How Much Does a Nursing Home Cost? The Ultimate Guide

How Much Does a Nursing Home Cost The Ultimate Guide

Here’s the answer: a private room in a nursing home costs $297 per day, or $9,034 per month. Semiprivate rooms are more affordable, with a median cost of $260 per day, or $7,908 per month. It’s likely that one of your family members will eventually require care in a nursing home. A family’s financial stability may be irreparably damaged by the average cost of nursing home care.

An individual and their loved ones may experience emotional and financial exhaustion as they transition from living independently to needing an increasing level of care. A nursing home, also known as a skilled nursing facility or skilled nursing community, can help a family care for a loved one if they are unable to live safely on their own or start to require specialized care.

As families navigate this life-changing transition together, having knowledge of the costs and financial expectations of nursing home care can help to provide focus, clarity, and direction. You should be aware of the following.

What is a Nursing Home?

Let’s first clarify what a nursing home is before moving on to the costs of nursing homes. Nursing homes offer seniors round-the-clock nursing care as well as 24-hour access to medical care. Convalescent care and skilled nursing care are other names for this kind of care. While seniors typically enter nursing homes permanently, some facilities also offer short stays for people who need rehabilitation following an illness, an injury, or surgery and may need the assistance of skilled nurses and/or therapists.

Nursing home care is more expensive than other types of medical care, whether you need these services on a part-time or full-time basis. But it also offers senior citizens all the essential services they require in settings that mimic the comforts of home, including medical attention, socialization, rehabilitation, and housekeeping.

Nursing Home Costs and Expenses

Average Costs and Considerations

Nursing homes are pricey because of the high standard of care they offer. According to Minter, the average cost of a private room in a nursing home ranges from $280 to $550 per day, or roughly $9,000 to $15,000 per month, depending on the resident’s location and level of care needed.

Every year, the American Council on Aging’s Medicaid Planning Assistance organization releases a list of the average nursing home costs by state and region. Review this breakdown for a more precise estimate for you or a loved one as costs can differ significantly depending on location.

Medicare and Skilled Nursing Care

Medicare can cover a nursing home stay if the person meets all three of the following criteria:

  • In Part A of Medicare, they are covered.
  • They had a minimum three-day qualifying hospital stay.
  • Their physician prescribed care at a skilled nursing facility.

The majority of nursing home daily services are covered by a community’s daily rate. Medicare may pay for fundamental daily skilled nursing care as well as physical, occupational, and speech therapies, depending on the resident’s care plan. To prevent unforeseen fees, check with the facility director.

The number of days a person stays during each benefit period affects how much skilled nursing care Medicare will pay for them.

  • Medicare covers all costs during Days 1 through 20.
  • Days 21–100: The resident is responsible for paying a coinsurance fee of $194.50 per day (in 2022), and Medicare will cover the remaining expenses.
  • Day 101 and later: The resident is entirely responsible for all expenses.

Benefits from Medicare Advantage plans can change as well.

Cost of Nursing Homes Vs. Assisted Living

Even though assisted living facilities are significantly less expensive than nursing homes, assisted living costs have also increased. The average monthly or yearly cost of assisted living facilities is $148 per day, or $4,500 per month or $54,000 per year. Although there has been an increase in recent years, assisted living is still much less expensive than semiprivate or private rooms in nursing homes. It’s important to note that these figures don’t account for specialized care, such as memory care, or considerations for disabilities.

How Much Does a Nursing Home Cost The Ultimate Guide
How Much Does a Nursing Home Cost? The Ultimate Guide

Cost of Nursing Homes Vs. In-Home Care

In-home care options include homemaking service providers who can assist senior citizens with daily living activities and household chores like cleaning, cooking, and running errands. Another option is hiring a home health aide; these individuals are trained to offer more comprehensive care and act as companions. Some people and their families may opt for skilled in-home nursing care, which is usually given by a registered nurse or licensed therapist who can give them medication and keep an eye on their vital signs.

However, the cost of the medical care will increase with its intensity. For instance, the average cost of homemaker services is about $163 per day, the average cost of a home health aide is $169 per day, and the average pay for a registered nurse working a 10-hour shift is $387. These services aren’t necessarily required all day or even every day, though that’s usually the case.

Types of Nursing Homes and Senior Living Facilities

A person has access to a range of community options that span the full continuum of care once they are either unable to live independently in a safe manner or decide to move to a location where they can access more daily assistance.

Board and care homes (sometimes called residential care facilities or group homes) are small, private facilities in which residents receive meals, assistance with ADLs and round-the-clock access to staff on call. Usually, no medical services are provided at these facilities.

