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WSJ: Long Term Care Cost Increase Outpacing Inflation

The rising costs of long term care are of increasing concern, as well as where that care will be administered, writes the Wall Street Journal in an article this week. The associated costs are currently outpacing inflation, according to new research, and they are extending across models of care. 

The Wall Street Journal reports:

A growing number of families are wrestling with the same dilemma: rising costs for long-term care and a mind-boggling array of options.

Nationwide, long-term-care costs in a number of categories have risen faster than inflation over the past year, according to research to be released Tuesday by insurer MetLife’s Mature Market Institute. At the same time, care providers are changing the types of services available or bundling services in new and at times confusing ways.

But there are strategies that can help. People who identify the specific services their loved ones need, haggle aggressively on price and explore alternative-care options can save money—or at least get more care for the money they do spend, experts say.

The broad category of “long-term care” includes a variety of health and daily-living services, either in facilities or in people’s homes, for people with chronic illnesses or disabilities.

Costs are rising for most kinds of care, according to the MetLife study, which surveyed nearly 6,700 long-term-care providers and is the first to analyze the ways providers have started bundling together various add-on services, such as transportation or extra meals, in their fee structures. 

The article goes on to discuss several levels of care settings, including assisted living, independent living, and home healthcare, before delving into some alternative options such as adult “day care” services, respite care programs at residential care communities, and hospice care.

Read the full piece at the Wall Street Journal

Written by Alyssa Gerace