Most individuals pay privately for assisted living. For some seniors, there are ways to reduce out-of-pocket costs, as described below.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Many long-term care insurance policies cover assisted living. The amount of coverage and conditions vary. Check the policy carefully.
Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Waiver for Older Adults
This state program provides financial assistance to eligible older adults to remain in a community setting even though their disabilities would warrant placement in a long-term care facility. Most Medicaid-covered services for long-term care are provided in a nursing home setting. The Medicaid Waiver allows eligible persons to receive supportive services in their own homes or in assisted living facilities. Applicants must be at least 50 years of age and must meet financial and medical eligibility criteria.
Senior Assisted Living Group Home Subsidy
This state-funded program provides monthly assistance with some of the cost of assisted living for individuals who meet income eligibility and other requirements, when funds are available. In order to qualify, the individual must be 62 years of age or older and must meet income and asset requirements.
Medicare and Medical Assistance
Medicare does not pay for assisted living. Maryland Medical Assistance covers much of the cost, but only if the resident qualifies for the Medicaid Home and Community-Based Waiver for Older Adults.
If you pay out-of-pocket for assisted living, you may qualify for a tax deduction. Contact your local IRS office for more information.
A reverse mortgage allows a homeowner to convert some of the equity in his or her home to cash. This money may be used to pay for assisted living. Generally, to qualify for a reverse mortgage, one of the borrowers must be living in the home. Therefore, this may be an option for couples, if one spouse remains at home. The home is used as collateral and will be sold to pay the loan. Consult an attorney before pursing this option. For more information, visit the web site of the National Center for Home Equity Conversions. In addition, you may contact your bank or credit union for other financial options that may be helpful with the cost of assisted living.
Most assisted living facilities charge a monthly fee, ranging from $1,000 to over $6,000 per month. Some facilities also charge a one-time entrance fee. Fees are based on the services provided to the resident. The monthly fee covers the standard package of services described in the Resident Agreement. There may be additional fees for optional services.
Fees for assisted living services are established by the facilities; they are not regulated by the state. All fees, services and conditions are detailed in the Resident Agreement.