The Cost of Aging Just Keeps Rising

U.S. long-term health-care costs rose as much as 5.6 percent last  year, led by assisted-living expenses, and are climbing at a steeper rate during a weak economy, MetLife Inc. said.

Are you planning for your old age or perhaps the old age of a loved one? If yes, then you know that such planning is all about getting a handle on healthcare. Unfortunately, the most recent study from MetLife indicates that the costs for long-term care and assisted living are rising at an even faster rate than in previous years despite the weak economy.

According to the MetLife study:

  • The national average daily rate for a private room in a nursing home rose 4.4% from $229 in 2010 to $239 in 2011.
  • The national average monthly base rate in an assisted living community rose 5.6% from $3,293 in 2010 to $3,477 in 2011.
  • The national average daily rate for adult day services rose 4.5% from $67 in 2010 to $70 in 2011.
  • The national average hourly rates for home health aides ($21) and homemakers ($19) were unchanged from 2010.


Businessweek offers some coverage of the development, along with the words of the director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute, Sandra Timmermann. According to Timmermann, “The state of the economy, combined with rising health-care and energy costs, are having a significant impact on long-term care rates.”

Indeed, even though MetLife is the largest life insurer in the U.S., it also has discontinued its long-term care insurance policies for these very reasons. Likewise, the CLASS Act (the first public-option long-term care insurance) recently shut down. In the end, this is rather grim news for those planning for their old age or an elder loved one.

You can learn more about elder law planning  on our website. Be sure to sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter to stay abreast of issues like these that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning. 

Reference:  Businessweek (October 26, 2011) “Long-Term Care Costs Rise at Faster Pace, Metlife Says

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