Page Reviewed / Updated - May 2014
The goal of this webpage is to help Texas 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 Texas in 2014 is $3,523 / month. The areas of Texas with the most expensive assisted living include Austin, Dallas-Ft Worth and Victoria where the monthly cost averages between $4,000 - $4,500. The most affordable assisted living in the state can be found in Corpus Christi, El Paso, Laredo and Texarkana where it ranges from $2,200 - $2,800 / month.
Memory Care, also referred to as Alzheimer's residential care adds as much as $1,000 to the monthly cost of assisted living.
The average hourly rate for home care across Texas is $18. Abilene, Killeen, Brownsville, Laredo and El Paso have the most affordable home care where the hourly cost is between $15 - $16. San Antonio, Houston and Odessa are the most costly areas at $20 - $21 / hour.
Texas continues to have one of the least expensive averages daily rates for adult day care in the nation. In 2014, the daily cost averaged just $35. Austin, Houston, Dallas and Midland are the most expensive areas in Texas for adult day care. In these areas the costs ranges from $50 - $60 / day; still well below the national average. The most affordable adult day care can be found in Laredo, Brownsville and El Paso at $20 - $30 / day.
The State of Texas offers four programs that provide assistance to elderly individuals that are not Medicaid qualified. These are:
1) Community Care for Aged/Disabled (CCAD) - this program provides non-medical services and support to nursing home eligible individuals who choose to reside at home instead. Read more about CCAD eligibility and benefits.
2) Community Attendant Services (CAS) - this program provides attendant services or non-medical personal care to individuals in their homes. Learn more about CAS eligibility and benefits.
3) DADS Services to Assist Independent Living (SAIL) - this program's goal is to help seniors live independently and to that end it provides support for home modifications, home medical equipment and home-based services. Read about the SAIL Program eligibility and benefits.
4) In-Home and Family Support Grants (IHFS) - this program provides physically disabled individuals with direct financial assistance to be used towards independent living. Learn about Texas' IHFS Grant qualifications.
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.
To qualify for Medicaid in Texas, elderly individuals must have limited financial resources and income. The monthly income for 2014 for an individual cannot exceed $2,163 / month and for a couple, it cannot exceed $4,326 / month. The asset limit is $2,000 for individuals or $3,000 for couples, however some Medicaid programs have extended those limits to $5,000 and $6,000 for an individual and couple, respectively. 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 Medicaid in Texas. By working with a Medicaid planning professional, monthly income in excess of the limit can be allocated to income trusts. 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.
Texas offers 4 Medicaid programs and waivers which are relevant to the elderly for long term care.
1) The Community Based Alternatives Waiver (CBA) - This program pays for nursing home eligible individuals to receive care at home on in assisted living. Learn more about the CBA Waiver's eligibility requirements and benefits.
2) The STAR Plus Waiver - This waiver is very similar to the CBA Waiver however it is offered in different areas of the state. Read about the STAR Plus eligibility, benefits and locations.
3) Primary Home Care - Texas' Medicaid entitlement program, meaning anyone who qualifies can automatically receive benefits instead of being put on a waiting list for services. Read about Primary Home Care eligibility requirements and benefits.
4) Day Activity and Health Services (DAHS) - this program pays for adult day care for qualified individuals, allowing families to have a loved one remain living at home but receive full-time care during normal business hours. Learn more about DAHS program.
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 Texas.
To help families find affordable care in Texas, we've partnered with several organizations that maintain databases of care providers. These organizations all provide free services that match an individual's specific care needs with care providers in their preferred geographic area. Click here to find affordable care.