Insights

How Much Does Long-Term Care Cost in 2022?

Erica Kahn
Erica Kahn23 Aug 2022

In 2022, the cost of long-term care insurance (LTCI) ranges from $950 to $7,225 for one person, depending on your age and current health status. Finding the sweet spot of when to buy LTCI can be difficult as you don’t want to pay premiums longer than necessary and you don’t want to wait too long as premiums increase with age. 

Long-term care (LTC) refers to non-medical help and care and is not covered by Medicare or typical private insurance plans. The duration and type of care you may need are impossible to predict which is why an LTC insurance policy is important for your peace of mind. 

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care, also called custodial care, is not medical care, and therefore, is not covered by regular health insurance or Medicare. LTC is the non-medical help of routine activities like eating and getting dressed. Long-term care insurance must be purchased to cover custodial care. Medicaid covers long-term care for seniors and people with disabilities who meet their state’s eligibility requirements.

Long-Term Care Insurance Coverage

Type of Health Insurance 

Does it Cover Long-Term Care?

Private Health Insurance

No. You need to purchase a separate LTC insurance or hybrid plan. 

Medicare

No. Medicare only covers medical care, not custodial care. 

Medicaid

Yes. For seniors and people with disabilities who meet their state’s eligibility requirements. 

Long-Term Care Insurance

Yes. When to purchase LTC depends on your current health status and age.  

Hybrid Long-Term Care Insurance

Yes. This type of plan combines LTC insurance and benefits of life insurance. This is good if you have family or heirs you’d like to pass money onto after you pass. 

Long-Term Care Provided through Medicaid

Medicaid offers LTC on a needs-based basis for persons of all ages as long as they meet their state’s eligibility requirements. Medicaid will cover the cost of LTC in a nursing home and has expanded to include home and community-based services (HCBS) through Medicaid waivers

Medicaid waiver programs are not guaranteed even if you meet eligibility requirements and instead have participant enrollment caps, with the wait for these services ranging from several months to years. To apply, call the toll-free, state-wide number for the Area Agency on Aging to be screened by a staff member who will determine eligibility and urgency of need by asking questions about your situation.

Hybrid Long-Term Care Insurance

Hybrid long-term care is the fastest-growing segment of the LTC business. Hybrid long-term insurance addresses several issues of traditional LTCI and shares some features of life insurance.

What makes hybrid LTCI an attractive option is that If you don’t use it in your lifetime, rather than feeling like the money is “going to waste”, a death benefit allows your beneficiaries to receive the unused portion of the insurance when you pass. You can also cancel your insurance, get your premiums back, use it for a variety of care settings, and the cost of the policy may be locked in from the initial purchase so you don’t have to worry about premiums increasing

You should consider hybrid long-term care insurance if you would like the unused money from premiums to go to your beneficiaries rather than go unused like in a typical LTCI plan.

Only 16 percent of all long-term care policies purchased in 2019 were traditional LTCI while 84 percent were hybrid long-term care insurance (linked-benefit coverage).

Cost of Long-Term Care Insurance 

Below we break down some cost data and statistics from the 2022 American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance Reports (AALTCI). The data is from the AALTCI annual Price Index survey of leading LTC insurer(s) selected by consumers using an initial policy benefit of $165,000.

Annual Premium of LTCI when Purchased at Age 55

Single Male

Single Female

Couple

$950

$1,500

$2,080 combined

$1,375

$2,150

$3,000 combined

$1,750

$2,815

$3,870 combined

$2,220

$3,700

$5,020 combined

$3,685

$6,400

$8,575 combined

Annual Premium of LTCI when Purchased at Age 60

Single Male

Single Female

Couple

$1,175

$1,900

$2,600 combined

$1,600

$2,550

$3,525 combined

$2,000

$3,300

$4,525 combined

$3,525

$4,300

$5,800 combined

$3,800

$6,600

$8,750 combined

Annual Premium of LTCI when Purchased at Age 65

Single Male

Single Female

Couple

$1,700

$2,700

$3,750 combined

$2,165

$3,400

$4,735 combined

$2,600

$4,230

$5,815 combined

$3,135

$5,265

$7,150 combined

$4,200

$7,225

$9,675 combined

Cost of Hybrid Long-Term Care Insurance

Linked-benefit products vary significantly which makes them difficult to compare. Below are examples of LTC insurance plans from the AALTCI annual Price Index survey of leading LTC insurer(s) selected by consumers and is a good starting point. 

Linked Benefit Life Insurance + Long-Term Care Policy

Consumer

Policy Benefit Limit

Minimum Death Benefit

One Upfront Premium Payment

Yearly Premium Payment

Company A

Single Male, 55

$180,000

$120,000

_____

$4,625

Single Female, 55

$180,000

$120,000

_____

$4,600

Company B

Single Male, 55

$180,000

$130,000

$75,900

_____

Single Female, 55

$180,000

$130,000

$77,000

_____

Company C

Single Male, 55

$167,000

$167,000

_____

$5,010

Single Female, 55

$167,000

$167,000

_____

$4,550

Health Image

Get Mira - Health Benefits You Can Afford.

Get doctor visits, lab tests, prescription, and more. Affordable copays. Available in 45+ states. Only $45/month on average.

When to Buy Long-Term Care Insurance 

Your age when you purchase long-term care insurance affects the cost of premiums. In general, rates increase three to five percent each year you wait to purchase coverage. Other factors that impact the price of LTCI plans include the development of health conditions or if you are taking prescription medications. 

