Where assisted living is most, least expensive

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Where assisted living is most, least expensive
Where assisted living is most, least expensive

Southern states are some of least expensive for assisted living, and Northeast and South Atlantic states are some of the most expensive, according to new data from Genworth's 13th annual Cost of Care Survey released Tuesday.

“As our data demonstrate, where you live has a huge bearing on the cost of care, as does the setting in which you receive care,” said Tom McInerney, president and CEO of Genworth.

Three states in the South — Oklahoma, Georgia and Alabama — offer some of the lowest median monthly costs for assisted living in the country, coming in at $2,803, $2,850 and $2,900, respectively, in Genworth's research. The state with the lowest assisted living costs, however, is in the Midwest; median monthly costs in Missouri are $2,537.

Northeastern and South Atlantic states — including the District of Columbia, Massachusetts (median of $5,463 per month), Delaware ($5,368) and Maine ($4,991) — have some of the more expensive costs for assisted living. The nation's capital peaks at median fees of $6,700 per month, and it also has had the highest annual average increase in the past five years, at 9.02%.

Vermont's average annual increase has been 6.19%, and two Midwestern states — North Dakota (6%) and Nebraska (5%) — also faced some of the highest average annual cost increases in this category.

Notably, several states in the South either have seen a decrease or no change in cost on an annual basis over the past five years, with South Carolina (0.46% decrease in costs), West Virginia (0.08%) and Alabama (0.01%) leading in that regard.

In addition to providing state-specific data, the Genworth survey identifies regional trends in long-term care cost categories. Although residents of many northeastern states tend to pay more for care, the study found that care costs there tend to be increasing more slowly than the national average — and in some cases, they are declining outright.

Costs for assisted living, nursing facility care and adult day services are up from last year across the nation.

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