Long-term care costs moderately rise

The cost of long-term care continues to rise, although at a rate considerably slower than much of the healthcare sector, according to recent data provided by John Hancock Financial, a Massachusetts-based long-term care services and research company.

The average annual cost of care in the U.S. for a private room in a nursing home is $85,775, $75,555 for a semi-private room and $39,240 for care in an assisted living facility, concludes the 2011 cost of care study.

However, the average rate of inflation in long-term care tracks much more closely to overall consumer inflation rather than medical inflation. The average inflation for long-term care over a nine-year period was less than 4 percent, about two to three percentage points lower than overall healthcare inflation during that period.

Costs for space in a nursing home or assisted-living facility rose 3.2 percent to 3.5 percent a year, while the cost of a home health aide rose just 1.3 percent annually, to $37,440 per year.

"Our cost of care studies are intended to help people better understand and prepare for their future long-term care needs," said John Hancock LTC President Marianne Harrison.

For more:
- here's the John Hancock LTC press release