However, this doesn’t mean you should rush to buy long-term care insurance, as you could be paying premiums for two decades before filing a claim if you buy it in your 40s or 50s.

When to buy LTC Insurance Based on Your Age

Age

When to Purchase LTC Insurance Recommendation

26-35

Not recommended

36-45

Not recommended

46-55

Yes, if you have chronic health conditions or take prescription medications you can consider purchasing LTCI. Speak with a financial advisor who could help you make this decision. 

56-65

Yes, if you are in good health. 

65+

Yes, although this age range is not the peak time to buy LTCI as it is more costly. 

76 percent of new long-term care insurance buyers were between the ages of 50 and 69 with the optimal age being 60 - 65. This age group is the most popular since many are nearing retirement, are still in good health, and will be accepted at a lower rate.

 If you are married, the cost of LTCI will likely be lower. When purchasing long-term care insurance, ask your insurance agent about discounts and compare the benefits, risks, and costs of the plan before deciding.

What are Common Long-Term Care Options?

Factors that contribute to who needs long-term care include age, gender, family and housing situation, health status, and lifestyle. Most people prefer to stay in the home they’ve always lived in, but that is not always the best choice depending on the care needed.

Long-Term Care Options

In-Home Care Options

Community Options

Facility Options

  1. Homemaker
  • Hands-off care
  • Assists with cooking, cleaning, and running errands


 

  1. Home Health Aide Services
  • Hands-on care
  • Assists with bathing, dressing, eating, medication, etc
  1. Adult Day Health Care
  • Social and support services provided in a community setting
  • Caregivers look after participants in planned activities
  • Can include personal care, transportation, medical management, and meals
  1. Assisted Living Facility
  • Person care and health services provided in a residential facility
  • Usually considered when care is not always needed


 

  1. Nursing Home
  • More extensive care than assisted living facilities (24 hours a day)
  • Personal care, supervision, therapy, rehab, medication, meals, etc.

Source: Genworth

Statistics about Long-Term Care

Approximately 70 percent of Americans over age 65 will need long-term care (LTC) at some point in their life and, on average, women require LTC for 3.7 years and men require it for 2.2 years. One-third of 65-year-olds may never use long-term care, but 20 percent will need it longer than 5 years. 

Despite an aging population, only 7 percent of adults over 50 have an LTC insurance policy. Many individuals do not know what LTC is, when to plan for it, or cannot afford it. Planning ahead for your future and the futures of your loved ones can help save money in the long run. 

Cost of Long-Term Care 

Long-term care is expensive and has been increasing every year. Below is a breakdown of national median costs of services. 

Health Image

Virtual care for only $25 per visit

Virtual primary care, urgent care, and behavioral health visits are only $25 with a Mira membership.

Average Cost of Long-Term Care by Service Type

Type of Service

Rate

2021 National Median Values

Homemaker

Hourly

$26

Home Health Aide

Hourly

$27

Adult Day Services

Daily

$78

Assisted Living Facility

Monthly

$4,500

Nursing Home Semi-Private Room

Monthly

$7,800

Nursing Home Private Room

Monthly

$8,910

Source: Genworth Cost of Care Surveys 2017-2021

Long-Term Care Insurance Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Below we answer some frequently asked questions regarding long-term care and alternative options to LTCI. 

What is Long-Term Care?

Long-term care (LTC) is also known as “custodial care”, which is the non-medical help of routine activities. LTC consists of a range of services and supports to help with daily tasks or “Activities of Daily Living” (ADLs). This includes:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Using the toilet
  • Eating
  • Transferring (to or from a bed or chair)
  • Shopping for groceries
  • Preparing meals
  • Taking medication
  • Managing money
  • Using the telephone

What are alternative long-term care options if I cannot afford long-term care insurance?

Self-funding and relying on family and friends are common ways to get the long-term care you need. 66 percent of caregivers use their own savings or retirement funds to pay for care. Many people rely on their spouse or children, however, over time, solely relying on your children can take a toll physically, emotionally, and financially, and can have wide-reaching effects on the family. 

How do I discuss long-term care options with my parents?

44 percent of adults under 60 years old discussed LTC or retirement with their parents, and 4 out of 5 reported having a conversation to plan for the future inspired action and positive feelings. Important topics to cover when having this conversation include: 

  • Lifestyle
  • Legal considerations
  • Finances
  • Necessary Medical care
  • Care options.

Some specific questions to ask are:

  • How would you prefer to receive care?
  • How are bills currently being paid?
  • Do you have a will?

Be sure to have this conversation when you and your parent(s) have time and are in a comfortable setting. Plan for a follow-up conversation as well to make it an ongoing conversation and to not rush the process. 

Bottom Line

It is important to prepare for long-term care as it will likely be needed at some point in your life or during the life of a loved one. Long-term care insurance can be expensive with the cost depending on numerous factors like age and current health status. Hybrid long-term care insurance is becoming increasingly popular as it combines aspects of life insurance. It is important to note that regular health insurance and Medicare do not cover long-term care costs.

Mira offers healthcare for just $45 per month with access to exclusive discounts on urgent care visits, lab testing, and prescriptions. Our team can also help you find affordable services in your area. Start saving on healthcare today.

Erica Kahn

Erica graduated from Emory University in Atlanta with a BS in environmental science and a minor in English and is on track to graduate with her Master's in Public Health. She is passionate about health equity, women's health, and how the environment impacts public health.