Assisted living is an extremely popular option for those who need assistance with day-to-day tasks but do not necessarily require the advanced medical/skilled care provided in a nursing home. Some prefer assisted living care because it fosters independence in a community setting.
Although an affordable alternative when compared to nursing home care, assisted living costs are still rather high. But there are a number of ways to pay the bill, although payment options vary by state and by assisted living community (and some of these funding streams could change as per this morning’s article on Medicaid). Check with your state’s Office on Aging or Area Agency on Aging (locate it here) to determine what’s available.
- Out-of-Pocket/Private Pay – The great majority of assisted living facilities are private-pay only, i.e. you (or your family members) pay the bill.
- Long-term Care Insurance – Many policies cover assisted living services.
- Medicare – Medicare does not pay the entire bill for assisted living, but the Medicare home health benefit can sometimes cover the cost of assisted living services if certain eligibility requirements are met.
- Medicaid – As with the Medicare home health benefit, some states allow Medicaid funding to cover assisted living services based on certain eligibility requirements.
- SSI – Some states permit the use of Supplemental Security Income for assisted living cost coverage.