Page Reviewed / Updated - June 11, 2019
This guide is intended to highlight the various types of residential care seniors in Laguna Niguel can choose from and financial assistance available to help pay for them. Local programs and organizations that help seniors afford various aspects of senior living in Laguna Niguel are also included at the end of this guide. For more information about senior living in the region, please read our comprehensive online guide to paying for senior care in California.
Prices for senior living in Laguna Niguel are consistently lower than the cost for equivalent care in the state of California, according to the 2018 Genworth Cost of Care Survey. In some areas, the difference in cost between Laguna Niguel and the state can be dramatic. Assisted living, for example, costs an average of $3,500 a month in Laguna Niguel but $4,500 a month in California on average. Costs are closer in some other areas. Adult day care, for instance, costs an average of $1,668 in Laguna Niguel but $1,679 in the rest of the state.
Note: Senior care cost data wasn’t available for Laguna Niguel, so the data for the closest city, Riverside, was used.
Assisted living in Laguna Niguel averages $3,500 a month. Seniors elsewhere in California are likely to pay an average of $4,500 a month for the same level of care. Many cities in the state, such as Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego, match the California average for assisted living prices, while only a few communities come close to Laguna Niguel for cost. One of these is Stockton, which also averages $3,500 a month, while Bakersfield reports the lowest cost among surveyed cities at just $3,150 a month for assisted living.
At the very high end of California cities, San Francisco averages $5,500 a month for assisted living or $2,000 more per month than Laguna Niguel.
Home care costs in Laguna Niguel are a few hundred dollars lower each month than the California average. Costs here average $4,481 a month, while the state average runs to nearly $500 a month more, at $4,957. San Francisco has some of the highest costs, at $5,625 a month, while some of the lowest costs in the state can be found in Bakersfield, where home care averages $4,385. Chico is not far behind Bakersfield, at just $4,433 a month.
Adult day care in Laguna Niguel costs an average of $1,668 a month. This is very close to the average seniors pay across the rest of the state, which is $1,679. The city of Stockton matches California at this price point, while Sacramento, San Francisco and San Diego all average a mid-range cost of $1,733 a month. The northern Central Valley city of Chico has some of the highest costs in the state, at $2,134 a month, while adult day care is the least expensive in Los Angeles, where seniors pay an average of $1,565.
Nursing home costs in Laguna Niguel average $7,559 a month. This is significantly lower than the average cost of nursing home care in California, which runs to $8,365 a month for a semi-private room. San Francisco reports some of the highest nursing care costs in the state, at $9,148 a month, while Laguna Niguel's price is close to the lower end of costs among surveyed cities. Bakersfield, for example, is very close to Laguna Niguel's cost for nursing care, at $7,513 for a semi-private room in residential nursing care.
Seniors in Laguna Niguel who need help paying for the costs of senior care may be able to use the state's Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal. This is an entitlement program, which means seniors who meet the program's intake criteria can apply for and receive benefits immediately, rather than facing waiting lists or annual enrollment caps. Seniors can apply for Medi-Cal benefits through an Orange County Human Services office, in person or by mail, or online at the Covered California website.
Medi-Cal imposes eligibility requirements on new applicants. Seniors in Laguna Niguel who need Medi-Cal must be U.S. citizens and residents of California, have some kind of medical need for insurance and meet strict income requirements to qualify for coverage. For single adults applying alone, the maximum allowable income from all sources is $16,395 a year, or 138% of the federal poverty line. Married couples applying together may earn up to 22,108 and still qualify for no-cost coverage. Each additional adult in the household raises the income threshold by another $5,741 a year, regardless of whether that household member is also applying for benefits. Seniors who earn more than these amounts may still qualify for Medi-Cal coverage, though applicants who earn up to 300% of the poverty line may be asked to accept an annual share of the cost before covered benefits kick in for them.
