How to Pay for Assisted Living

Close-up of a pink piggy bank sitting on a table with an older woman out of focus in the background, using a laptop and a calculator.

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Assisted living is a great option for older adults who need help with daily tasks but still want to maintain their independence. However, the cost of assisted living can be a burden for some families. 

In fact, according to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of assisted living in the United States is $4,500 per month. This can be a financial hurdle for many families. 

There are various options for paying for assisted living, including financial services specific to older adults, companion living, medical tax deductions, private pay, long-term care insurance, Medicaid, veterans benefits, a reverse mortgage, and financial assistance from local organizations.

At Juniper Village at Lincoln Heights, we partner with a variety of service providers to offer financial solutions for older adults interested in joining our community.

Senior Living Financial Services

Senior Living Financial Services offers adaptable, transparent and user-friendly financial  options to help families cover the cost of assisted living.

If you’re looking for long-term care insurance or rent assistance while waiting for your benefits to kick in or you’re selling your home, Senior Living Financial Services could be just what you need. If you have questions about Senior Living Financial Services coverage, reach out to the team at Juniper Village, they’d be happy to set you up with a personal financial advisor.

Companion Living

Juniper Village’s companion suites are an affordable option for those who want to join a vibrant community. 2 individuals can share the cost, making it more wallet-friendly. And the best part is that you don’t have to give up any of Juniper Village’s awesome perks, programs, or services. It’s a win-win for couples, friends, and even for those who want to forge new tight-knit friendships.

Medical Tax Deductions 

As long as you’re joining a community primarily for medical care, the IRS allows you to deduct medical expenses, including costs for staying in a personal care or assisted living community. An example of this would be if a loved one needed significant help with at least 2 daily activities, like eating, bathing, or dressing. 

Family members can also help cover residential long-term care costs and make use of the IRS gift tax exemption. Keep in mind that while the IRS annual gift exclusion might seem like a good way to transfer assets and qualify for Medicaid, it doesn’t provide any exemption from the Medicaid lookback period. So, if you or your spouse made a gift within the last 5 years, it could affect your Medicaid eligibility. If you’re considering this, it’s a good idea to discuss your options with a tax professional beforehand.

Private Pay

Private pay means that individuals or their families pay the full cost of assisted living out-of-pocket. This is a common method of payment in many communities. Some families choose to pay privately for assisted living if their loved one has substantial retirement savings or if they are able to sell their home to cover the costs. 

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance is specifically designed to cover costs associated with long-term care, such as assisted living and home health care. Policies vary in coverage, benefits, and cost, but generally, long-term care insurance can cover services such as assistance with daily tasks, rental fees, and medical care.

Veterans Benefits

If you are a veteran, or if you’re the surviving partner of a vet, you could be eligible for some financial help. You could receive up to $1,800 each month to assist with daily activities or any needed medical care, including the cost of an assisted living community

This program is part of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) called Aid and Attendance, which provides monetary assistance to veterans and their spouses who require assistance. However, applicants must meet certain eligibility criteria.

Reverse Mortgage

A reverse mortgage is a loan that allows homeowners over the age of 62 to convert a portion of their home’s equity into cash. This cash can be used to pay for assisted living. However, it’s important to note that the loan must be repaid at some point. Additionally, this option may not be ideal for those who wish to pass the property to their family members as an inheritance.


Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that covers health costs for low-income individuals and families. Medicaid can help cover the cost of assisted living for eligible older adults, but not all assisted living communities accept Medicaid payments. Eligibility varies by state, so it’s important to research the Medicaid eligibility requirements for your state.

Financial Assistance from Local Organizations

Finally, it’s worth checking with local organizations to see if they offer financial assistance or scholarships for older adults who could benefit from assisted living but may not be able to afford it. Some nonprofit organizations may provide financial aid or help you find ways to reduce the cost of care.

5 seniors sitting on a couch, smiling and laughing

Flexible Financial Options for Assisted Living

Assisted living can provide older adults with an opportunity to live more fulfilling, vibrant lives with help available when they need it. 

While the cost of assisted living can seem overwhelming, there are many options available to help families pay for it. From long-term care insurance to companion living, families can explore a variety of options to determine the best fit for their needs. It’s never too early to plan for the future, and taking the time to research payment options and alternatives can make it a more feasible option for families. At Juniper Village at Lincoln Heights, we not only provide a lively, enriching community for older adults but also a number of financial references and solutions. Give us a call or reach out to us online to talk about your options!

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