Alberta government to cover some costs of increased continuing care fees

The Alberta government says it will cover the first three months of this year’s annual increase in continuing care accommodation fees.

Continuing care operators can raise their fees every July 1 by the rate of inflation over the previous year. That’s expected to be 5.5 per cent this year.

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To help residents, the province said it will pay operators directly for the increase for July, August and September. This translates to about $10.4 million to offset one-quarter of this year’s increase in accommodation charges for Albertans in long-term care and designated supportive living.

“This year’s inflation rate is unusually high, and passing it on in full would be an undue strain on continuing care residents and families,” said Health Minister Jason Copping in a news release.

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“Giving them a break is the right thing to do. At the same time, operators are also being impacted by inflation. We’ll look at options to reduce the burden on residents beyond Sept. 30 while we also ensure operators have the revenue they need to maintain services.”

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Accommodation charges include the cost of providing services like rooms, meals, laundry, housekeeping, utilities, building maintenance and general administration.

Effective July 1, based on the 5.5 per cent increase, the average monthly cost of a private room in Alberta will be $2,249, or $73.95 per day.

A semi-private space will cost about $1,957 per month or $64 per day, according to the province.

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Annual increases are based on the Alberta Consumer Price Index from February of the current year and February of the previous year.

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