Survey reports higher long-term care costs

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Long-term care facilities are increasing their room charges, although less than other goods and services, according to a new survey.

The average cost charged for a private nursing home bed in 2011 rose 3.5%, to $85,775 annually. The average cost of a semi-private nursing home room grew 3.2%, meanwhile, to $75,555. All figures are according to a report from John Hancock Financial, which surveyed more than 11,000 LTC providers across the United States. Comparatively, the gasoline index has risen 27.5% in the past year, and the food at home index has risen 3.6%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hancock calculated a nine-year average based on data gathered from providers for the company's 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2011 Cost of Care surveys.

In addition to nursing homes, the average cost charged for an assisted living facility grew 3.4% per year, to $39,240, while the average cost of a home health aide has risen 1.3% per year, to $37,440. John Hancock, through its insurance companies, is one of the largest life insurers in the United States.

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