It will soon cost six figures to live in a private room in a nursing home.
Genworth Financial released its annual survey of long-term care costs Tuesday, which showed nursing home residents living in a private room in Lincoln pay nearly $98,000 on average, a 7 percent increase over last year and slightly higher than the national average of $97,411.
That was by the far the most expensive of all long-term care options in Lincoln, although it wasn't the one with the biggest cost increase. That distinction went to adult day health care services, which rose 13 percent.
A semi-private room in a nursing home costs more than $87,000, up 5 percent from last year, while a private, one-bedroom unit in an assisted-living facility cost just over $48,800, up 1 percent.
Costs for in-home services, such as a home health aide, remained steady, according to the survey.
Statewide, nursing home and assisted-living costs were generally lower than in Lincoln, while adult day health care and home health care rates were higher.
Genworth said growing labor expenses and sicker patients helped push the median cost of long-term care up an average of 4.5 percent nationally this year. That's the second-highest increase since Genworth started its survey in 2004.
Many Americans don't plan for these expenses or understand them until they face them, said Joe Caldwell of the National Council on Aging, which is not tied to the study.
"People don't like to think about it and talk about it ahead of time, so they kind of put off planning and saving for it financially because they don't think it's going to happen to them," he said.
Long-term care can impose a crushing financial burden on individuals or families in part because Medicare, the federal health coverage program for people over age 65, provides limited help. That can force people who don't have private coverage to spend down their assets until they qualify for the government's health insurance program for the poor, Medicaid.
Genworth sells long-term care coverage and didn't address that cost in its study, which was based on information from 15,000 long-term care providers.
Coverage costs are rising as well, Caldwell said, noting that few employers offer help with that expense like they do with more common forms of coverage such as health insurance.
To see all rates, go to: https://www.genworth.com/about-us/industry-expertise/cost-of-care.html.