Big Sky Country Means Big Long-Term Care Costs

There is a growing demand for long-term care services in Montana as the state is getting older and fewer family members can provide the needed care. Planning is essential.

Recommend This Page
Big Sky Country Means Big Long-Term Care Costs
3 Min Read June 12th, 2021

Today, when some people think of big sky country, they think of the ABC-TV show "Big Sky". Despite the fact much of the show is filmed in Vancouver, Canada, the show portrays much of the beauty of Montana. Montana's tourism department says the state is "untamed, wild and natural." 

However, if you live in Montana, you know the remoteness of the state. Only two states in the U.S. are more sparsely populated than Montana -- Alaska and Wyoming. Since 1980, the number of people aged 65 and older has increased from 11% to 16%. 

More Heads of Cattle Than People

Montana's top four cities, Billings, Missoula, Great Falls, and Bozeman, have a total population of around 300,000 total among the four. There are actually more heads of cattle than human beings in Montana. The state has 2.6 million head of beef cattle, meaning there are about three head of cattle for every human in Montana.

What this means for people who live in Big Sky Country is that unless you have some cattle become your future caregivers, there are not many people providing long-term care services and supports in the state - in a state with a growing population of adults aged 50 and older.

There are limited long-term care facilities in Montana, with an estimated 100 nursing homes and 100 assisted living facilities operating in the state. Home health agencies attempt to provide caregivers but often, depending on where a person lives, transportation costs for the caregiver can make it costly.

Family Caregivers Hard Pressed to Provide Care – Paid Care Costly

The AARP reports that Montana's 114,000 family caregivers find themselves juggling their jobs and family responsibilities to provide care services for an older parent or in-law. 

The growing costs of long-term care services and supports in Montana are affected dramatically by supply and demand. The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator shows the state average for home health care runs $4,855 a month based on a 44-hour week. The cost is expected to rise to over $9000 a month in 2041. The average cost is less in the four metro areas, as you would expect.

Most long-term care is delivered outside of a nursing home, but nursing homes remain the most expensive type of long-term health care. The Montana average runs $7,755 a month. In 2041 that cost should run over $14,000 a month.

Assisted living is less expensive but not cheap, with a state average base cost in Montana running $4,158 a month. Depending on the number of services you may need, surcharges will increase the cost above base considerably. The base cost will be nearly $8,000 a month in 2041.

Medicaid, Health Insurance, and Medicare Not the Answer

Medicaid pays for long-term care with Medicaid-approved providers, but only if you have low income and assets. Otherwise, better not count on health insurance, including Medicare, as they have little or nothing toward long-term care services and supports.

Montana is a Long-Term Care Insurance Partnership state. If you own a Partnership Long-Term Care policy, you will have dollar-for-dollar asset protection. 

For Montana families that own farms and ranches, Long-Term Care Insurance helps keep the land in your family while providing a choice of quality care, including in-home care. 

Plan Before Retirement

The time to purchase coverage is when you are in your 40s or 50s, as these policies are medically underwritten and priced based, in part, by your age when you obtain coverage. 

Be sure to seek the assistance of a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist that represents the top companies, understands the Montana Long-Term Care Partnership Program, and has a complete understanding of underwriting, policy design, and claims. 

Find a licensed and experienced specialist by clicking here.

The big skies are great - the big costs - not so much. Planning ahead makes aging easier on your family and finances.

Recommend This Page

About the Author

An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

LTC News Contributor James Kelly

James Kelly

Contributor since August 21st, 2017

Editor's Note

Long-Term Care Insurance is easy and affordable income and asset protection. If you live in Montana, you want access to quality care, and those costs are not cheap.

There are several types of available options, including single premium products with death benefits. Be sure to start your research early when you still enjoy reasonably good health so you can have the cost options to consider. 

Resources on LTC NEWS

LTC NEWS offers many tools and resources so you can learn about the types of care available, the costs of care today and in the future, insurance and other planning options, and more.

Start by reading The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide. Find all the resources by clicking here.

Marketing and Advertising Opportunities on LTC NEWS

LTC NEWS is a great way to drive traffic to your website or blog and even improve your SEO.

Reach an educated audience. Readers of LTC NEWS are researching retirement issues, including aging, health, caregiving, and long-term care. Other readers seek information for a parent or other loved one experiencing declining health or aging issues and require extended care.   

Many marketing opportunities are available, including sponsored content articles. Sponsored content offers you a long-form way to sell yourself, your company, and your ideas.

Learn more about how LTC NEWS can help you market your business, drive traffic, and improve SEO - click here.

Share News with LTC NEWS

Include LTC NEWS in your press release distribution. If your group, organization, business, political committee, etc., have news to share, send it to LTC NEWS. Email - 

Get Free LTC Insurance Claims Assistance 

LTC NEWS can arrange for free Long-Term Care Insurance claims processing and care coordination. No cost or obligation. If you have a loved one who has a policy and needs care - don't delay. Use the benefits. 

Click here now.

Become a Guest Contributor for LTC NEWS

You can write for LTC NEWS. Gain exposure for yourself, drive traffic to your website or blog, and improve your SEO. 

Numerous topics fit the LTC NEWS audience. You can even promote yourself, your business, and your website or blog. However, it must have editorial content exclusive for LTC NEWS and cannot be just an advertisement. It can include links to other sites, and you can share the article link once published on your website or social media.

Email your story idea or article: or click here

LTC News Trusted & Verified

Get Accurate Quotes

Work With A Trusted Specialist

  • Has substantial experience in Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Strong understanding of underwriting, policy design, and claims experience
  • Represents all or most of all the leading insurance companies
man and woman sitting at desk
Connect With a Long-Term Care Specialist

Find Affordable Insurance and the Right Coverage.

LTC News Trusted & Verified
Learn More
  • Latest

  • Oldest

  • Homecare

  • Health

  • Government

  • Care Facilities

  • Pets

  • People

  • Lifestyle

  • Insurance

Step 1 of 4

Find a Specialist

Get Started Today

Trusted & Verified Specialists

Work with a trusted Long-Term Care Insurance Specialist Today

  • Has substantial experience in Long-Term Care Insurance
  • A strong understanding of underwriting, policy design, and claims experience
  • Represents all or most of all the leading insurance companies

LTC News Trusted & Verified

Compare Insurers


Claim this listing

Fill out this short form

Step Number:


Request Listing Edit

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Step Number:


Are you a customer of this business, or are you an employee?