Yes, there is financial assistance for assisted living services and communities in Florida.
The type of financial assistance you need and qualify for will vary depending on your situation, including your savings, the assisted living costs you need to pay and your personal history that may qualify you for more or less financial help.
In this article we’ll discuss the financial assistance available for assisted living communities in Florida, including the cost of assisted living communities themselves and your financial options.
How Much Does Assisted Living Cost?
There is no single cost for assisted living in the United States, nor is there a fixed cost within Florida. The cost varies according to the community and your unique needs.
Nationwide, though, most people spend about $4,000 per month for assisted living. Statewide, Florida assisted living costs average $3,000-$4,000 per month. Keep in mind, there is significant cost variability within Florida. Even within a particular region, each assisted living community may have a different cost. You may see higher monthly costs of $4,200 to $5,000 in areas like Tallahassee, Jacksonville and Panama City. Across Miami, Tampa and Orlando, your monthly costs might be closer to $3,300. Areas like Punta Gorda, Sebastian and Port Saint Lucie sit around $3,500 to $3,700 per month.
Your costs will come from the services you require and the level of care the community provides. Some communities offer all-inclusive pricing, while others offer a-la-carte or fee-for-service pricing that may lower, or greatly increase, your costs as well.
Understanding Your Financial Options
There are several types of financial assistance that reduce assisted living costs in Florida. Some of those are from federal or state programs, and others come from loans, insurance, personal assets and organization assistance.
In many cases, you’ll only qualify for financial assistance if you meet certain criteria. Read on for some of the ways you can lower your assisted living costs in Florida.
In Florida, Medicaid is offered under the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Long-Term Care program, or SMMC LTC. It no longer offers the Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers. Eight state provider organizations manage long-term care for SMMC LTC.
To be eligible for Medicaid, you must:
- Meet the income/financial guidelines
- Be a Florida resident
- Be 65 or older
- Require assisted living level of care (you’ll have an in-person exam to ensure you meet the requirement for that level of care)
Within Florida, Medicaid covers part of your daily living care needs and your room and board at the assisted living community. However, Medicaid does not cover your medical costs unless your high-level medical expenses exceed your income. This aspect is what another federal program, Medicare, covers. Medical costs such as doctor visits, prescriptions and laboratory tests would apply under Medicare Part B.
Medicaid in Florida has an assistance limit, which caps the amount each person can receive. There are also application limits, which mean your name may appear on a waiting list.
It’s important to keep in mind that Medicare doesn’t cover residency costs for assisted living or any other type of long-term care. Only Medicaid will pay for these costs and only under Florida’s state guidelines.
Florida Optional State Supplementation
Another option is to apply for financial assistance under the Optional State Supplementation (OSS) program. This program operates under the Florida Department of Children & Families.
Under OSS, you can receive $78.40 per month to put toward residential costs at an assisted living facility.
Keep in mind that you cannot receive both Medicaid and OSS funds. If you don’t qualify for Medicaid, consider applying for OSS at that point. Don’t apply for OSS before first determining whether you qualify for Medicaid, as Medicaid will typically provide greater financial assistance for assisted living services.
Assisted Living Loan
Through Elderlife Financial, you can apply for a short-term loan to ease the upfront costs of assisted living. This loan, called an Elderlife Bridge Loan, acts as a line of credit that you or your family can pay back over six, 12 or 18 months.
You can apply for this loan with up to six co-applicant family members. Elderlife Financial reviews credit scores and future funding sources when determining eligibility and can approve the loan in as few as 24 hours.
Veteran Aid & Attendance
The Veteran Aid & Attendance program is designed to assist veterans and widows of veterans with the costs of assisted living. To qualify, you must be 65 or older and have served honorably during wartime, along with meeting additional criteria.
Veterans can receive up to $1,900 per month or $2,260 per month if married. The wait time for the Aid & Attendance benefit can be as long as six to 12 months, much longer than the two to three months required for Medicaid.
Keep in mind that you aren’t eligible to receive both VA benefits and Medicaid at the same time, so prioritize which benefit you’d like to receive if you’re eligible for both.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Another option is to apply for long-term care insurance through a private insurance provider. Your annual premiums might reach $2,500 or more, which is considerable for those seeking assisted living care after retirement. However, you’ll see some reduction in your overall residential costs, especially if you are not eligible for Medicaid and you are unable to receive other benefits.
Alternative Financial Assistance Sources
Apart from the financial assistance listed above, you can reach out to organizations that help connect you with alternate funding sources.
Here are two tools you can use to search for other financial assistance for assisted living:
These tools may be able to help you find local organizations or financial aid sources in Florida or nationwide.
Assisted Living at The Cabana at Jensen Dunes
As an assisted living community with a focus on holistic wellness, we take great strides to ensure our residents have a supportive lifestyle for an affordable price. The Cabana at Jensen Dunes provides all-inclusive assisted living starting at just $3,975 per month. That cost includes everything you need such as housing, dining, amenities and more.
Our monthly events calendar and enriching programs ensure your days will be full of enjoyable activities. Plus, we don’t require a large upfront entrance fee like other communities, most notably continuing care retirement communities. The Cabana at Jensen Dunes requires just a small community fee, which means you’ll be able to start your life at The Cabana on sure financial footing.
Contact us to learn more or see for yourself what The Cabana at Jensen Dunes can do for your assisted living needs.