Increase in Long Term Care Costs in Georgia Mirror National Trends; COVID-19 Pressures Future Costs

Staff Report

Friday, December 11th, 2020

The cost of long term care services in Georgia increased year-over-year in line with national trends as COVID-19 intensified providers' existing challenges in meeting the increasing demand for long term care, according to Genworth's 17th annual Cost of Care Survey

National 2020 data shows a continuation of the upward trajectory in long term care costs, though this year proved to be like no other as patients and providers struggled to cope with the effects of COVID-19.  This year's Cost of Care Survey shows national annual median costs increased across the board for assisted living facilities (6.1%), home care (4.3-4.4%) and skilled nursing facilities (3.2-3.5%).  

Providers indicated they will have to raise rates again in the next six months to cover the added cost of providing care under the extraordinary challenges posed by COVID-19. 

Here's how the costs of care in Georgia compare with national trends and the previous year:

Annual Median Cost of Long Term Care Support Services for Georgia




Care Category


Since 20196

State Rank



Homemaker Services






Home Health Aide






Adult Day Health Care






Assisted Living Facilities1






Nursing Home

Semi-Private Room






Nursing Home

Private Room







1-7  Genworth Cost of Care Survey, conducted by CareScout®.  Represents the year-over-year growth rate based on Genworth Cost of Care Surveys conducted from 2019 to 2020.  The rate can be influenced by a number of factors such as random variation in samples, different sample sizes and new surveyed providers.


1-7 Additional Genworth Cost of Care Survey supporting table footnotes located at the end of the release

Why Rates Are on the Rise

Rising rates are not a new phenomenon for caregivers or the long term care industry; however, COVID-19 has heightened the severity of already existing factors as well as introduced many new challenges.

In a supplemental study to delve into the cause of the cost increases, providers cited the following factors:

  • A shortage of workers in the face of increasing demand for care, compounded by competition from higher-paying, less-demanding jobs; anxiety about exposure to COVID-19 and parents needing to stay home with school-age children

  • Increased spending for training on new safety procedures, testing, purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies

  • Higher mandated minimum wages as well as higher recruiting and retention costs, including hazard pay of up to 50% more for workers caring for COVID-19 patients, and added benefits such as free childcare

  • An increase in the cost of doing business, including regulatory, licensing and employee certification costs.

Although many providers contacted by Genworth said they were trying to absorb these new costs, more than half (62%) predicted that they would eventually be forced to raise rates in the next six months with 43% saying those increases would top five percent or more.

The Importance of Long Term Care Planning

"The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the need for individuals and families to plan ahead for how and where they want to receive care when they can no longer care for themselves and how they will pay for those costs, most of which are not covered by Medicare or health insurance," said Gordon Saunders, senior brand marketing manager at Genworth who manages the Cost of Care Survey.

"Our purpose as a company is to help people prepare for the challenges of growing older so that they can continue to live their lives on their own terms.  We provide our annual Cost of Care Survey and award-winning interactive website to enable individuals and their families to understand the costs of care, which is the first step toward planning for these expenses down the road," he said.  

In addition to the Cost of Care calculator, Genworth's website contains long term care planning tools, practical information on topics such as understanding Medicare and Medicaid, conversation starters, impairment simulations, options for financing long term care, and videos of real families sharing their long term care stories.  

  • To access 17-year Cost of Care trend charts, click here.

  • To access tables ranking states from the highest to lowest cost in each care category, click here.