Prices salty and getting saltier at Indiana nursing homes

May 11, 2009
The cost of nursing home care in Indianapolis is rising faster than in the rest of the country, according to an annual survey of long-term-care costs by Virginia-based Genworth Financial.

Residents in and around Indianapolis pay nearly $78,700 a year for a private room in a nursing home. That rate has been rising 7 percent a year for the past five years, Genworth's survey found.

Nationally, the cost of nursing homes is rising 4 percent a year. The average private room at a nursing home costs $74,200 a year—6 percent less than in Indianapolis.

Statewide, private rooms at nursing homes equal the national average.

Rising costs in long-term care are particularly problematic now because many seniors' retirement savings took a hit in last year's meltdown on Wall Street.

"Many Indiana residents who had planned to tap their hard-earned nest egg to cover future long-term-care costs are finding this may no longer be a viable option given the economic downturn," Buck Stinson, president of Genworth Financial's insurance products unit, said in a statement.

The Genworth survey was conducted in January, February and March in all 50 states.

Private rooms in nursing homes are the most expensive type of long-term care. Semi-private rooms average $56,600 in Indianapolis, according to the Genworth study. Assisted-living facilities cost even less—an average of $35,600 per year.
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