Studies & Research
Cost of Long-Term Care Study 2019
This is proprietary research conducted by Northwestern Mutual in 2019. Use of this information is intended for reference. Northwestern Mutual's recent proprietary research is available here.
In 2019, the Long Term Care Group, Inc. conducted customized Cost of Care research on behalf of Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company. Cost of care information was obtained from a representative sample of 6,300 nursing homes, 11,500 assisted living facilities and 13,700 home care providers across the U.S.
This research is important in the understanding of accessibility and affordability of different types of care services by geographic location. The findings help consumers make informed decisions about their long-term care options and costs, which may allow them to stay in their homes or within their local communities in the event of functional limitation or cognitive impairment.
Visit the Cost of Care Calculator to learn more about costs in your area.
Home health care is a $108.8 billion a year industry in the United States1, with approximately 7.6 million individuals receiving care2 because of acute illness, long-term health conditions, permanent disability or terminal illness, according to the National Association for Home Care and Hospice. Home health care organizations include home health care agencies, home care aide organizations and hospices.
For the Cost of Long Term-Care Study, 13,700 home care providers were surveyed in 2019. Key findings include:
- The national average hourly rate for Home Health Aides (HHAs) for all regions in this study is $25 per hour.
- The region with the highest average hourly rate for certified Home Health Aides (HHAs) is Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton, WA and costs $34 per hour.
- The region with the lowest average hourly rate for Home Health Aides (HHAs) is Jackson, MS and costs $18 per hour.
Assisted Living Facilities (ALF) have increased in popularity as an alternative to in-home or nursing home care. In a 1996 study, 20% of those who needed long-term care (LTC) received care in an ALF; by 2013 that had increased to 45% receiving care there1. Approximately one million Americans make their home in one of approximately 31,000 assisted living facilities in the U.S. today according to the National Survey of Residential Care Facilities. And this number is projected to grow. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 26 states are projected to double their 65-and-older population between 2000 and 2030. By 2050 there will be an estimated 86 million people in the U.S. who are 65 years or older, fueling the demand for assisted living facilities.
Assisted living provides coordinated, personalized 24-hour assistance and support (both scheduled and unscheduled) in a congregate residential setting. The choices, privacy, independence and rights of the persons served are proactively protected and promoted as an essential part of assisted living's core values and mission.
For the Cost of Long-Term Care Study, 11,500 assisted living facilities were surveyed in 2019. Key findings include:
- The national annual average cost for a one-bedroom ALF unit is $58,553. Overall costs may be higher in urban settings or if a resident has a high level of chronicity, which requires additional services.
- The national average monthly rate for a one-bedroom ALF unit is $4,879 in the regions surveyed.
- The region with the most expensive average monthly rate for a one bedroom unit in an assisted living facility is Portland, ME and costs $7,706 per month.
- The region with the lowest average monthly rate for a one bedroom unit in an assisted living facility is Grand Forks, ND and costs $2,757 per month.
The nursing home industry is composed of establishments primarily engaged in providing inpatient nursing and rehabilitative services. The care is generally provided for an extended period of time to individuals requiring skilled nursing care.
For the Cost of Long-Term Care Study, over 6,300 nursing homes were surveyed in 2019.
Key findings include:
- The national average annual cost of a private room in a nursing home based on the regions in the study is $110,748 per year.
- The national average daily rate for a private room in a nursing home is $303 in the markets surveyed.
- The region with the most expensive average daily rate for a private room in a nursing home is Anchorage, AK, and costs $689 per day.
- The region with the least expensive daily average rate for a private room in a nursing home is Lafayette, LA and costs $179 per day.
1LTCG Study, 2019