California Elder Care Costs for 2016

California Assisted Living Costs:

The average cost of assisted living in California in 2016 is $4,000 / month. In the most expensive areas of the state; Marin County, which includes the San Francisco area, San Mateo, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Cruz, the monthly cost ranges from $4,800 – $5,900. The least expensive assisted living can be found inland, in the cities of Madera, Merced, Stockton and Modesto. In these areas, the monthly cost is closer to $3,000.

Alzheimer’s residential care, also called Memory Care, can add as much as $1,100 to the monthly cost of assisted living.

California Home Care Costs:

The average hourly rate for home care across California is $23. The least expensive areas of the state for home care are Chico, Stockton, Vallejo, and Riverside where the cost is closer to $17 / hour. In Napa, San Jose, and San Mateo, the cost is approximately $27 / hour.

California Adult Day Care Costs:

Adult day care is the most affordable care option for seniors. In 2016, the average daily cost is $77. In San Jose, Chico, and Santa Rosa, it is more expensive, ranging from $90 – $125 / day. The least expensive areas of the state for adult day care are Stockton, Vallejo, and Visalia. Los Angeles is also slightly below the state’s average daily cost at $73 / day.


CA Financial Assistance Programs

Medi-Cal Waivers for the Elderly

Medicaid in California is called Medi-Cal. It is a program for disabled and elderly individuals and persons with limited income and resources. Through Medi-Cal, some personal care and nursing home care is provided. In addition, 4 programs (or “waivers”), also referred to as Home and Community Based Services waivers, are available that provide assistance for home care, adult day care, home modifications, and assisted living, to help prevent nursing home placement.

1) In some areas of California, Medi-Cal offers the Assisted Living Waiver, which help individuals who are eligible for nursing home care, but would prefer to live in an assisted living community. Read about the Assisted Living Waiver eligibility, benefits and locations.

2) The Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP) Waiver helps nursing home eligible individuals that prefer to stay in their homes. It covers care management and supportive services, but doesn’t pay for medical care. This program unfortunately is not available in every county of California. Read about Medi-Cal MSSP Waiver eligibility requirements and benefits.

3) The Medi-Cal Nursing Facility / Acute Hospital (NF/AH) Waiver is a combination of several former waivers that helps nursing home eligible individuals receive care services, including medical care in their homes. This program also offers assistance to individuals currently residing in a nursing facility who wish to move back to their home. Read about NF/AH Waiver eligibility and benefits.

4) Medi-Cal’s Adult Day Health Care program has transitioned into the newly created Community Based Adult Services (CBAS) program. This program provides daytime care, meals, social activities, therapies, and skilled nursing. Functional needs must be met.

In order to qualify for the state Medicaid plan or one of the waivers, Medi-Cal has both income and asset qualifications. These limits depend on one’s age and marital status. As of 2016, a single elderly individual’s monthly income cannot exceed approximately $1,220 or $1,645 as a couple. An individual can qualify for Medi-Cal if the total value of their assets does not exceed $2,000, and for a couple, $3,000. One’s home and vehicle are not included in the asset calculation.

Persons with income and assets over these limits can still become eligible for Medi-Cal assistance. Individuals whose income exceeds the limit, but have high medical expenses may qualify through a Medi-Cal spenddown program called Share of Cost. Persons with assets valued over the limit might become eligible by working with a Medi-Cal planner to structure their resources appropriately. If there is some question regarding qualification, it is strongly recommended individuals contact a Medi-Cal Planner prior to application.

State (Non-Medicaid) Assistance Programs

California also offers assistance programs for the elderly that do not require an individual to qualify for Medicaid (Medi-Cal). Unfortunately, as of 2012, the budget for Alzheimer’s Day Care Resource Centers (ADCRC) was cut by the state. However, some Area Agency on Aging officesmay have funding to assist with the cost of adult day care.

The In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program is open to both Medicaid eligible and non-eligible persons and provides a variety of personal care supports to participants in their homes. This includes assistance with bathing, eating, dressing, meal preparation, housekeeping, and transportation assistance. This program allows individuals to choose the provider of their choosing, including family members. Read more about California IHSS eligibility and benefits

Another option for working families caring for a loved one is California Paid Family Leave. This program provides paid time off for working professionals, specifically to care for a family member.

Other Financial Options for Care

In addition to these state specific options that help pay for care, there are many non-profit and federal options. Use our Resource Locator Toolto find other programs that help pay for or reduce the cost of care.   There are also programs that help veterans with assisted living and there are eldercare loans available in California.

While reverse mortgages are available nationwide, California’s real estate values have resulted in two unique financial products which are alternatives to reverse mortgages and can be used to pay for elder care.  These are Rex Agreements and Equity Key. Unfortunately, as of March 2016, Equity Key was no longer taking applications. It currently is undetermined when they will begin accepting applications again.

Connie’s comments: Call 408-854-1883 for the most affordable senior care with live in caregivers for homebound bay area seniors.

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