How Much Does Assisted Living Cost

As you’re weighing senior care options for your loved one, the cost is likely to be one of the most important factors. When it comes to paying for assisted living, the average cost varies by state and city. In instances where high costs are a concern or prohibitive, some families relocate loved ones to facilities in more affordable regions.

What is the cost of assisted living?

Depending on what care your loved one needs, assisted living is usually more affordable than a nursing home. Assisted living fees vary from $2,000 to $5,000 per month compared to $5,000 and up for a nursing home. If your loved one qualifies for the admission criteria, assisted living might be your best bet financially.

How can I pay for assisted living?

Most assisted living communities are for profit and therefore require private pay. A few assisted living facilities do accept state-funded elderly assistance.

If you or your spouse were a veteran, you could be eligible for Aid and Attendance depending on your income and assets. To qualify for and access these benefits, you’ll need to go through the Veterans Administration.

If you or your loved one bought care insurance, this is a great help. Long-term care insurance policies apply to assisted living care; you will probably need to have an assessment completed to qualify for payout. The policy may require a minimum of assistance to quality. The payout usually gets sent to the resident or a family member.

If you have an annuity, this is a good option to help cover you ageing and need for assistance. This would be the time to start using that nest egg. An annuity can help you stretch your budget and be sure that you’ll always have at least some money coming in even if you live longer than you expect.

If only one parent is still living, or if both parents need assistance with daily living, the family home can be an important resource. Selling is an option or if you aren’t ready to sell, renting it for some income can help pay for assisted living.

If you don’t have much in the way of savings or other financial assets and your income is low, you may qualify for government assistance to pay for assisted living. Check with your local government. Medicaid eligibility is different from state to state, but typically you must have less than $2,000 in assets, in addition to your home and your car, to qualify.

Only some assisted living communities will accept Medicaid, and Medicaid beds are usually limited. To find long-term residential care options near you, check with your local Area Agency on Aging.

Important note: Medicare won’t pay for assisted living beyond short-term rehabilitation.