Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Florida: What Are Your Options?
Assisted living communities provide long-term support services for people who are largely independent, but need some help with daily tasks. Assisted living is a common option for adults over 65, and is often viewed as one of the best ways to free up time and relive daily stress so adults can enjoy their retirement more.
But like all long-term support services, assisted living can be a challenge to pay for. If your retirement savings won’t cover all the costs, you may some help. Financial assistance for assisted living could be a good option to ease the burden by helping pay for housing, meals and support services.
There are several types of financial assistance available for assisted living services. Some options are available to adults nationwide, while others are state or community-based. In this article, we’ll go over some of your top options for financial assistance, with a special focus on options that our local Florida residents can take advantage of.
Financial Assistance Programs
Medicaid offers Long-Term Care Managed Care (LTCMC) plans to eligible residents of Florida who need help with covering the costs of nursing facilities or assisted living. To qualify, you must prove financial eligibility and an immediate need for assisted living services.
Who’s Eligible for a Medicaid LTCMC Plan in Florida?
Florida has a screening program called the Comprehensive Assessment and Review for Long-Term Care Services (CARES) that is performed by the Department of Elder Affairs. To determine if a person is eligible for Medicaid, a representative from CARES will request a face-to-face interview to determine if you should be in an assisted living community. They will then enroll you in an LTCMC plan designed to address your needs.
SSI recipients are automatically eligible for Medicaid. Single Florida residents cannot have monthly incomes exceeding $2,315 to qualify for Medicaid. Spouses wanting to qualify for Medicaid help for assisting living services cannot have incomes exceeding $4,625.
What Does a Medicaid LTCMC Plan Provide?
After transitioning to assisted living, Florida residents are allotted $130 per month for personal needs. The remaining Medicaid funds are used to pay for their assisted living cost. If one spouse enters an assisted living community and the other spouse remains in the home, a separate allowance is provided to the spouse living independently.
What If You’re Not Eligible for a Medicaid LTCMC Plan?
For people with incomes higher than eligibility limits established by Florida’s Medicaid program, Florida has a Medically Needy (“share the cost”) program. This program allows someone to contribute a portion of their monthly income to pay for certain medical expenses. Florida’s Medically Needy program resembles meeting insurance deductibles (“spends down”) so that a person remains eligible for Medicaid.
Medicare is federally-funded health insurance for people 65 and older, younger individuals with certain disabilities and people of any age with end-stage renal disease. Insurance companies approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for providing Medicare programs offer a variety of plans that cover specific medical costs. For example, Medicare Part A pays for hospital stays, home health care, hospice and skilled nursing care. Medicare Part B pays for medical supplies, outpatient services and doctors’ visits. Medicare Part D covers most prescription drugs.
However, Medicare will not pay for “custodial care”, or assisted living services such as housekeeping, laundry and meals. What Medicare will cover are doctor’s visits, hospitalization and medications for eligible residents living in Florida assisted living communities.
3. Department of Veterans Affairs
Financial assistance is available from the VA for veterans transitioning to assisted living communities. Called the Aid and Attendance Benefit, this assistance is an addition to your regular VA pension that offers up to $1,880 per month for single veterans and $2,230 per month for married veterans. Eligibility requirements for receiving the VA’s Aid and Attendance Benefit include needing someone to help with daily activities (dressing, feeding, bathing), having poor eyesight/partial blindness and loss of physical and/or mental abilities that requires 24/7 assisted living care.
Completing the Examination for Housebound Status/Permanent Need for Regular Aid and Attendance is necessary to apply for the VA’s Aid and Attendance Benefit. Applicants may have their physician fill out the medical information part of the application. Documents accompanying this form should include detailed reports regarding the person’s inability to live independently and diagnostic tests proving a physical or mental disability that prevents them from living independently.
4. Florida Financial Assistance for Assisted Living
There are several Florida-specific financial assistance programs that help pay for assisted living services. The Department of Elder Affairs has more information about the following programs:
- Optional State Supplement – low-income adults may qualify for this financial grant that pays a part of expenses involving residential or assisted living care
- Community Care for the Elderly – CCE is meant for individuals who may need assisted living or nursing home care but do not qualify for Medicaid. CCE also helps pay for legal expenses and disposable medical supplies.
- Local Services Programs – financial help for assisted living in FL varies according to different areas of the state. Local senior citizen agencies often provide useful information regarding assisted living communities and their associated costs.
Affordable Assisted Living in Florida
Paying for a supportive living community that meets your lifestyle goals can be stressful. But there are programs available both nationwide and in Florida that are designed specifically to help you transition to the living environment that will best support your lifestyle goals.
If you have questions about assisted living or other supportive living environments such as memory care, contact us at The Atrium at Boca Raton. Our Florida assisted living and memory care community is designed to be both affordable and comfortable, providing you with the services you need and a luxury lifestyle at a competitive price.