Senior couple meeting real estate agent at home. Old husband and wife with financial advisor for investment opportunities. Happy elderly man and woman listening to various investment plans for their retirement.

Does Medicare Pay for Assisted Living Costs?

It’s important to understand the expenses that relate to senior living communities when you’re searching for a new residence. Start by determining what isn’t covered by Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Most families rely upon a combination of funds to pay for assisted living because neither Medicare parts A or B will pay for assisted living costs. However, some Medicare Advantage Plans do pay. Pension payments, Social Security benefits, retirement accounts and the sale of a house, and a reverse mortgage are all ways that seniors can tap into private funds to cover assisted living fees. 

How Much Does Medicare or Medicaid Pay for Assisted Living?

Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of room and board or personal care in an assisted living facility, but it may pay for a short-term stay in a skilled nursing community for a limited amount of time if certain conditions are met. Some of the covered costs include meals, skilled care, required medication, health care supplies, nutrition counseling, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. There are requirements for eligibility for the skilled nursing benefits which can be found on the Medicare website.

Medicare may cover medical expenses incurred at an assisted living residence just as they would be if they occurred in a physician’s office, hospital or in your own home.

Medicaid will not pay for assisted living, but it may cover some of the costs associated with skilled nursing care when no other money is available. Many states will offer long-term care Medicaid beneficiaries some amount of financial help with assisted living costs through waivers. Medicaid regulations change all the time so even if you did not qualify in the past for Medicaid because you had too much money, you may discover you’re now eligible for Medicaid nursing home care because the income limits are higher to qualify.

Does Social Security Pay for Assisted Living? 

Most states do offer some Social Security Optional State Supplements to those who live in assisted living communities if they meet certain requirements. In addition, if you move to a skilled nursing care community, medical facility or hospital and Medicaid pays for more than half of the cost of your care, your Supplemental Security Income benefit is limited to $30 a month. Some states will supplement this $30 benefit. If you move to a skilled nursing care community and Medicaid pays for part of your stay, your Social Security benefits may be terminated or lowered.

American Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefits.

Those seniors who have served in a war and their surviving spouses, 65 years and older, may be able to get a tax-free benefit called Aid and Attendance provided by the Department of Veteran Affairs. The program was created to offer financial aid to help with the costs of long-term care for those who need assistance with the activities of daily living. Depending on the veteran’s care needs and financial status, a veteran may be able to receive $2,170 or more a month for assisted living. Restrictions apply. The US. Department of Veteran Affairs has the information you need to see if you qualify.

How Much Does Assisted Living Cost?

The monthly median cost of assisted living is $4,300 according to a Genworth Cost of Care Survey in 2020. Prices vary depending on location, the number of services, room type and community amenities.

At Tutera, you’ll find the resources and experts you need to effectively navigate your assisted living search. For decades, we’ve helped thousands of families find financial options for assisted living care that work for their budget. We can help you, too. For a discussion and a free financial assessment, please give us a call at 877-988-8372.