Vermont Business Magazine While the national annual median cost of long term care increased across the board this year, the cost of long term care services in Vermont was mixed as COVID-19 intensified providers' existing challenges in meeting the increasing demand for long term care, according to Genworth's 17th annual Cost of Care Survey. Most categories showed a decrease in costs in Vermont (except for home services) as average costs nationally were generally up. However costs in every category in Vermont were higher than the national average by substantial amounts.
National 2020 data shows a continuation of the upward trajectory in long term care costs, though this year proved to be like no other as patients and providers struggled to cope with the effects of COVID-19. This year's Cost of Care Survey shows national annual median costs increased 6.1% for assisted living facilities, 4.3-4.4% for home care and 3.2-3.5% for skilled nursing facilities.
Providers indicated they will have to raise rates again in the next six months to cover the added cost of providing care under the extraordinary challenges posed by COVID-19.
Here's how the costs of care in Vermont compare with national trends and the previous year:
Why Rates Are on the Rise
Rising rates are not a new phenomenon for caregivers or the long term care industry; however, COVID-19 has heightened the severity of already existing factors as well as introduced many new challenges.
In a supplemental study to delve into the cause of the cost increases, providers cited the following factors:
- A shortage of workers in the face of increasing demand for care, compounded by competition from higher-paying, less-demanding jobs; anxiety about exposure to COVID-19 and parents needing to stay home with school-age children
- Increased spending for training on new safety procedures, testing, purchase of PPE and cleaning supplies
- Higher mandated minimum wages as well as higher recruiting and retention costs, including hazard pay of up to 50% more for workers caring for COVID-19 patients, and added benefits such as free childcare
- An increase in the cost of doing business, including regulatory, licensing and employee certification costs.
Although many providers contacted by Genworth said they were trying to absorb these new costs, more than half (62%) predicted that they would eventually be forced to raise rates in the next six months with 43% saying those increases would top five percent or more.
The Importance of Long Term Care Planning
"The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the need for individuals and families to plan ahead for how and where they want to receive care when they can no longer care for themselves and how they will pay for those costs, most of which are not covered by Medicare or health insurance," said Gordon Saunders, senior brand marketing manager at Genworth who manages the Cost of Care Survey.
"Our purpose as a company is to help people prepare for the challenges of growing older so that they can continue to live their lives on their own terms. We provide our annual Cost of Care Survey and award-winning interactive website to enable individuals and their families to understand the costs of care, which is the first step toward planning for these expenses down the road," he said.
In addition to the Cost of Care calculator, Genworth's website contains long term care planning tools, practical information on topics such as understanding Medicare and Medicaid, conversation starters, impairment simulations, options for financing long term care, and videos of real families sharing their long term care stories.
- To access 17-year Cost of Care trend charts, click here.
- To access tables ranking states from the highest to lowest cost in each care category, click here.
About Genworth Cost of Care Survey
Genworth's annual Cost of Care Survey, one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind, contacted nearly 60,000 long term care providers nationwide to complete almost 15,000 surveys for nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult day health facilities and home care providers during July and August, 2020. The survey includes 435 regions based on the Metropolitan Statistical Areas, defined by the Office of Management and Budget. CareScout®, part of the Genworth Financial family of companies, has conducted the survey since 2004. Located in Waltham, Massachusetts, CareScout has specialized in helping families find long term care providers nationwide since 1997.
About Genworth Financial
Genworth Financial, Inc. is a Fortune 500 insurance holding company committed to helping families achieve the dream of homeownership and address the financial challenges of aging through its leadership positions in mortgage insurance and long term care insurance. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, Genworth traces its roots back to 1871 and became a public company in 2004. For more information, visit genworth.com.
From time to time, Genworth releases important information via postings on its corporate website. Accordingly, investors and other interested parties are encouraged to enroll to receive automatic email alerts and Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds regarding new postings. Enrollment information is found under the "Investors" section of genworth.com. From time to time, Genworth's publicly traded subsidiary, Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australia Limited, separately releases financial and other information about their operations. This information can be found at https://www.genworth.com.au/.
1 Referred to as Residential Care facilities in California
2 Based on 44 hours per week by 52 weeks
3 Based on 5 days per week by 52 weeks
4 Based on 12 months of care, private, one bedroom
5 Based on 365 days of care
6 Based on 2019 and 2020 Annual Percentage Change
7 Ranking based on the highest to lowest cost per state for each care category
SOURCE RICHMOND, Va., Dec. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Genworth Financial, Inc. http://www.genworth.com