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Long-term care typically involves one-on-one, customized care. And that can be expensive. The following chart shows the average national cost of different types of long-term care services.

Average cost of long-term care services, 2003.
Home health aide: $72/visit
Licensed practical nurse at home: $37/hour
Assisted living: $2,379/month
Nursing home: $4,747-$5,437/month (semi-private/private room)

Expenses vary considerably by region. To find the cost of services in your state, check the MetLife links to assisted living and nursing home costs.

Every day, the cost of healthcare keeps going up. And long-term care is no exception. At current rates, the cost of paid help will almost double within the next 15 years. Those of us who are not likely to need help until later can expect to pay even more. This means that long-term care expenses can eat up a substantial part of a retirement budget. Without adequate planning for these costs, we run the risk of outliving our savings, burdening our families, or impoverishing ourselves or our spouse to pay for care.

Projected annual costs of long-term care, at 5% annual increase in costs.

  2003 2015 2030
Home care:
(5 home health aide visits per week)
$18,720 $35,299 $ 73,385
Assisted living: $28,548 $51,268 $106,583
Nursing home:
(Semi-private room)
$56,964 $102,299 $212,673

Federal and state governments are offering a wide range of tax incentives to make private LTC coverage more affordable.

  • A portion of the premiums you pay for certain LTC policies may be tax deductible from your federal income taxes.
  • Many states offer tax credits or deductions from state taxes for LTC insurance premiums.
  • Businesses who pay premiums for LTC insurance on behalf of their employees can deduct these payments as a business expense, similar to health insurance.
  • LTC premiums paid by employers are not counted as income for employees.
  • The benefits you receive from certain LTC policies are not taxable.

Talk to a LTC insurance specialist or your tax accountant to find out more.


Hazards along the way...