A Guide to Affording Assisted Living Costs

Do you have a family member who needs help with activities of daily living? Are you over the age of 55 and find yourself in this situation? Are you considering an assisted living community?  You aren’t alone.

According to a December 2020 report, 70% of people age 65 and over will need long-term care.  For those eligible for assisted living, there are several factors to consider.

One of the common concerns is, “How will I pay for assisted living costs?”

Continue reading to find answers to this question.

What Is Assisted Living?

Assisted living communities are very different from nursing homes. Each facility offers basic services and a variety of options to help you find the best fit. Examples of services and amenities may include:

  • Access to cable television
  • Barber and beauty shops
  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry services
  • Meals prepared by a chef
  • Personalized décor
  • Private phone lines
  • Transportation to appointments

Assisted living facilities (ALFs) aren’t intended to provide continuous healthcare. They monitor the resident’s general health and assist with basic health needs such as:

  • Reminding patients to take medications
  • Massage therapy
  • Occupational, physical, and speech therapy
  • Onsite dental and medical services

Furthermore, they also plan activities to promote resident interaction and engagement. This may involve interfaith programs, picnics, and socials. Some facilities offer pet and/or music therapy.

Many assisted living homes arrange outings to parks, shopping, restaurants, and sporting or performing art events. All facilities provide security for the residents to ensure their safety.

Common Assisted Living Costs

Brooking Park, Assisted Living

Consider costs when deciding about assisted living services. In Missouri, the average annual cost for assisted living services is $34,566 per year. But amenities, services, and what is included are equally important.

When speaking with prospective locations, such as Brooking Park, ask about the breakdown for charges.

For example, some may charge a base fee that includes rent, meals, and housekeeping. This may also cover participation in activities and exercise.

In the same way, some facilities consider therapies and medication costs as additional services with extra fees. While others offer all-inclusive plans but still have add-on fees.

Brooking Park offers “Worry-Free Pricing”. The plan is all-inclusive and makes charges predictable. They don’t require buy-ins, endowment fees, or mandatory add-on care charges.

Moreover, rate changes should only occur due to annual cost of living adjustments.

How to Pay for Assisted Living

There are several options for financing assisted living costs. Eligibility for plans varies based on a number of factors.

Out-of-Pocket Payment

If you have the financial ability to pay for the services, this offers the simplest solution. Some individuals plan ahead and create a savings plan to pay for care in an assisted living facility.

Some offer cost flexibility through room sharing or choosing a less expensive location. You may also find special “move-in rates” that can save you money. If choosing an out-of-state facility is an option, look for states with lower costs.

Veteran Programs

If the individual or their spouse is a veteran, they may qualify for special federal programs. This can give you access to financial help to pay for healthcare services. The Veteran Aid and Attendance Pension provides payment for the following care:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Eating
  • Prosthetic adjustments

It also serves the physically or mentally incapacitated, bedridden, or functionally blind. This program lets recipients keep more of their assets than most state aid programs as well. It also offers a higher level of care.

Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI)

Long Term Care Coverage for Assisted Living

LTCI provides payment for long-term care related to chronic or degenerative diseases. It also often pays for other situations that cause a need for ongoing care.

You must have taken out an LTCI policy in advance and paid the premiums.

Spend some time shopping for the best plan for you.

Equality important, ask about eligibility restrictions and qualifications to receive benefits and the premium costs. Remember, this requires that you plan ahead.

Family Support

Each family is unique in its relationship and financial status.

Consider speaking with other family members about sharing the cost of the assisted living facility.

If the facility charges extra fees, you may have relatives that are in a position to help pay for these other services.

Will Medicaid Pay for Assisted Living?

It’s important to understand that Medicaid differs from state to state.

Medicaid receives funding from both federal and state government sources. Yet, each state decides which services are and are not covered.

Their eligibility guidelines vary as well. Examples include age criteria such as being over 65, disability, or blindness. It also defines payments for different levels of care.

The Missouri Department of Social Services administers the Medicaid program (MO HealthNet). MO HealthNet runs the Supplemental Nursing Care financial aid program.

This distributes cash benefits to pay for eligible people’s residential care. The amount received depends on whether you live in an ALF or a residential care home.

Does Medicare Cover Assisted Living?

Medicare Part A pays for specific products and services related to the assisted living facility. The type and length of care affect eligible charges. Medicare will not pay for care deemed as strictly custodial care.

Some have their own housing category rating by Medicare. They fall between living independently and Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) care.

Thus, Medicare will only pay for qualified health care costs that occur while living there. They don’t pay the basic charges or fees.

Are You Looking for Assisted Living in the St. Louis Area?

Finally, if you’re near St. Louis, MO, Brooking Park offers affordable assisted living costs. Our “Worry-Free Pricing” lets you budget for ALF expenses without surprises. This gives families peace of mind.

You’ll find that we have a home-like environment with 24-hour care and personalized help. This includes medication management, meals, nutrition, housekeeping, and transportation.

In addition, we also offer memory, respite, skilled nursing, and short-term rehab care.

Our staff creates a supportive atmosphere promoting physical, social, and emotional health. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid services ranked us as a 5-star community.

Send us a message or give us a call at 314-576-5545 and experience our home-like atmosphere today!