How Much Does Assisted Living Cost?
Cost for assisted living has many variables. Amenities offered and the style of the community will affect the price. Luxury, high-end communities will command a higher rate than a more modest community.
Geography also is a consideration as some areas are more expensive than others. A more rural area may be less in cost while a community in a major metropolitan city will be more expensive.
Base rent is for the apartment, meals, housekeeping, activities, laundry and transportation. Level of care often is a separate charge based on need and clinical oversight to include help with activities of daily living, medication oversight, and more advanced needs. In some communities, it may be all-inclusive, which is one fixed cost every month to include base rent and care regardless of level of care required.
Average assisted living costs across the country are $4000 per month. Some states and areas can average $2300 a month and some areas can be $9000 per month. Other cost factors include how large of an apartment selected. The average annual cost of long term care is around $100,000 per year.
How to Pay for Assisted Living
All assisted living communities accept private pay funds. These funds can come from savings, the sale of real estate, selling of stocks and bonds, annuities, and monthly income.
People that purchased long-term care life insurance policies did so for exactly this time to help pay for assisted living in their later years.
Life insurance policies may have a cash buy-out, meaning the policy can be sold for a lesser value than the total sum of the policy.
Veterans who have served during very specific times of war may be eligible for veteran’s benefits to help pay for long-term care. These benefits have criteria that must be met and the spouse of a veteran may also be eligible to receive benefits.
Reverse mortgages may be an option for some. It can be an effective strategy if a spouse needs care and the other stays in the home.
Public payor sources such as Medicaid may be available for the financially indigent. There are few assisted living communities who accept Medicaid as a payor source and it varies by state.
Temporary loans, called bridge loans, can help ‘bridge’ the gap of waiting for funds to become available. An example of this may be when a home is for sale but hasn’t sold or closed yet, but the move to assisted living must happen quickly.
A very frequent question asked is if Medicare covers the cost of assisted living. It does not. It is a benefit used for short-term rehabilitation after a qualifying hospital stay.