What Does Assisted Living Cost and How to Pay For It?

One of the first questions families ask about assisted living is ‘how much does it cost?’

Many people are surprised at how affordable it is when given when given specific information about what’s included, such as; utilities, food, cooking, cleaning, entertainment, transportation and 24/7 nursing care.

What does Assisted Living cost in Utah? 
Communities charge anywhere from $2,000 a month to as much as $6,500, but the average is about $3,500. This amount largely depends on 3 factors.

  1. How much care does the resident require? For individuals that need help with a lot of activities of daily living (ADL’s), the cost can be more. This is important to keep in mind and understand that the cost may increase over time as care needs increase.
  2. Location. As will any real estate, location affects the cost.
  3. Size of the room. Most communities have different size rooms from small studio apartments to 2 bedroom suites. Most individuals are completely comfortable in a studio or 1 bedroom.

In addition to the monthly cost for Assisted Living, most communities charge a “move-in” or “community” fee for new residents. Make sure you understand all the costs associated with moving before you sign the agreement and move in. There are great communities at every price level.

Does Medicare or Medicaid pay for it?
Traditionally Medicare does NOT pay for Assisted Living. It can, in some cases, pay for a nursing home stay or for in-home care. Medicaid can be used to pay for some of the costs associated with Assisted Living. In Utah the Medicaid program that helps pay for some assisted living charges is called the New Choices Waiver

Long Term Care Insurance
Long term care insurance is a great way to help pay for some or all of assisting living costs. Some life insurance policies have a long term care rider.

VA Aid and Attendance
The VA Aid and Attendance Pension is a great benefit for many veterans. It can pay up to $2,120 (2016 amount) to a married veteran and their spouse. The veteran must have served 90 days active duty and at least 1 day during wartime. This can also be an eligibly benefit for a surviving spouse.

 

If you have any questions about assisted living costs or how to pay for it, CarePatrol’s Certified Senior Advisors can help. Please call 801-717-9328 for more information.

 

Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Randy Chipman, CSA, MBA. He may be reached at 801-717-9328 or by email at RandyC@CarePatrol.com