This state is among one of the cheapest places to have a home health aide or live in a nursing home

Depending on where you live, you may not actually be able to afford health care when you’re older.

Record high costs and our belief in personal immortality is holding us back from being prepared. If you need to live in an assisted living facility in Alaska, you could end up paying almost $200,000 a year to do so, according to Lincoln Financial Group. In Louisiana, the same care will run you nearly $68,000 a year.

Here, you would end up shelling out $185 a day for a private room in a skilled nursing facility ($167 in a semi-private room). If you need an assisted living home, you could pay more than $3,000 a month for a studio apartment — and more for 1- and 2-bedrooms.

“The cost of long-term care services can vary greatly depending on of the type of care needed and where a person lives,” the study says. “An individual needing 40 hours of home health care per week today can expect to pay from $36,000 to $64,000 this year.”

The big factor: where you live

Louisiana residents may have it the cheapest, even though they’re still out tens of thousands of dollars every year at a minimum.

But for the rest of us, it could end up being so much more. In Massachusetts, assisted living help ranges anywhere from $5,674-$6,817 every month. At least 14 states want residents to pay more than $5,000 a month to live in a studio, 1-, or 2-bedroom apartment. The national average is $4,027.

While Louisiana is the cheapest, other relatively inexpensive states include: Mississippi, Alabama, North Dakota, and South Dakota — all below the national average.

Another big factor: the care you need

While assisted living is some of the most expensive health care you can receive, it’s not the only one. Aside from skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, long-term health care includes home care, like home health aides, licensed and registered nurses.

Nationally, home health aides cost average $23 an hour, but the study says by 2050, those costs are expected to hit $48 an hour. It’s even more for registered nurses and licenses nurses, who charge by the visit, not by the hour. Alaska charges the least for both — $71 and $90 respectively — but in some other states, that amount more than doubles.

For a licensed nurse, costs are most expensive in Oregon at $184 a visit. For a registered nurse, it’s $184 a visit in North Dakota. Nationally, for both nurses, it’s between $131 and $139.

If you’re looking for the cheapest care possible, get a home health aide in Alabama, where costs are $17 an hour. Louisiana, West Virginia, Arkansas, and Georgia all charge less than $20. Sorry, Minnesota residents, you’re chalking up $31 an hour for HHAs. Even the rest of the most expensive states — North Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, and Rhode Island — are paying less than $30 an hour for the same position.

Where you live has a significant impact on how much you must pay for home health care. Even minimum services could mean we’re putting up tens of thousands of dollars. Since none of us are set up right now for retirement, let alone long-term health care, we’re actually setting ourselves up for long-term debt more than anything else.

Budgeting & Saving, News, Retirement

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Article last modified on March 14, 2017. Published by Debt.com, LLC .