Paying for Assisted Living

In 2016, the average cost of assisted living in the U.S. ranged from $3,000 to $5,000 a month. The costs vary depending on the senior’s health condition. When it is time to select an assisted living community, making the right choice is a critical step. Choosing the community involves knowing the level of services required and offered. Keep in mind, the cost from state to state differs.  As a result, the location of the community affects the cost of living variables. 

The evaluation and the final decision are overwhelming. These financial options can help to offset the cost. More important is the assurance for seniors to receive quality health care as residents of an assisted living community.

Medical Insurance

Medicare covers the cost of health treatment only. It is important to understand that differences between federal and state coverage. In some situations, Medicare is a primary insurance provider and Medicaid the secondary provider. Medicare is a federal program and Medicaid is a state program with guidelines for assisted living services. 

  • Medicare – Most recipients take advantage of Medicare’s preventative care and prescription plans. Medicare B covers skilled practitioner services and licensed therapists. It does not cover the cost of non-skilled service for grooming, meal preparation or companionship.
  • Medicaid – Seniors with little or no assets may qualify for this state program. Medicaid generally covers ten percent of the assisted living expense. The majority of states do provide some level of financial assistance.

Military Benefits

If you served in the armed forces, the Veterans Administration (VA) provides health assistance in the form of benefits for wartime veterans and their spouses. Another VA healthcare program for aging veterans is Aid and Attendance.  It is not dependent on service related injuries. The benefits provide a monthly income to support the cost of assisted living communities and nursing homes.  You need to contact the VA for current eligibility.

  • Single or two married veterans may qualify for $1,700 to $2,800 a month.
  • Surviving or sick spouses may qualify for financial eligibility of $1,100 to $1,400 a month.
  • There are specific assisted living communities dedicated to caring for veterans and spouses.

Personal Assets

For the most part, our homes are our largest investment over a lifetime. Selling the property can help seniors with the assisted living financial cost. Depending on the schedule for selling the house, conflicts with the move-in date do occur.

  • Most banks provide term loans based on the profits from the transaction.


The choice of community depends on individual medical needs and lifestyle preferences. Assisted living communities offer full monthly services or as needed services. Overtime as the senior’s health changes, the level of service can also be change.

Categories: Financial and Legal.

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