“Bad-mouthing the cost of long-term care,” by James M. Berklan, McKnight’s LTC News

“To be more precise, Lincoln Financial Group projected the national average charge for a private room to be $102,900, up 3.3% from what they reported a year earlier. I had thought using ‘breaks $100,000 for the first time’ in the headline would be more intriguing than using the actual number, and I was right. ‘Every time I read this story, I find it so irrelevant and damaging to the long-term care sector, and extremely self-serving,’ my long-time acquaintance fumed in his email. He went on to call the insurer’s report ‘distorted information, disguised as a research study, as a tactic to sell’ to people who ‘in all likelihood will never need care for a year in a nursing home.’ Further, he said, the probability of someone personally paying for a year of skilled care ‘is infinitesimally small.”

LTC Comment (from Stephen A. Moses, President, Center for Long-Term Care Reform):
I recommend you read this opinion piece by long-time LTC provider analyst James Berklan. Nursing home length of stay has plummeted. Rebalancing to assisted living and home care is the bigger news nowadays. But is estimating cost of care in each venue a deceitful marketing ploy by the insurance industry? Hardly. Professional LTC remains very expensive wherever it is received. The real problem that the LTC provider industry faces is that Medicaid pays for most care and at rates below cost. Ironically, that’s the same reason LTC insurance has been so limited in its effect. Instead of casting stones at each other, providers and insurers should have long ago combined lobbying forces to fix the perverse public policies that hamstring both of them.

Bad-mouthing the cost of long-term care