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Cost of Assisted Living in Costa Mesa, California

Page Reviewed / Updated - May 30, 2019

This guide contains detailed information regarding the cost of senior care in Costa Mesa, California. It also provides seniors and their families with helpful information about the resources and financial aid programs that are available to seniors living in the area who need help paying for the cost of long-term care. For more information about financial assistance programs throughout the state, visit our guide to paying for senior care in California.

The Cost of Senior Living and Care in Costa Mesa

According to the 2018 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the price of senior care in Costa Mesa is reasonable when compared with the rest of the state. Assisted living is on par with the state average while both home care and adult day care costs are below the state averages by $100 to $200, and the cost of nursing home care is $761 less than the state average.

Note: Specific senior care cost data isn't available for Costa Mesa. Data for the nearest major city, Los Angeles, has been used instead. 

How much does Assisted Living Cost in Costa Mesa?

Assisted living in Costa Mesa costs an average of $4,500 per month, which is aligned with the state's average cost. Less expensive care is available in a number of major cities including Fresno and Riverside, both of which have an average cost of $3,500 per month. The highest prices are located in San Francisco and San Jose, both of which average $5,500 per month.

How much does Home Care Cost in Costa Mesa?

Costa Mesa's home care costs are mid-range when compared with other cities throughout the state. At an average cost of $4,767 per month, the city's costs are just below the state average of $4,957 and on par with the cost in both Sacramento and San Diego. Both San Francisco and San Jose have home care costs that are nearly $1,000 higher than in Costa Mesa while the least expensive home care costs are in Chico at an average of $4,433 per month.

How much does Adult Day Care Cost in Costa Mesa?

Adult day care costs in Costa Mesa are the lowest in California at an average of $1,565 per month. While the state's average is just a bit higher at $1,679 per month, some cities are priced considerably higher including Chico, where adult day care costs are the highest in the state at an average of $2,134 per month and San Jose, where costs are the second highest at $1,993 per month. 

How much does Nursing Home Costs in Costa Mesa?

Nursing home care is typically the most expensive type of senior care. In Costa Mesa, it costs an average of $7,604 per month which is about $750 below the state average. While nursing home care is slightly less expensive in Fresno at $7,559 per month, the cost in Costa Mesa is among the lowest in the state. In San Francisco, nursing home care is more than $1,500 more expensive than in Costa Mesa at $9,125 per month, which is the highest price in California. 

Financial Assistance Programs in Costa Mesa

Medicaid Program in Costa Mesa

In California, Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid plan, helps low-income residents of California by paying for their medical bills and other healthcare expenses. Some of the services the state plan covers include primary and dental care, inpatient and outpatient hospital services, psychiatric consultation, prescription medications and in some cases, nursing home care and home health services. In order to have the cost of long-term care covered under the state plan, beneficiaries must meet certain requirements for which they are required to undergo a complete care assessment to determine their level of need. 

To qualify for the Medi-Cal state plan as a senior citizen, applicants are required to be at least 65 years of age and meet the following financial requirements: 

  • Individual applicants may not have an income that exceeds $1,242 per month and no more than $2,000 in countable assets
  • Married applicants applying together may not have an income that exceeds $1,682 per month and no more than $3,000 in countable assets

Exclusions from asset limitations include the applicant's home, provided they or their spouse continue to live in it, as well as their personal belongings and a single vehicle. 

In California, there is a Medicaid spend-down program in place to allow residents with exceptionally high medical bills to apply for coverage, even when their gross income doesn't fall within the Medi-Cal eligibility guidelines. Using the spend-down program, applicants are able to pay for their medical bills before they declare their income to Medi-Cal in order to meet the financial requirements of the plan. The process of applying using the spend-down program is complicated, though, so when opting to do this it's best to work with a professional Medicaid planner. 

The state Medi-Cal plan is an entitlement program, which means that all applicants who meet the plan's eligibility requirements are approved to participate. Seniors living in the Costa Mesa area can apply for benefits online at Covered California or by contacting their nearest Department of Public Social Services office at (866) 613-3777.

Medicaid Waivers in Costa Mesa

Home & Community-Based Alternatives Waiver

The Home and Community-Based Alternatives waiver helps seniors and disabled individuals to pay for temporary nursing care and transition back into their community when they're able to. In addition to paying for nursing care and transition services, the program covers the cost of short-term home care services, minor home modifications and personal emergency response systems. 

To qualify for the Home and Community-Based alternatives waiver, applicants must be residents of California and they must reside in a nursing facility or hospital when they apply. Applicants must also be financially eligible for the Medi-Cal state plan. This program is capped at 5,000 participants, which means that wait times to participate can be long at times. 

Seniors can access the application for this program online and submit it via fax at (213) 620-4448 or by mailing it to:

Integrated Systems of Care Division
HCBS Programs Eligibility/Intake Unit
311 South Spring Street, Suite 800 
Los Angeles, CA 90013

More information can be found here.

Assisted Living Waiver

The Assisted Living Waiver covers the cost of skilled nursing services for seniors who live in assisted living facilities yet require a nursing level of care. The Assisted Living waiver also covers the cost of non-emergency transportation, counseling services and transitional services for those who are moving into an assisted living community after residing in a nursing care facility. 

