Does Medicaid Pay for Assisted Living?

January 20, 2012

When I deliver the assisted living segment of my group presentations, the audience is often unaware that Medicaid offers a program that pays for assisted living. It is called the Supportive Living Program. Assisted living is the next highest level of care above independent living where the senior needs some help with his or her activities of daily living: bathing, dressing, walking, eating, transferring, and toileting. It is stand-by assistance not hands-on assistance. If a senior is paying privately for assisted living, the costs can range from approximately $3,800 to $6,000 a month. The Supportive Living Program is a wonderful alternative for low-income seniors who cannot pay privately for the assisted living level of care and are not yet ready for nursing home placement.

Here are the requirements for admission to supportive living:

  1. The senior must be at least 65 years old.
  2. He or she must submit to a determination of need screening for nursing home care.
  3. The prospective resident cannot have a primary or secondary diagnosis of mental illness. (This qualification is taken on a case-by-case basis. Many seniors are taking anti-depressants.)
  4. The senior needs to have a TB test that is negative.
  5. The prospect needs to receive at least $674 monthly in Social Security Income (SSI) if they are single and $1,011 if they are a couple. The resident is allowed to keep $90 per month for personal expenses, and the rest is applied toward his or her care.

Upon admission to a supportive living community, a senior would receive help with his or her activities of daily living as listed above. He or she would also receive meals, 24-hour security, assistance with laundry, housekeeping, maintenance, and medication oversight.

There are more than 100 operational Supportive Living Facilities (SLF) in Illinois. Even though these communities have received publicity in the media, people don't know the option exists. As with any other senior living community, the quality of care that is delivered will vary from home to home.

The Supportive Living Program is not appropriate for seniors who have more advanced stages of Alzheimer's because the appropriate programming is unavailable at these communities. However, supportive living was a perfect option for my client in the Real Life Story - Finding Long Term Care that Offers Medicaid Supportive Living Program.

Contact Andrea Donovan if you'd like assistance finding a facility that offers the Medicaid Supportive Living Program.

Andrea Donovan Senior Living Advisors
361 Nuttall Road
Riverside, IL 60546
708-442-7174
708-415-2934 (cell)
andrea_donovansla@yahoo.com