Assisted living communities vary in size and are designed for people who are somewhat independent but may require assistance with medication management, housekeeping or laundry. The level of care offered typically varies in assisted living communities, and the cost of living varies accordingly.

Individuals may reside in private or communal apartments, rooms, or studios in assisted living communities, where they can interact with other residents in communal spaces. Up to three meals a day, leisure and educational activities, outings for shopping, and transportation are all possible with assisted living facilities.

According to Joseph Shega, M.D., board and care homes and assisted living facilities are both subject to state regulation., executive vice president and chief medical officer of The Forbes Health Advisory Board member and VITAS Healthcare Accordingly, he continues, the services provided by these facilities and their capacity for acuity and complexity will differ depending on state laws and regulations.

Skilled nursing facilities offer acute medical care, three meals a day and 24/7 medical staff support. Following an injury or hospital stay, short-term skilled nursing facility stays may be advised, with residents eventually going back home once they are healthy. However, many nursing home residents require ongoing care due to health or cognitive issues, and they most likely stay in these facilities permanently.

Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), sometimes known as life care communities, incorporate various levels of care in a single campus location. People can move from one level of care to another as their circumstances change. These communities offer independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing care.

“If a resident is living on the independent living side of the community and falls and breaks a hip, they can stay in the same community and rehab back to home in independent living,” says Although initial buy-ins for CCRCs typically range from $60,000 to $750,000, Minter notes that the costs can be prohibitive.

Why Are Nursing Home Costs Rising?

It’s no secret that the price of nursing homes has increased in the past ten years. Additionally, the cost of a private nursing home room has increased by 3.57 percent since 2019, while the cost of a semiprivate room has increased by 3.24 percent.

Even more quickly than the cost of overall medical care, nursing home costs are rising rapidly. And with the already high price tag, that increase is making it unaffordable for some people.

Nursing home costs have also increased significantly as a result of COVID-19. It has been more expensive to operate a nursing home during the pandemic due to reduced capacity and increased safety measures, and owners are passing those costs on to residents.

Other factors contributing to the hike:

  • Labor shortages: A shortage of qualified nurses was reported by nearly 23% of nursing homes in May 2020. Facilities have to pay higher rates as a result of the need to close this gap, and they pass those costs on to residents.
  • Increased demand: as the U.S. population grows. ages, people need nursing care more than ever. Costs rise as a result of the increased demand.
  • Regulatory changes: New CDC rules regarding safety and resident health are being imposed on nursing homes, particularly in the wake of COVID. Although these more stringent security measures are probably a good thing, they are more expensive to implement.

Pay for Nursing Home Care

Short-term skilled nursing stays are covered by Medicare, but longer-term or permanent nursing home residency requires other forms of funding.

Minter says residents and their families typically have the following options when paying for long-term skilled nursing facility care:

  • Private pay. A resident’s assets or their family’s assets may be used to cover the cost of skilled nursing care.
  • Veterans’ benefits. Skilled nursing care may be covered by the VA Aid and Attendance benefits up to $1,800 per month.
  • A long-term care policy. Benefits that have accrued may be used to offset expenses.
  • insurance for life, depending on the contract. Some policies may help with the costs of skilled nursing care, but you should check with your insurance provider to make sure your or your loved one’s policy includes this benefit.
  • Medicaid. Medicaid is a popular way to pay for skilled nursing care; however, Medicaid benefits are determined at the state level, so verify your particular benefits before entering into any agreements.

Protect Your Assets If a Spouse Goes into a Nursing Home

If you or your spouse needs to enter a nursing home, there are several ways to safeguard your assets. First, if your spouse ever needs a nursing home, you might still be able to keep some of your income and still qualify for Medicaid assistance with the associated costs. Medicaid has rules for spousal protection, it’s important to remember that.

Here are some other ways to protect assets:

  • Before you’re forced to enter a nursing home, give monetary gifts to your loved ones.
  • Draft a “Life Estate” for your real estate with a lawyer.
  • Give your spouse a portion of your monthly income.
  • In an annuity, place liquid assets.
  • Put your cash in an irrevocable trust to protect it.

Are Nursing Homes Worth the Cost?

In general, relocating to a nursing home involves both an emotional and a financial transition. Nursing homes are an expensive service, frequently costing more annually than private college tuition. However, a nursing home might be necessary for the well-being of those who require 24-hour care. But there are still other choices.

In-home care and assisted living facilities are additional possibilities that could offer you assistance. Although not always as expensive as nursing homes, those are also expensive. Nevertheless, some of us might require the assistance that a nursing home can offer, in which case it’s critical to understand all of the factors that affect the cost.