The Iowa Health Fact Book shows that the state reported a median age of 38.1 years in 2013. In that year, senior citizens made up 14.9% of Iowa’s population. Smaller counties in Iowa have significantly large numbers of senior residents. Along with older adults, women also have a higher probability of requiring long-term care at some point in life. Iowa’s female residents equaled to 50.4% of the population, signifying a well-balanced gender distribution.

In 2012, 6.2% of Iowa’s adults engaged in heavy drinking on a daily basis, according to the Iowa Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System from 2011 to 2012. Smokers accounted for 18.1% of the survey’s respondents. Another health indicator in Iowa that needs attention is obesity, which affected 30% of adults. Diabetes was found in 9.7% of adults in 2012, compared to 8.2% of adults in 2011.

Based on 2008 to 2010 data from the Center for Personal Assistance Services, 18% of senior citizens in Iowa faced difficulty with basic everyday activities. While 68.5% of these older adults with disabilities stayed in homes, 29.5% sought residence within institutional settings.


Cost of Care

Below are the average daily cost* of long-term care services in Iowa.

City Nursing Facility1 Assisted Living1 Adult Day Care2 Home Health Aide3
Cedar Rapids $221 $118 $52 $138
Des Moines $203 $119 $49 $162
Dubuque $178 $118 $46 $114


*Costs are rounded to the nearest whole dollar.
1Daily average for a private room.
2Based on five days of care per week.
3Based on six hours of care per day, five days per week.


Insurance Options

TransCare III, a more recent long-term care insurance product by Transamerica, became available to potential clients in Iowa on September 10, 2013. This product features up to $500 worth of maximum daily benefit, a one-year elimination period, and a convenient 30% discount for couples. It also has an Elimination Period Credit Rider and a Tailored Benefit Increase Option Rider. Transamerica designed TransCare III as a means of insurance coverage for individuals rather than for groups.

About a month later, on October 12, 2013, MedAmerica implemented some revisions to its preferred health and marital discounts under the FlexCare LTCI product. Iowa and nine other states saw these revisions.

Insurers in the state with approval to sell Partnership LTCI policies include American General Life, Berkshire Life, Country Life, Genworth, John Hancock, Mutual of Omaha, New York Life, Physicians Mutual, and Transamerica. Residents can also get insured through Aetna Life, Equitable Life, MedAmerica, and UNUM Life.


State Long-Term Care Programs

Long-term care recipients, such as people with disabilities and older adults, can benefit from coverage by the Medicare program. Medicare Part A pays for care in nursing facilities and home health settings while Part B covers essential services and equipment. Nearly 520,000 or more than 17% of Iowa citizens received support from Medicaid in 2011.

Individuals in Iowa who qualify for assistance from Medicaid include parents living with children less than 18 years of age, senior citizens, people with disabilities, and women with breast or cervical cancer.

Iowa offers Medicaid coverage through a federally-facilitated Marketplace. The state also proceeded with expanding its Medicaid, beginning on January 1, 2014. Expansion, which is also known as the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan, may provide access of care to 150,000 of the state’s impoverished residents. The Iowa Medicaid Enterprise looks after this program.

Residents who administer everyday support to older family members and relatives can benefit from the Iowa Family Caregiver Program. This program has free consultation services, yet may charge a fee for other services such as respite care. It comes with legal assistance as well.


More Resources

To get more specific information regarding long-term care services and insurance options in Iowa, please check the following websites:

Iowa Health Care Association

Informs about news and events, and locates providers of long-term care.

Iowa Insurance Consumer Advocate

Offers guides and other informative links about LTC insurance.


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