Cost of Nursing Facility Care Out of Reach for Most Older Adults

Via Skilled Nursing News:

The cost of nursing facility care is out of reach for many middle-income families, which can lead to dependence on Medicaid for long-term care, according to the AARP’s Across the States 2018 report.  The report offers a profile of long-term services and supports (LTSS) in the U.S., using a range of data sources. For the nursing facilities section, the sources included analyses of data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and other sources, academic research, and research from AARP itself.  From 2011 to 2016, the number of nursing facility residents fell 4%, according to the AARP report, with occupancy hitting about 81% of 1.7 million beds nationwide on a typical day in 2016.  The findings roughly track with more recent estimates from the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care (NIC), which found that occupancy in skilled nursing fell to 81.6% in the first quarter of 2018.  On a state-by-state basis, Wisconsin saw the most significant reduction in nursing facility residents, with a drop of 15%. Tennessee followed with a 14% drop, then Georgia with a 13% decline, then Minnesota with a 12% decline, followed by Connecticut, which saw a drop of 10% in this particular demographic area.  The report also found that 62% of nursing facility residents depend on Medicaid because many of them spent their life savings on paying for care. In fact, the median income of older households is $42,113, while the median annual cost of a private room in a nursing facility in 2017 came in at $97,455. For a shared room at a nursing facility, the cost was $87,600 in 2017.