Long-term care costs in La. remain below U.S. median

The median cost for long-term care in Louisiana remains well below the national level, although Louisiana’s costs have grown more over the last five years than nationally, according to Genworth’s 11th annual Cost of Care Survey.

The median annual cost for an assisted living facility in Louisiana is $37,875, compared with $42,000 nationally, the survey shows. The cost has increased 5.6 percent a year over the past five years in Louisiana, compared with 4.3 percent nationally. Half of the assisted living facilities cost more than the median and half cost less.

The Cost of Care Survey covers close to 15,000 long-term care providers in 440 regions throughout all 50 states and 384 metro areas.

The annual cost of an assisted living facility in the Baton Rouge area is $36,720, up 8 percent over the past five years; in New Orleans, $43,140, up 3 percent; and in Lafayette, $32,220, up 3 percent.

Meanwhile, home health aides’ pay has remained flat over the past five years, while the hourly service charge for that service has increased by 0.7 percent. The median hourly pay for an aide is $15.

“It is well known that most Americans do not have traditional pensions and many have saved far too little in their 401(k) plans or other products. For the vast majority of Americans, long term care costs are not covered by Medicare and Medicaid provides coverage only after life long savings have been nearly exhausted. Given these factors, private long term care insurance remains one of the most effective ways for Americans to prepare for this potentially significant expense later in life,” McInerney said.