Entering assisted living can be a daunting prospect due to the costs associated with assisted living. With the national average cost of assisted living at $4,500 per month, many people find themselves concerned about how they can afford such expenses. However, there are multiple avenues that can be explored to help finance assisted living.
The good news is that there are resources available to help seniors who qualify to pay for assisted living.
- Income based government programs such as Section 8 housing, Supplemental Security Income, and Medicare may be able to provide assistance
- Veterans and surviving spouses may qualify for additional VA benefits to help with the cost of assisted living
- Local senior centers and non-profits in your community may also be able to help you find resources
Seeking Government Assistance
Assisted living is expensive, and it may seem impossible to afford without a significant amount of money saved. However, there are several government assistance programs that can help cover assisted living expenses for those who qualify. In this section, we’ll discuss four options: Section 8 Housing, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Veteran Benefits, and Medicaid Programs.
Section 8 Housing
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers the Housing Choice Voucher Program, also known as Section 8, which can provide financial assistance for those who need help paying for housing, including assisted living. This program helps eligible low-income individuals and families by subsidizing a portion of their rent. To qualify, applicants must meet specific income requirements and other eligibility criteria.
Contact your local HUD office to find out more information and see if you qualify.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program administered by the Social Security Administration (official website). It provides financial assistance to individuals who are disabled, blind, or aged 65 and older with limited income and resources. SSI benefits can be used to help cover the costs of assisted living for those who qualify. To apply, you can visit the Social Security Administration’s website or your local Social Security office.
Veterans and their surviving spouses may be eligible for financial assistance through various programs offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The Aid and Attendance (A&A) benefit, for example, provides monthly payments to eligible veterans and their spouses who need help with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, or eating. The VA also offers other programs, such as the Veterans Directed Care program, which allows eligible veterans to manage their long-term care services and supports, including assisted living. To learn about the eligibility requirements and how to apply, visit the VA’s website or contact your local VA office.
Medicaid is a state and federal program that provides health coverage to low-income individuals, including seniors who need assistance with long-term care. Many states offer Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waivers and 1915 Waivers, which can provide financial assistance for seniors in assisted living. These waivers cover various services, such as personal care assistance, homemaker services, and transportation. However, it’s important to note that Medicaid will not pay for the room and board portion of assisted living. To determine your eligibility and apply, contact your state’s Medicaid agency or visit their website.
Leveraging Non-Profit Organizations
Non-profit organizations can play a vital role in helping individuals with limited funds access assisted living services. Many of these organizations provide financial assistance specifically for low-income seniors or offer grants to cover the cost of assisted living.
Connecting with local nonprofits in your community is the first step to finding out what nonprofit based resources are available to you.
Senior advocacy groups and community centers in your area may be able to help you connect with nonprofits providing resources and support networks that make assisted living more manageable.
Consider Low-Income Assisted Living Facilities
Lastly, lower-cost assisted living facilities are an option that provide necessary services within the person’s budget. Although pricing can vary, it’s important to prioritize essential care instead of focusing on luxurious amenities that might be out of reach.
Low-income assisted living facilities can provide seniors with a dignified, safe, and comfortable environment, without having to bear the brunt of excessive costs. By considering the options above and remaining diligent in researching suitable resources, an affordable path towards assisted living can be found.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I find affordable assisted living options?
Finding affordable assisted living options may require some research. Start by looking for facilities in your area and compare the prices and services they offer. You may also consider facilities in locations with a lower cost of living. Be sure to inquire about any discounts or sliding scale fees they might have for those with limited income.
Another option is to explore shared living arrangements or smaller facilities, which may have lower costs compared to larger, more expensive communities. Additionally, some facilities may offer financial assistance or flexible payment plans to make it more affordable for residents.
What financial assistance programs are available for assisted living?
There are several financial assistance programs available to help pay for assisted living. These include:
- Medicaid: Depending on your state’s regulations, Medicaid might cover assisted living costs. Be sure to check if the assisted living facility you are considering is Medicaid-certified.
- Veterans benefits: Veterans and their surviving spouses may be eligible for the Aid and Attendance pension benefit, which can help cover assisted living expenses.
- State-funded programs: Many states have funding and resources dedicated to supporting seniors in need of assisted living, particularly for those with low income.
- Long-term care insurance: If you have a long-term care insurance policy, it may cover some of the costs of assisted living.
Additionally, you can explore other funding options such as grants, social services organization programs, and nonprofit organizations that specifically assist seniors in need of financial help with assisted living expenses.
Can Medicare cover the cost of assisted living?
Unfortunately, Medicare does not typically cover the cost of assisted living. Medicare primarily covers acute medical care, such as hospital stays, certain in-home care, and skilled nursing care. However, Medicare Part D may cover prescription drug expenses for residents in assisted living facilities.
While Medicare may not be a direct source of funding for assisted living, you can explore other options mentioned previously, such as Medicaid, state-funded programs, or veterans benefits, to help cover the cost of assisted living.