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Nursing home costs are increasing around the nation, here’s how Alabama is doing

Updated: Mar. 9, 2021 at 11:04 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The price of putting your loved one in a nursing home is rising all across the country.

In fact, if current projections hold by the year 2030, the average monthly cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home is projected to be over $10,000. This is according to research from seniorliving.org.

It turns out the cost in Alabama is actually one of the lowest.

Diane Myer Brown said after her mother had a stroke, her family had to think about what to do next.

“We interviewed and individually looked at nursing homes in three different states,” Brown said. “We looked at the pricing and it was more of a value equation what each facility looked like based on the price.”

Brown ultimately chose an assisted living option for her mom, but said many people don’t realize the costs and care that come into play with nursing homes.

Someone who does understand those details though is Ryan McGonagill with seniorliving.org

“The national average cost for a nursing home per year is $93,000 for a shared room, and it goes up to $106,000 a year for a private room,” McGonagill said.

Alabama is considered one of the ten least expensive states when it comes to nursing home costs.

“In Alabama the average is about $78,000 per year for a shared room,” he said.

Research shows the 2020 average is up 7.5 percent since 2016 for the state. McGonagill said that comes from inflation, and now COVID-19.

“Not only are patients facing higher costs, but also facilities are facing higher costs this year,” he said.

But Mcgonagill also said the good news is you don’t always have to pay out of pocket.

“Medicaid for example pays for all the long term care up to 100 percent. There are benefits if you are a veteran. There’s long term care insurance, you can tap into life insurance policies,” he said. “You could have a private facility that is expensive but actually has a lower quality of care than a cheaper non-profit or public facility.”

Now when you’re tying to find your perfect fit for a loved one, experts say to talk with the people who work at those facilities every day, ask questions, and be willing to look at multiple options.

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