Nursing homes provide residential care for elderly or disabled people. Some nursing homes also provide short-term rehabilitative stays for those who have undergone surgery, illness, or injury that include physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech therapy.
Nursing homes typically have nursing aides and certified nurses available 24 hours per day. Residents are also offered other services such as housekeeping and planned activities with aides and other residents.
The cost of nursing home care depends on several factors, including the location, the provider, how long the person’s stay is, and any special considerations. Many nursing home facilities have all-inclusive rates while others may charge additional fees for services beyond housing, food, and housecleaning. Additionally, there will be a higher cost for a private room vs. a semi-private room, where residents have a roommate typically separated by a curtain between them.
In the United States, the average private room in a nursing home is $8,365 per month or $275 per day. The average cost of a semi-private room is $7,441 per month and $245 per day. Annually, a semi-private room costs an average of $89,297 and a private room costs an average of $100,375.
Since 2016, the annual costs of both types of rooms have increased significantly. In 2016, a semi-private room cost about $82,128 per year, more than $7,000 less than in 2018. A private room cost about $92,376 in 2016, about $8,000 less than in 2018. This trend is expected to continue, with a semi-private room averaging $120,008 per year and a private room averaging $134,896 per year by 2028. Given this trend, those who are planning on entering a nursing home for an extended period of time should anticipate increases in cost in the coming years.
The cost of these rooms varies greatly by state. Additionally, some states have decreased their average cost of nursing homes in recent years while others have seen double-digit growth.
Nursing home costs can be a large financial burden, but there are options to help you pay for one. For those who are eligible, Medicaid pays between 45% and 65% of the total nursing home costs in the United States. Veterans and surviving spouses have two options to help: the Aid and Attendance Benefit and state VA nursing homes. Other options include long term care insurance benefits, nursing home tax deductions, and relocating to a state where the cost of nursing home care is less expensive.
States with the Highest Nursing Home Costs
Alaska has the most expensive nursing home costs in the United States. A semi-private room averages over $330,000 per year and a private room averages over $351,000 per year. Because Alaska is separated from the rest of the United States and is generally very remote, all medical costs are more expensive than in other states. Alaska’s nursing home costs surpass the rest of the country by a very large margin. The cost of both semi-private and semi-private rooms in Connecticut, which has the second-highest costs for nursing home care, cost less than half of those in Alaska.
Most of the states with the highest nursing home costs have the highest overall cost of living in the United States.
States with the Lowest Nursing Home Costs
The ten states with the lowest average monthly cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home are:
- Oklahoma - $4,639
- Texas - $4,798
- Missouri – $5,019
- Louisiana - $5,232
- Arkansas - $5,353
- Kansas - $5,414
- Illinois - $5,916
- Iowa - $6,983
- Utah - $6,083
- Alabama - $6,279
The ten states with the lowest average monthly cost of a private room in a nursing home are:
- Oklahoma - $5,293
- Louisiana - $5,542
- Missouri - $5,543
- Kansas - $5,865
- Arkansas - $5,986
- Iowa - $6,479
- Texas - $6,540
- Alabama - $6,661
- Illinois - $6,753
- Georgia - $6,768
The least expensive areas for nursing home care are in the Midwest and the Southeast.