth Financial, Inc. releases important information via postings on its corporate website. Accordingly, investors and other interested parties are encouraged to enroll to receive automatic email alerts and Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds regarding new postings. Enrollment information is found under the "Investors" section of genworth.com
SOURCE Genworth Financial