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Cost Comparison: Assisted Living vs. Home Health Care

If you or your elderly parents are weighing the pros and cons of getting home health care services or moving to an assisted living facility, the costs are not as different as you might expect—see the comparison below. For most people, the decision is very personal: would you be happier living at home and having the personal services come to you? Or would you prefer to move to a facility where meals are included, personal services are available, but the living space is usually smaller than your current home? Since the costs are not that different, the decision comes down to quality of life questions.

Two Views of the Cost of Assisted Living in Minnesota

 

According to MetLife

In 2009, assisted living costs in Minneapolis-St. Paul ranged from $1,251 per month to $3,450. Interestingly, Rochester-area assisted living rates were considerably higher: from $2,138 per month to $5,500 per month.

Annual assisted living costs could be from $15,048 per year to $41,400 per year for the Twin Cities area and from $25,656 per year to $66,000 per year in the Rochester area.

These figures assume a one-bedroom apartment, at least two meals per day, housekeeping services, and personal care assistance.

(Figures are taken from The 2009 MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home, Assisted Living, Adult Day Services, and Home Care Costs http://www.metlife.com/assets/cao/mmi/publications/studies/mmi-market-survey-nursing-home-assisted-living.pdf , accessed 10/22/10.)

According to Long-Term Care Insurance Planners

The average annual rate for assisted living in Minnesota is $25,090.20, a considerably more optimistic view (http://www.long-term-care-insurance-planners.com/Minnesota-long-term-care-insurance/Minnesota-nursing-homes.html, accessed 10/22/10).

Two Views of the Cost of Home Health Care in Minnesota

According to MetLife

In 2009, the rates for Home Health Aides (HHA) from a licensed agency averaged $29/hour in Minnesota. Assuming 4 hours per day of care ($29 x 4 = $116 per day) for 365 days per year the average annual cost of a Home Health Aide would be $42,340 ($116 x 365 = $42,340).

For 5 hours of care per day for 5 days per week, the cost would be $37,700 ($29/hour x 5 hours/day = $145; $145 x 5 days per week = $725. $725 x 52 = $37,700).

According to Long-Term Care Insurance Planners

Again, the Long-Term Care Insurance Planners estimate optimistically and concluded a Home Health Aide would cost $30,680. This assumes 5 hours of care per day for 5 days per week.

  Annual Cost of Assisted Living Annual Cost of Home Health Care Difference
MetLife $15,048 – $41,400.00 $37,700 – $42,340.00 $940.00
LTC Insurance

 

Planners

$25,090.20 $30,680.00 $5,589.80

Assisted living includes rent and meals, while home health care allows you to stay in your own home.

 

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