AARP finding: Utah spends least in U.S. for Medicaid spending on long-term services and supports

According to AARP’s Across the States 2018: Profiles of Long-Term Services and Supports, Utah spends the least in the U.S. for Medicaid long-term services and supports for older people and people with disabilities. 

This includes nursing facility spending and home and community-based care spending.  The report provides a compilation of state data and analysis on long-term services and supports in each state.  According to the report, it should be noted that the data does not necessarily correspond to level of performance.

Utah does well regarding the caregiver support ratio in the state, defined as number of people age 45-64 per those 80+, ranking 6th in the country, with a 2050 projection of 8th based on population growth estimates.

20180903 AARP chart

Across the States combines data from a large number of studies and data sources, providing state data, rankings, and national averages on: age demographics and projections; living arrangements, income, and poverty; disability rates; costs of care; private long-term care insurance; Medicaid long-term services and supports; family caregivers; home- and community-based services; and nursing facilities.
The full report and each state profile can be accessed at  The Utah report provides a snapshot of state data.

 Across the States reveals four key trends:

(1) The ages 85+ population—the cohort with the highest need for LTSS—is projected to triple (a 208 percent increase) between 2015 and 2050.

(2) This demographic shift will have a profound impact on family caregiving.

(3) The older population is becoming more diverse. In particular, the Hispanic population ages 65+ is projected to quadruple between 2015 and 2050.

(4) State Medicaid LTSS systems are becoming more balanced—that is, the percentage of spending going to HCBS is increasing—both overall and for older people and adults with disabilities specifically. However, states vary considerably in both level of balance and trend.

This is the latest in the series of Across the States reports that the AARP Public Policy Institute has been publishing for 24 years.  The AARP Public Policy Institute released its 2018 edition of Across the States: Profiles of Long-Term Services and Supports at this week’s Home and Community-Based Services Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.

Full Report

Across the States 2012 and earlier reports