Page Reviewed / Updated - May 2015
This webpage will help Texans understand assisted living, home care and adult day care costs throughout the state. 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.
Cost of Care Calculator
The average cost of assisted living in Texas in 2015 is $3,545 / month. The areas of Texas with the most expensive assisted living include Amarillo, Austin, Dallas-Ft Worth and Midland 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 $2,000 - $2,500 / month.
Memory Care, also referred to as Alzheimer's residential care adds as much as $1,200 to the monthly cost of assisted living.
The average hourly rate for home care across Texas is $19. Brownsville, Laredo, San Angelo, Wichita Falls and El Paso have the most affordable home care where the hourly cost is between $15 - $16. San Antonio, Houston, Round Rock and Odessa are the most costly areas at $20 - $22 / hour.
Texas continues to have one of the least expensive averages daily rates for adult day care in the nation. The daily cost averages just $35 and this did not increase at all from 2014. Austin, Odessa, Dallas and Midland are the most expensive areas in Texas for adult day care and even in these areas, the cost ranges from $60 - $69 / day; still well below the national average. The most affordable adult day care can be found in Laredo, McAllen, 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 2015 for an individual cannot exceed $2,199 / month and for a couple, it cannot exceed $4,398 / 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. Read more.
In 2015, Texas made sweeping changes to its Medicaid programs for the elderly. The STAR Plus Waiver, which has been rolling out county by county over the past few years is now available statewide. This program provides a range of services to the elderly to help them remain living in their homes or in assisted living communities. Read more about STAR Plus.
With the statewide rollout of STAR Plus, three other Texas Medicaid programs have been discontinued. These include the Community Based Alternatives Waiver (CBA), Primary Home Care Program and Day Activity and Health Services (DAHS).
Coming this year is a new Medicaid entitlement program called Community First Choice. Also determined to be relevant to the elderly are the Home and Community-based Services (HCBS) Waiver, Community Living Assistance and Support Services (CLASS) and Texas Home Living. More will be written about each of these program in the coming months. In the meantime, one can learn more by downloading the DADS Reference Guide.
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.