The 6 Ways to Pay for Assisted Living in California
Sarah OrdoverNov 3rd, 2021
The 6 Ways to Pay For Assisted Living in California
Long-term care is a range of services and support seniors may need to meet their personal care needs. They include assisted living and in-home care.
For the most part, most long-term care costs are not covered by health insurance or Medicare. That is where planning for long-term care becomes so important. Research has found that nearly 40 percent of people underestimate their future costs for assisted living or home care, and many wrongly believe that Medicare will cover the expense. Medicare does not pay for long term care.
What Is the Cost of Long-Term Care, Including Assisted Living in California?
Average assisted living cost in California is $5,000 per month for a one bedroom, $29 per hour for home care, and $11,500 for a nursing home. In Los Angeles, Assisted Living Locators sees a higher number - base rent for studios averaging about $5,000 per month with one bedrooms starting in the $6,000 range. The base rent is a loaded number covering cost of the unit, meals, laundry, housekeeping, utilities, activities, transportation, and 24-hour onsite health monitoring.
The cost of care is additional. These include assistance with activities of daily life (ADLs) such as medication management, bathing, grooming, incontinence, ambulation, transferring and feeding. Depending on the individual’s level of need, care costs can add an additional $500-$3000/month on top of the base rent.
How to Pay for Assisted Living and Long-Term Care
1. Social Security and Pension: Social security and pension income is the usual foundation building blocks to pay the cost of assisted living or in-home care.
2. Savings and Real Estate: Personal savings, investments and the sale of a home then supplement costs. We find in Los Angeles, many seniors are choosing to rent out their homes rather than selling them outright.
3. Veterans Benefits: Wartime veterans and their surviving spouses, 65 years and older, may be entitled to a tax-free benefit called Aid and Attendance provided by the Department of Veteran Affairs. The benefit is designed to provide financial aid to help offset the cost of long-term care for those who need assistance with the daily activities of living such as bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring. There are income limitations on who can receive the benefit.
4. Long Term Care Insurance: Long Term Care Insurance is designed to pay or reimburse covered long-term care costs. Long term-care insurance is available from insurance companies selling in California and may be cost effective for you if you have sufficient available income to pay the premiums.
5. Medi-Cal: (called Medicaid outside California) pays for necessary health care that is not covered by Medicare but only if you meet federal and state poverty guidelines. You can get the most current information about Medi-Cal from your local county Department of Social Services, legal services Program or an elder law attorney.
6. Family Members: Family may choose to assist with the costs of moving or help with ongoing fees.
Figuring out how to pay for assisted living and other long term care options is confusing and stressful. Assisted Living Locators Los Angeles owner Sarah Ordover is one of LA’s most respected senior living advisors. Certified in dementia care, Sarah is a trained aging specialist who holds an RCFE assisted living administrator license. Sarah thoughtfully guides families through the senior living decision-making process, helping them find the best solution for their loved ones. Call Sarah at 310-853-8282 for a consultation. Assisted Living Locators is free to clients.