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Few Realize Costs of Long Term Care

By Kelley Weiss


Kansas City, MO – Results from an AARP study show that long-term health care costs keep going up but most people do not realize the financial commitment they could be faced with. KCUR's Kelley Weiss reports.

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In Kansas and Missouri nursing home stays on average costs around $45,000 a year and in-home care rates can reach $18 an hour. A recent report done by AARP finds that most people grossly underestimate these costs and what their insurance plans will cover.

Mary Jo Gibson, AARP public policy advisor, says more than half of Americans think Medicare will cover the price tag for assisted living care or nursing home stays.

Mary Jo Gibson: "Talk about sticker shock. If you think someone is going to pay these costs and then find out that you're vulnerable it can be pretty devastating."

Gibson says families should start planning now to pay for long-term care, in 2020 she says up to 12 million people will need these services. She recommends talking through care options with family members and loved ones before a crisis hits, checking with local agencies for state assistance funding options and saving money for these future costs.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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