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The Rising Cost of Home Health Care Posted: March 7th, 2010

By Robert Foreman

Robert Foreman has taught English at the college level for five years, and worked previously as a corporate analyst and as a legal assistant. He is currently a PhD candidate in English, with a nonfiction writing emphasis.

Home Health Care Costs Increasing

Many Americans -- approximately 7.5 million of us -- rely on home health care services and professionals for our well-being. In fact, 42 percent of those with long-term care insurance benefits receive their benefits at home.

Many prefer to receive care within the comfort of their homes, but the rising cost of home health care may make at-home treatment out of reach for many individuals. According to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, the average hourly rate for a home health aide is $20.50, a 2.5 percent increase between 2009 and 2010.

Ways to Pay

Home health care is already a costly service, with average annual costs often reaching, and even exceeding, $35,000. One way to pay for home health care is long-term care insurance. About 37 percent of home health care recipients pay for their care through Medicare programs. According to the National Association of Home Care & Hospice, more than 8 million Americans pay for long-term care insurance on an individual basis or through employers.

Ways to Save

The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance outlines a number of ways that buyers of long-term health insurance can save money:

  • Find the right insurance company for your needs
  • Stay in good health to earn insurance fee deductions
  • Take advantage of marriage benefits
  • Pay insurance costs annually, rather in installments
  • Seek coverage through an employer, if available.

Planning ahead with long-term care insurance can protect the assets you've built up over your lifetime.

Robert Foreman