Your Health

Elder Care Costs Keep Climbing

Another reason to start saving your money, or at least consider spending your Golden Years on the Great Plains, is the rising cost of long-term care.

A fresh survey from the health insurance industry shows the cost of all sorts of care—from nursing homes to assisted living communities—continues to climb. Care in some states costs a lot more than others, too.

A young woman holds an elderly woman's hand. class= i i
iStockphoto.com
A young woman holds an elderly woman's hand. class=
iStockphoto.com

The Mature Market Institute, the research arm of insurer MetLife, just released a survey that shows North Dakota's assisted living costs are the lowest in the nation — about $2,000 a month, in 2009. The same care in Wilmington, Delaware, where our grandmother lives, averages $5,219 a month. Ouch. We have some questions for the Veep.

The average increase in assisted living costs over last year—3.3 percent—is consistent with the increase in health care costs in general, the study's authors say. Which is not so great because health care costs are rising at a rate that's significantly higher than the growth of the GDP.

Slowing the growth curve of health spending is one of the reasons Congress is trying to overhaul the health care system. How did we get here? NPR has a series that charts the course to the current health cost crisis.

Some of the bills Congress is considering would set up a new program to help people save for such long-term care expenses in the future.

Yet the debate rages over whether creating a new government-run savings system is the right way to go.

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