How Much Does A Nursing Home Cost?

Submitted by Easy Retirement Living

Published on January 16, 2024

Over the years, nursing homes have proven to be an excellent choice for seniors that need around-the-clock care. Nursing homes provide housekeeping and professional care like meal planning and have social networks similar to assisted living communities. However, they also come with a pretty high price tag.

Most people are caught off guard when they find out that someone needs to go to the nursing home, and it’s only then that they figure out it’s something they can barely afford.


How Much Does It Cost To Live In A Nursing Home?

The average cost of living in a nursing home in 2022 is $8k a month. This will get you a semi-private room, and an average of $9500 will get you a private room. These figures mainly represent the national average, but your costs will vary depending on various factors such as:

  • Care needs – The prices will vary depending on the level of skilled nursing needed. The more levels of care, the higher will be the cost of a nursing home.
  • Room type- The type of room you choose will affect the price. You can choose from a semi-private to a private room.
  • Location of the facility – Nursing homes within major cities are often more expensive, while those in rural settings are comparatively cheaper.

Individuals interested in budgeting for their future nursing home needs must determine where they want to retire and which homes are best suited. Sure, you may not know everything now, but the factors impacting costs will help you better prepare for it. Here are a few more factors to consider when planning to live in a skilled nursing facility.


Nursing Home Costs Vary By State

The cost of a nursing home will also vary by state. Where the nursing home is located is by far the biggest cost factor. One reason the location is a significant factor is that many cities tend to be expensive, and thus the cost of living coupled with the cost of real estate adds to the price of the nursing home. That’s why anyone who wants a reasonably priced nursing home will want to move into one located in a rural area. For instance, the average annual cost of a nursing home in Alabama is slightly over $68k compared to over $142k annually in Long Island.

It is worth noting that most large cities aren’t the only ones with the most expensive nursing home care costs, which is why you will want to research places where you want to move.

Some of the most expensive nursing homes are in:

  • Alaska – $32k a month
  • Connecticut – $15k a month
  • Hawaii – $14k a month


The top 3 most affordable places are:

  • Missouri – $6k a month
  • Louisiana – $6k a month
  • Oklahoma – $6k a month


Note: The average total nursing home costs listed above are for private rooms. Semi-private rooms are cheaper.


What’s Causing The Costs of Nursing Homes To Rise?

Ask anyone, and they will tell you that the costs of living in a nursing home have steadily risen, especially over the past ten years. However, starting in 2019, the price of a private room has risen by 3.57 percent, with semi-private rooms costing 3.20 percent more on average.

The cost of living in a nursing home has risen rapidly, faster than even the cost of medical care services like physical therapy. However, some nursing homes already had a hefty price tag, with the increase making the facility less financially attainable for many.

One reason for the rise in costs is COVID-19. The decrease in capacity added safety measures, and scarcity of qualified staff, among other factors, have added to the cost of running a nursing home. The higher costs are consequently passed down to residents many of whom pay for nursing home costs out of pocket.

Other factors leading to an increase in nursing home costs include:
A lack of skilled nurses – Starting in May 2020, around 23 percent of nursing homes reported being unable to find experienced nurses. There was a dire need to fill this gap; thus, they were forced to pay more to attract qualified nurses; this added cost is passed on to nursing home residents.

Increase in demand – As the number of older people in the US increases, the need for nurses is rising sharply. The higher demand merits higher costs, as there is more demand and less supply.

Changes in regulatory framework – In the wake of COVID-19, the CDC issued fresh regulations on nursing homes regarding the health and safety of residents. While they are good, these extra measures cost more money which puts a further gap between what assisted living facilities cost versus nursing home costs.


How To Pay For A Nursing Home?

The rising costs may, quite frankly, turn many people off from nursing homes. However, there are a few ways to cover the expenses. You might want to start by purchasing a long-term care plan or speaking with veterans affairs.

Sure, it is hard to imagine you will need long-term care right now in your 30s, 40s, or even your 50s; it is far less expensive to buy it now than when you are older. The fact is that around 4 percent of people over 65 will need to get long-term care, which makes it imperative to know how you will pay for it.


Using Private Insurance to Pay For Skilled Nursing Care

Private insurance plans don’t cover long-term nursing home care. But you will want to purchase long-term insurance plans to cover the costs. The plans cover what Medicare doesn’t cover.

Long-term insurance costs an average of $3400 annually, which is roughly $283 a month, making it far more affordable than what you could end up paying for living in a nursing home.

People who want to cover the costs of other senior living facilities, and medical services will also want to seek out the appropriate insurance policy.



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