Financial Assistance, Costs and Payment Options for Eldercare in Florida

Page Reviewed / Updated - May 2015

This webpage is intended to help Florida residents understand the cost of assisted living, home care and adult day care throughout the state as well as the wide range in pricing.  It also explores the payment options and financial assistance programs available to assist in caring for the elderly, be that in residential care or for aging in place at home.

 The programs outlined here are comprehensive of what is available from the state of Florida but not of what is available nationally. Search for assistance nationwide, using our Resource Locator Tool.

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Florida Elder Care Costs

Assisted Living
The average cost of assisted living in Florida in 2015 is $3,150 per month. The most affordable areas of the state for assisted living are Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Panama City, Tampa and Winter Haven. In these regions the monthly cost ranges from $2,500 - $3,000. The most expensive assisted living in Florida is found in and around Tallahassee, Jacksonville and Naples where the monthly costs range from $4,200 - $4,600.
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.

Home Care

In Florida, the hourly rate for home care is, on average, $18 per hour. The most affordable home care is found in the areas of Pensacola, Panama City, Kissimmee and Pompano where it averages $17 - $18 / hour. The areas of the state with the highest home care costs include Fort Myers, Daytona Beach, Sarasota, Naples and Marco Island where the cost is between $21 - $23 / hour.

Adult Day Care

In Florida, the average daily rate paid for adult day care in 2015 is $65.  While this marks a considerable increase from over last year, adult day care is still far and away the most affordable type of senior care available.

The lowest cost adult day care can be found in Winter Haven, Sebring and Tallahassee where the daily rate is around $55. The highest priced adult day care is found in the areas around Cape Coral, Clearwater, Sarasota and Homosassa Springs where the costs range from $75 - $80 per day.


Florida Financial Assistance Programs

State Assistance Programs

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 Programs & Waivers

Medicaid is health insurance for low income and disabled individuals and seniors. Medicaid care was originally provided as institutional care only (nursing home care), but now is offered at home and in the "community" with the design of reducing nursing home placements. 

In 2014, Florida rolled out the Statewide Managed Medicare Care Long Term Care program which replaces all of the state's HCBS Medicaid Waivers.  Under SMMC-LTC, a broad range of care services and non-care support are provided to financially and medically eligible persons. 

Financially, Florida Medicaid considers both the income and assets / resources of applicants. For an individual applicant in 2015, monthly income cannot exceed $2,199.  A couple's income must be less than $4,398. 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.

 A Historic Note on Florida Medicaid   Prior to 2014, Florida offer home and community based services to the elderly through a collection of Medicaid waivers.  It is helpful to be aware of these programs, if only to know they are no longer relevant options.  Nearly all services offered under this waivers are now offered through the state's Medicaid managed care program.  The waivers were:
-Alzheimer’s Disease Waiver (ADW)
-Nursing Home Diversion (NHD) Waiver
-Aged and Disabled Adult Waiver
-Assisted Living for the Elderly (ALE)
-Consumer Directed Care Plus (CDC+) 


Other Financial Options for Care

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.


Finding Affordable Care

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.