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Long Term Care (LTC) is medical and personal care given over an extended period of time. This includes informal and formal caregiving. This type of care can be provided by:

  • Home health care agencies
  • Care managers and coordinators
  • Family and friends
  • Adult day care centers
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Skilled nursing facilities (nursing home)

Long Term Care in America

The Facts

  • Current average cost nationally for a year in a nursing home:
    $76,000 for a semi-private room
  • Life expectancy for a married couple at age 65:
    50% to age 92
    25% to age 97
  • Likelihood of needing long term care after age 65:
  • Number of Americans over age 40 who will be diagnosed with a critical illness in the next 30 years:
  • Estimated lifetime nursing home costs:
    For a 50-year-old $872,000
    For a 60-year-old $535,058
    For a 70-year-old $329,090
    (Based on a 3-year average nursing home stay at age 80, assuming current annual cost of $64,000 with 5% inflation.)

Medicare and other health insurance, including individual and group plans, pay very little toward long term care expenses. Medicaid only covers long term care expenses if the recipient is impoverished.

(pull quote) "We can't rely on the government. Government programs only pay for about 16% of long-term care." -National Care Planning Council

(Sources of facts, in order: 2005 MetLife Market Summary of Nursing Home and Health Care Costs; Employee Benefit Research; Wall Street Journal, 27 Dec 2005; Lotter Actuarial Partners, cited in Annuity Market News, October 2000; 2005 MetLife Market Summary of Nursing Home and Health Care Costs.)

Can It Happen To You?

Aging is a process that will affect all of us. The need for long term care is typically due to:

  • Age-related diseases and ailments
  • Chronic health conditions
  • Accidents
  • Advanced age or frailty

As we get older, the most common and costly chronic health conditions are:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Parkinson's disease
©2006 Cooperative Care Planning Services