The Costs Of Long Term Care And How You Can Pay

Accountancy Resources

The Costs Of Long Term Care And How You Can Pay


Long-term care (LTC) services and supports offer a wide range of options that aim at addressing the prolonged health care needs of everyone. However, along with these services and supports come high costs.

While there are public programs that help some people pay for such expenses, there are options that also help pay for long term care expenses, and these include:

  • Long-term care insurance
  • Personal income and savings
  • Life insurance
  • Annuities
  • Reverse mortgages

These options help people make sure that they can pay for the care they require and protect their savings at the same time.

What are the Costs of Long Term Care?

In 2010, according to, the average costs for long-term care US were:

  • A semi-private room in a nursing home: $205 per day or $6,235 per month
  • Private room in a nursing home: $229 per day or $6,965 per month
  • Care in an assisted living facility (one-bedroom unit): $3,293 per month
  • Home health aide: $21 per hour
  • Homemaker services: $19 per hour
  • Services in an adult day health care center: $67 per day

Long-term care costs depend on the kind of care you need and how long you need it, your care provider, and your current residence.

Costs can also be affected by certain factors, such as:

Schedule of care

Home care and home health services are provided in two to four-hour blocks of time called “visits.” These visits are generally more expensive in the evening, on weekends, and on holidays

Other expenses

The extra charges are accumulated from services provided beyond the basic room, food, and housekeeping charges at facilities, but other services may have “all-inclusive” fees.

Variable rates

Some services may be offered at a fixed rate, such as per day or per month, but may have extra costs based on extra events and activities.

Overall, long-term care costs are based on what services you will need.

It is best to talk to a doctor regarding your health to identify health conditions that you have to be prepared for in the future.

Ways to Pay

There are several ways to pay for care. Since long term care can be expensive and not everyone can afford to pay out-of-pocket, there are options to pay for care:

Long-term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance (LTCI) is designed to pay for a policyholder’s long-term care services and supports expenses.

It also pays for personal and custodial care in different settings such as your home, a community organization, or other facilities.

If you are unhealthy or already receiving long-term care services or support, you may not be eligible for a long-term care insurance policy since most LTCI policies require medical underwriting.

Life Insurance

There are different ways to pay long term care with life insurance:

Combination (Life/Long-Term Care) Products

A combination policy will pay for both long-term care benefits and death benefits. The idea of this policy is to get the benefits paid in one way or another.

Accelerated Death Benefits (ADBs)

A feature for some life insurance policies, ADBs allow you to receive an advance on your death benefit while you are still alive.

Life settlements

Life settlements allow you to sell your life insurance policy for its current value for any reason. However, this option is only available to men aged 70 and older and to women age 74 and older.

Viatical settlements

Viatical settlements, like life settlements, allow you to sell your life insurance policy to a third party, but only possible if you are terminally ill

Reverse mortgages

A reverse mortgage is a special type of home equity loan. It pays you cash for the value of your home without selling it. You are not required to repay the loan as long as you continue to live in the home.


Some insurance companies accept annuity contract applications to help pay for long-term care. Instead of paying your benefits, you will receive a series of regular payments until the annuity expires or the death of the person or persons in the contract, whichever comes first.

Some long-term care insurance policies will tell you the limits of how long or how much a policy will pay. Other policies pay your long-term care expenses for a fixed number of years, while other insurance companies offer policies that will pay as long as you live, regardless of the costs.

However, insurance companies that offer policies with no limits are very few. Also, remember before you buy a policy, insurance companies may raise the premium on your policy at any time.