Page Reviewed / Updated - May 2014
The goal of this webpage is to help Florida residents understand long term care costs in the state including assisted living, in-home, Alzheimer's and adult day care. It is also to make them aware of the financial assistance programs that help pay for care and options that can reduce the cost of care, prescription drugs and home medical equipment.
The average cost of assisted living in Florida in 2014 is $3,000 per month. The most affordable areas of the state for assisted living are Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Panama City, Tampa, Jacksonville and Palm Coast. In these regions the monthly cost ranges from $2,400 - $2,800. The most expensive assisted living is found in Tallahassee and Naples where the monthly costs range from $4,400 - $4,700.
Typically assisted living for Alzheimer's patients costs extra. On average, Florida assisted living communities will charge an additional $1,100 / month for Alzheimer's / memory care.
In Florida, the hourly rate for home care is, on average, $18 per hour. The most affordable home care is found in Pensacola, Panama City and Pompano where it averages $17 / hour. The areas of the state with the highest home care costs include Fort Myers, Daytona Beach, Sarasota and Marco Island where the cost is between $21 - $23 / hour.
The most affordable type of senior care is adult day care. In Florida, the average daily rate paid for adult day care in 2014 is $60. The lowest cost adult day care can be found in Winter Haven, Palm Bay and Tallahassee where the daily rate is around $55. The highest priced adult day care is found Cape Coral, Clearwater, Sarasota and Ocala where the costs range from $70 - $88 per day.
Florida offers 6 programs for non-Medicaid eligible seniors that provides services, supports or financial assistance for eldercare.
1) The Optional State Supplement (OSS) is a financial grant for low income individuals that live in residential care, be that a family group home or assisted living residence. Read more about Florida's OSS eligibility and limits.
2) Project R.E.L.I.E.F. or Respite for Elders Living in Everyday Families is a free respite care program. Click here for Project R.E.L.I.E.F locations and eligibility information.
3) Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative (ADI) provides a variety of supports for Alzheimer's patients and their families and caregivers. Read more about the ADI program.
4) Community Care for the Elderly (CCE) is designed for individuals at risk for nursing home placement but not qualified for Medicaid. Learn about CCE eligibility and benefits.
5) Home Care for the Elderly (HCE) program is unique in that it is designed to support caregivers instead of care recipients. It provides direct financial assistance. Learn more about the HCE program qualifications and grant amounts.
6) Local Services are a mix of services which vary depending on the area of the state but can include home care, support and adult day care. Learn more.
Medicaid is health insurance for low income and disabled individuals and seniors. Medicaid care was originally provided as institutional care, now Medicaid waivers allow for individuals to receive Medicaid care outside of nursing home residences.
In Florida, Medicaid has both income and asset / resource limits. For an individual, monthly income cannot exceed $2,163 and a couple's income must be less than $4,326 in 2014. Assets, which do not include a home or primary vehicle, must be valued at less than $2,000 or $3,000 for an individual and couple, respectively. Note that if one spouse is entering a nursing home, the other spouse is allowed to hold assets greater than that amount.
It is also important to note that persons with incomes and resources over these limits can still become eligible for Medicaid in Florida. Working with a Medicaid planning professional, monthly income in excess of the limit can be allocated to income trusts and some financial assets in excess of the limit can be converted into exempt assets. For individuals that are near the financial limits, it is strongly recommended they consult with a Medicaid planning professional prior to application to ensure the best possibility of acceptance into Medicaid.
In 2014, Florida rolled out the Statewide Managed Medicare Care Long Term Care program which replaces all of the state's HCBS Medicaid Waivers. More information is available here.
For historic purposes, the 5 different Medicaid Waivers relevant to the elderly which have been replaced are:
1) The Alzheimer’s Disease Waiver (ADW) which provided service, supports and prescription assistance to help individuals with Alzheimer's to remain living at home or in the community. Learn more about Florida ADW requirements and services.
2) The Nursing Home Diversion (NHD) Waiver which was designed to prevent or delay the institutionalization of individuals by providing supports at home or in assisted living. This waiver is not available statewide. Learn about the NHD Waiver qualifications and locations.
3) The Aged and Disabled Adult Waiver was very similar to the NHD waiver though available statewide, it helped eligible individuals remain living at home. Learn more about Aged and Disabled Waiver requirements and benefits.
4) The Assisted Living for the Elderly (ALE) Waiver provided financial assistance to pay for assisted living for individuals that require significant assistance with the activities of daily living. Read more about the ALE Waiver benefits and qualifications.
5) The Consumer Directed Care Plus (CDC+) Waiver was a program that allowed individuals to select their care providers. Amongst the persons that could be hired as paid caregivers were certain family members. Learn more about CDC+ Waiver, eligible caregivers and payments.
In addition to the state specific options that help pay for care, there are many non-profit and federal options. Use our Resource Locator Tool to 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 Florida.
To help families find affordable care in Florida, we've partnered with several organizations that maintain databases of care providers. Through these partnerships we are able to provide free services that match an individual's specific care needs with affordable care providers in their preferred geographic area. Click here to get started.