One way for seniors to fast-track their applications is to show prior acceptance into another state low-income program. These programs have many of the same income requirements as Medi-Cal, and so acceptance into any of them is accepted as evidence the senior already qualifies for Medi-Cal. This can speed up approval decisions and get seniors covered more quickly than normal. Compatible low-income programs Medi-Cal accepts include:
Medi-Cal plans vary between providers, and several providers offer more than one Medi-Cal-backed plan for seniors in Laguna Niguel to choose from. While only a certified senior adviser or Medi-Cal intake worker can provide definitive answers about coverage, all Medi-Cal plans in the state offer some basics. These include:
Assisted Living Waiver Program (ALWP)
Laguna Niguel seniors who qualify for Medi-Cal may be able to get some of the cost of assisted living covered through the state's Assisted Living Waiver Program (ALWP). This waiver pays the monthly cost of assisted living for seniors who might otherwise qualify for placement in a skilled nursing facility, but who are willing to waive that in favor of remaining in assisted living. Eligible seniors in 15 counties, including Orange County, can apply for an ALWP waiver through the benefits specialist at a participating assisted living facility, or through their own Medi-Cal case worker.
Multipurpose Senior Services Waiver
Seniors who qualify for help paying for assisted living can stay in their own homes with the support of California's Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP) waiver. This program pays for many of the services Laguna Niguel seniors need to safely remain in their own homes, or in the homes of family or other loved ones. Benefits covered by the MSSP waiver include:
Home and Community-Based Alternatives (HCBA) Waiver
Seniors in Laguna Niguel who are moving out of residential care and back into their own homes, or the homes of their relatives or friends, may qualify for assistance through the Home and Community-Based Alternatives (HCBA) waiver. This waiver pays for many of the miscellaneous expenses seniors can struggle with during the expense and effort of a move home. Applications for an HCBA waiver can go through a Medi-Cal case worker, or they may be submitted by a benefits specialist at the residential care facility the senior is leaving as part of the discharge process.
Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS)
Seniors in Laguna Niguel who would like to remain in their own homes may be able to get direct community support through the Community Based Adult Services (CBAS) waiver program. This program seeks to plug many of the gaps left by other waiver programs. After approval from a Medi-Cal case worker, seniors can use the CBAS waiver to arrange:
In-Home Support Services (IHSS)
Caregiver support is delivered through Medi-Cal's In-Home Support Services (IHSS) program. This program issues bi-weekly payments to caregivers who assist seniors living on their own. Caregivers' hours are reported by the seniors, who must verify they've received the services paid for. Caregivers can be anyone the senior chooses; including spouses, family members and personal friends. Seniors applying for IHSS can go through their Medi-Cal caseworker, while caregivers must sign up at the program's website and attend a single training session.
Paid Family Leave Act (PFLA)
Currently employed workers in California may be able to get up to six weeks of pay to look after a senior relative through the state's Paid Family Leave Act. The PFLA operates as a fund that workers pay into from their payroll withholding deductions, which can then be paid back as a bi-weekly check while they stay home to care for relatives with a pressing medical need. Proof of medical need and the immediacy of the family relationship must be provided at the time of application, and applicants may have to pass a telephone interview with an intake worker at the Employment Development Department. Payment amounts are set according to how much the applicants' regular pay has been over a three-year look-back period, though there is a cap on the maximum amount paid per check. Funds operate just like a regular paycheck and can be spent without restrictions.
|Orange County Housing Authority (OC Housing)||(855) 886-5400||OC Housing administers several programs to assist Laguna Niguel seniors in finding affordable housing, including the federal Housing Choice Voucher Program, also known as Section 8. OC Housing also operates public housing units in the Laguna Niguel area. Seniors may apply for a place on the waiting list by phone or in person at an OC Housing office.|
|California Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)||(866) 675-6623||Seniors in Laguna Niguel can get up to half off of the cost of their home energy and utility bills through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The program can also offer one-time emergency assistance paying down an overdue or disconnected energy bill. LIHEAP income restrictions are similar to those used by Medi-Cal, and applications can go through the Orange County Center for Employment Training on Vine St. in Huntington Beach. Local utility providers can also take applications by mail.|
|Age Well Senior Services||(949) 855-8033||Age Well offers volunteer-based senior services to seniors in Laguna Niguel. Services include meal delivery at home, free transportation to and from medical appointments and in-home caregiver support. Applications to join Age Well's community of seniors can be taken by phone or in person at the center's office.|
|Senior Health Outreach & Prevention Program (SHOPP)||(714) 834-7759||SHOPP provides in-home nursing care for seniors in Laguna Niguel. Priority goes to uninsured and low-income local seniors who cannot make it to medical offices. Applications are accepted by phone.|