McKnight’s Senior Living reports on home health aide costs informed by LTCG’s Cost of Care study

Average hourly rate for home health aides rose to nearly $26 in 2020, report finds

By Diane Eastabrook

The pandemic drove up the cost of long-term care nearly across the board in 2020, according to a new report by LTCG, a leading insurance administration and claims solution provider for long term care (LTC) insurance.

LTCG’s “Cost of Care” study found that the average hourly rate of home health aides increased 3.9% to $25.62, above a five-year annual growth trend of 3%. The average per-visit rate for registered nurses increased by 6.3% to $146.86. It was the eighth year for the study.

The most expensive states for home health aides were Minnesota and Washington, while Georgia and Florida had the least expensive rates.

Rates for facility-based care were mixed. Average rates for skilled nursing facilities increased between 2.5% and 2.8%, depending on the type of room. Those increases were consistent with previous years. However, prices at assisted living facilities fell between 0.4% and 1.8% in 2020, reversing a five-year growth rate between 1.5% and 2.3%.

The “Cost of Care” study gathers tens of thousands of data points from senior care providers nationwide. LTCG’s in-house actuarial and data science teams normalize the results. Insurers and financial service providers use the data for forecasting and stakeholder education, as well as informing customers and insurance agents about national and regional cost variations.

This article was originally published in McKnight’s Senior Living.