Home Health & Hospice

New surveys suggest HH services most affordable in PAC sphere, but still too pricy for many boomers

Homecare Insider, April 20, 2015

While home health may be the most affordable postacute care (PAC) setting, the cost of services provided by agencies may still be too steep for the nation’s growing population of older Americans who will require them, according to the results from two recently-released surveys.
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice recently lauded the findings of a cost of care survey by the Richmond, Virginia-based insurance company, Genworth Financial, which reveal the cost of homecare services has only increased 1.03% between 2010 and 2015—a significantly slower growth rate than that of service costs in all other studied long-term care settings, including assisted living facilities (which climbed 2.48% over the same five-year span), adult day healthcare centers (2.79%), and nursing homes (3.53% for a semi-private room; 3.95% for a private room).
“Not surprisingly, the cost of all types of care has steadily risen over the years—from homemaker services to nursing home care,” the report on the survey results states. “However, the cost of care provided in people’s homes has not risen by the same degree as care provided in facilities.”
But while the home health sector may have a leg up on its fellow PAC settings in terms of cost-efficiency, another recent survey—this one from Insured Retirement Institute (IRI), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit association for the retirement income industry—shows that a declining number of baby boomers believe they’ll be able to pay for long-term care in general after retirement.
Only 19% of all boomers in IRI’s fifth annual survey on the generation’s expectations for retirement reported being “extremely” or “very confident” this year that they will have enough money to pay for long-term care, such as that delivered by home health and nursing home providers, should they need these services during retirement.
In comparison, 23% of boomers last year; 26% in 2013; 24% in 2012; and 23% in 2011 (the first year of the survey) reported the same level of confidence.
“For an increasing number of boomers, especially those that have not taken steps to plan effectively, retirement reality is not aligning with retirement expectations,” the IRI report states. 
To access the complete Genworth survey, click here. For the IRI survey, click here.