This waiver is only open to seniors aged 65 and older or disabled persons aged 21 and older. All applicants are required to be fully eligible for Medi-Cal's state plan and capable of living safely in an assisted living facility as an alternative to receiving nursing home care. This program is limited and only open to a small number of participants; therefore, there is usually a waitlist to receive benefits. 

To apply, seniors can call the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services at (866) 613-3777. More information can be found here

Multipurpose Senior Services Program

The Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP) was created to help senior citizens delay or avoid the need to move into a nursing care facility. The program provides a variety of services that are meant to help seniors increase their independence such as personal care, homemaker services, meal preparation and delivery, adult day care, cash management and respite care. 

To qualify for this program, applicants must be at least 65 years of age and they may not be participating in any other waiver programs. They must also be financially eligible for the state Medi-Cal plan and require a nursing level of care, yet be able to safely reside in their community. This program only accepts 12,000 beneficiaries at once; therefore, there is usually a wait list to participate.

To apply, seniors living in Costa Mesa can call the California Department of Aging at (800) 510-2020. 

More information can be found here

Community-Based Adult Services

Community-Based Adult Services is a waiver program that helps senior citizens and those with disabilities access necessary services such as personal care, nursing care, physical therapy and mental health services. Like the MSSP, this program exists to help its participants delay the need for institutionalization by providing services that focus on preserving their independence. 

This waiver is available to low-income adults aged 18 or older who are living with a severe cognitive impairment. They must require assistance with at least two activities of daily living and be financially eligible for the state Medi-Cal plan. Most of the seniors who participate in this program are living with dementia-related disorders such as Alzheimer's Disease or Huntington's Disease. This program does not have a participation cap and allows all eligible Medi-Cal beneficiaries who require these services to participate.

To apply, seniors can call the California Department of Aging at (800) 510-2020. 

More information can be found here.

Other Financial Assistance Programs in Costa Mesa

Optional State Supplement

The optional state supplement in California is a cash benefit that's offered to low-income residents who are aged 65 or older or who are living with disabilities. The benefit is combined with the recipient's federal Supplemental Security Income payment each month. While the amount of the payment is determined by the recipient's income and living arrangements, individual beneficiaries may receive a combined payment of up to $931.72 per month.

To be eligible for this benefit, applicants must have little to no income and be blind, disabled or 65 years of age or older. Resource limitations stipulate that individual applicants may not possess more than $2,000 in countable assets, while married couples are limited to a maximum of $3,000 in countable assets. 

To apply, seniors can contact the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213.

More information can be found here.

In-Home Supportive Services

In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) administered by the California Department of Social Services. It's a program that aims to provide services to aged, blind and disabled individuals that help them to live in their homes independently. Some of the services provided by this program include personal care, homemaker services, home health care and protective supervision. Seniors who are capable are asked to direct their own care, which means they are responsible for hiring, training and supervising their own caregivers.

To qualify for IHSS, applicants must reside in their own home or the home of a family member in the state of California. This program does not cover the cost of care in long-term care facilities or community care facilities. While this is a non-Medicaid plan, applicants are required to be financially eligible for Medi-Cal coverage. Prior to approval, all applicants must meet with a social worker to determine their level of need and complete a Health Care Certification form that must be submitted to the Los Angeles County Department of Social Services office. 

To apply, seniors living in Costa Mesa can call the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services at (866) 613-3777.

California Paid Family Leave

The California Paid Family Leave program helps family members of seniors and ailing individuals to care for their loved ones in their home. Under this program, caregivers are permitted to take up to six weeks off work to care for their family member while the state compensates them with up to 70% of their total current income. However, this program doesn't legally require caregivers' employers to hold their job for them.

To qualify for compensation, caregivers must be providing care to a family member who is suffering from an ailment that requires full-time personal assistance or a nursing level of care as determined by a physician. In order to receive benefits, the caregiver is also required to take leave from their job.

To receive these benefits, family members can file a claim online

More information can be found here.

More Senior Living Resources in Costa Mesa


Phone Number


Costa Mesa Housing and Community Development (714) 754-5000

The Costa Mesa HCD operates a variety of programs including affordable housing projects and home loan programs that can help low-income seniors who own their own home to pay for the cost of home improvements. 
Mercy House (714) 836-7188

Mercy House is a nonprofit organization that operates throughout Orange County. It offers several assistance programs including permanent housing assistance and emergency shelters.
Orange County Housing Choice Voucher Program  (855) 886-5400

The Orange County Housing Authority operates and administers the Housing Choice Voucher program, which subsidizes the cost of rent for low-income families and individuals so that they are able to access safe and sanitary housing. 
Community Action Partnership of Orange County (CAPOC)  (714) 897-6670

The CAPOC helps low-income families and individuals to pay their utility bills in times of crisis. It also educates consumers on energy conservation and helps them to reduce energy bills by assisting them to make minor adjustments to their homes and energy usage.
Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)  (845) 291-2002

HEAP is funded by the federal government. It assists low-income households in times of need to pay their utility bills.