Average Cost of Nursing Home Facilities
When researching different nursing home options for yourself or your loved one, one of your top questions will undoubtedly be, “How much does a skilled nursing home facility cost?”
To help, we have put together this guide so that you have a better idea of the factors that influence nursing home costs and some ways you can pay for care.
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How Much Do Nursing Home Facilities Cost in the United States?
The price of nursing home care varies dramatically across the United States, ranging from $70,000 to over $375,000 per year. According to the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the national average monthly cost of a semi-private room at a nursing facility is $7,908.
Residential nursing homes generally cost more than other forms of senior living since they provide skilled nursing and medical care. When you take into account the fact that nursing home facilities also provide various amenities like private/semi-private rooms, three daily meals, 24-hour support with activities of daily living (ADLs), and social activities, they can actually be a more affordable and convenient senior living option than hiring a private nurse for in-home care.
Here is how the average monthly cost breaks down state by state for a semi-private room:
Average Monthly Cost for Nursing Home Care by State
Average Monthly Cost:
It is important to keep in mind the fact that the above numbers are just averages. The actual price of a nursing home facility can vary widely – even within the same city.
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Let’s look at some of the most important price factors for nursing homes and some ways to cover the cost of care.
Local Advisors for Nursing Homes
A lot of time and research goes into figuring out the when, how, and where of senior living. As such, finding the right nursing home option for you or your loved one can feel like an overwhelming challenge.
But you’re not alone.
Expert local senior care advisors are available to help you through the entire decision-making process, from beginning to end.
Unlike national placing agents, our local care advisors live and work in the communities they serve and can provide expert advice about local nursing home facilities that meet your specific care needs. They’ll help you evaluate communities, figure out payment options, and simplify the transition into nursing home care.Connect Now for Help
Common Nursing Home Services & Amenities
Nursing homes, or skilled nursing facilities, provide the highest level of care out of any senior living option. Many nursing home facilities offer residential, long-term care and short-term, rehabilitative care (such as after a hospital discharge).
Long-term care at nursing home facilities is for seniors who need long-term skilled nursing (for example, they have a serious chronic or progressive illness), but don’t require hospitalization. Meanwhile, short-term rehabilitation programs at nursing home facilities help older adults recover from an illness or accident, so they can return to their normal senior living arrangement.
Standard services at nursing home facilities include:
- 24-hour support and supervision
- Skilled nursing care
- Rehabilitative services
- Assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, toileting, and grooming
- Medication management
- Palliative and hospice care
- Escort and transfer assistance
- Care coordination
- Nutritious meals and snacks
- Social activities and outings
- Complimentary transportation
Factors That Influence the Cost of Nursing Homes
Level of Care
Many nursing home facilities use a level of care pricing structure, where a higher care level equals a higher price point. Seniors that only need short-term rehab support can expect to pay less than long-term residents who need extensive or specialized medical care. The nursing home’s management team should provide a detailed list of pricing and regularly update you on any potential changes in care.
Another important cost factor of skilled nursing home care is the size of the resident’s living quarters. Generally, nursing homes offer semi-private or private rooms. As you might expect, a private room will cost more.
As you have seen, the cost of a nursing home varies significantly depending on where it’s located in the US. For example, in Alaska, the average cost for a semi-private room is over $1,000 per day, whereas the same room in Missouri only costs an average of $173 per day. The difference in cost is due to different state regulations, the average cost of living in the area, and access to resources (such as trained healthcare providers), etc. Nursing homes in large cities also tend to cost more than in rural areas due to increased demand.
Another factor that might influence cost is the number of nursing homes available in your area, the size of the facility, and how many rooms are available.
Tips and Ways on How To Finance Nursing Home Costs
Generally, seniors and their families will have to cover at least some of the cost of nursing home care out of pocket. Funding might come from personal resources like retirement accounts, investments, savings, etc. There are also various assistance programs available that can help defray the cost of nursing home care. Here are tips and ideas for ways to finance your loved one’s nursing home care.
If your loved one owns their home, downsizing and converting its value into usable capital can be a way to fund their long-term skilled nursing needs. This can be done in various ways, such as selling the property, renting it out for monthly income, applying for a reverse mortgage, or using it as collateral for a home equity line of credit (HELOC) loan.
Long-term care (LTC) insurance is designed to cover the costs associated with aging or chronic disability — including both skilled and non-skilled care. This type of policy can vary widely depending on the provider, but the plan will help cover nursing home costs in most cases. When shopping for LTC insurance, ask which types of long-term care services and facilities different policies cover. Also, check to see if your coverage could be limited due to pre-existing conditions. If you already have LTC insurance, check with your provider to find out if the specific nursing home care you need is covered.
Life Insurance Conversion
Another option to pay for nursing home care is to convert your life insurance policy into a life-term care benefit plan. Rather than letting your policy lapse or liquidating it for a predetermined lump sum, your transfer ownership to an entity (such as a bank) that acts as a benefits administrator. In return, the new benefits administrator pays a monthly stipend directly to your designated nursing home facility to pay for long-term care services. Furthermore, since the policy is no longer in your name, it no longer counts as an asset for the purposes of Medicaid qualification.
Bridge loans (also known as swing loans or GAP financing) are high-interest loans, short-term loans that can help temporarily finance nursing home care until a more permanent funding solution can be secured. For example, say your original plan was to sell your home and transition into residential nursing home care next year. However, you have an accident that requires you to move immediately. In this case, you could use a six- to twelve-month bridge loan to pay for care while you and your family work to sell the house.
Medicaid will help pay for nursing home care for qualified seniors who require that level of care. Just keep in mind that, as a joint federal and state program, Medicaid’s eligibility requirements are different in every state. In most cases, Medicaid will cover the complete cost of nursing home care — including room and board. The program will also pay for nursing home care on an ongoing basis, for however long your loved one requires that level of care. To get more information on Medicaid eligibility, call your state Medicaid office.
Veteran benefits can help qualified veterans pay for a range of long-term services, including 24/7 nursing and medical care, assistance with ADLs, physical therapy, and geriatric evaluation. Care settings include VA community living centers, community nursing homes, and state veterans homes.
Medicare generally doesn’t cover any custodial care services provided in residential nursing homes (i.e., assistance with ADLs, room & board, etc.). However, the program can help cover the medical side of things — for instance, hospital visits, doctor services, skilled nursing care, and medical supplies your loved one needs while living in a nursing home setting.
Our local senior care advisors can help you find the best nursing home facility in your area to meet your specific needs.
Many of the services your loved one receives at a skilled nursing home may qualify for a medical expense tax deduction. To learn more, visit www.irs.gov or consult with a tax professional in the same area as the nursing home facility you are considering.
Yes, a local senior care advisor can answer questions about nursing home costs and financing options.