Page Reviewed / Updated - October 19, 2020
This page serves to help residents of Connecticut better understand the costs associated with various forms of elder care throughout their state. This includes assisted living, in-home care, and adult day care. It also explores various financing options, as well as monetary aid to help with affordability of aging care.
To search for additional financial assistance at a national level, please use our Resource Locator Tool. This will help give a view of all assistance options, as opposed to just resources at the state level for Connecticut. It will allow you to choose the best program for your situation.
Cost of Care Calculator
According to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey 2019, the average cost of assisted living in Connecticut in 2020 is $4,880 / month. That being said, the average range of cost throughout the state is quite large, with the range between $3,750 / month to $6,350 / month. In the most expensive area of the state, the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area, the monthly average cost is $6,350. The least expensive assisted living can be found in the New Haven area. Here, the monthly average is a lot lower than the state average at approximately $3,750 / month. In Hartford, the average daily cost is approximately $230 / month less than the statewide average at $4,650.
Memory care, on average, costs between 20% and 30% more than does traditional assisted living. This means it runs approximately $937.50 - $1,587.50 more each month for persons with Alzheimer's, or other forms of dementia, that require constant supervision, but not constant care.
The average hourly rate for home care across Connecticut, per the 2019 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, is $22.00 in 2020. The least expensive area of the state for home care is the New Haven area, where the cost is closer to $20.50 / hr. The Norwich-New London area and Hartford areas are on par with the statewide average of $22.00 / hour. In the more expensive Bridgeport area, the cost averages $23.00 / hr. While these differences may appear minor, over the course of a year's home care, they can add up to several thousand dollars difference. For individuals that need a bit more care, home health care is available, and is on average $2.00 more an hour than home care.
Adult day care is the most affordable care option for seniors and their families. According to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey 2019, in 2020, the average daily cost in Connecticut is $85 throughout the state. However, the average cost for this type of care ranges from $75 - $95 / day. The most expensive areas of the state are New Haven and Norwich, where the average daily cost of adult day care is approximately $88 - $95. The most affordable daily cost is found in Bridgeport at $75. Adult day care is typically billed in half-day increments. By this measure, adult day care in CT is roughly half the cost of home care for an equivalent period of time.
Like all states, Medicaid (also called HUSKY Health) in Connecticut will cover the cost of nursing home care for elderly and frail individuals with limited financial means. The state Medicaid program will also provide limited personal care at home. Via the state plan, Medicaid enrollees have the option to self-direct their own care.
The Community First Choice (CFC) State Plan Option is a plan created from the launch of the Affordable Care Act. It offers elderly residents the option to choose who will provide them with various types of help in order for them to remain living in their homes. With this option, family members can be hired to provide personal care. To learn more, click here.
The state of CT also offers HCBS (Home and Community Based Services) Medicaid Waivers. These waivers are intended to help individuals who would otherwise require nursing home care to remain living at home or in the community. HCBS Waivers, unlike the state Medicaid plan, have caps on enrollment. This means, at times, there are waiting lists for these programs. Currently, Connecticut offers three Medicaid-based waiver assistance programs relevant to the elderly.
1) Personal Care Assistance (PCA) Program – Designed for persons aged 18 to 64 who need help completing basic daily living activities, this program provides personal care and adult day care. Care recipients are responsible for hiring, training, managing, and even firing their own personal care assistants. After the Community First Choice option for the state Medicaid plan was introduced, this plan no longer follows the “self-direct” model. To learn more about this waiver program, click here.
2) Assisted Living Program (CHCPE Alternative Care Unit) – This program is designated to give care in assisted living residences. It is open to residents that are eligible and ineligible for Medicaid. Find out more details here.
3) Adult Family Living (AFL) Program – This program, which is also called Caregiver Homes of Connecticut, is similar to adult foster care. Financial and supportive assistance is provided and enables seniors to live in a private home with a family member or friend. For more information, click here.
The state of Connecticut requires that in order to qualify for Medicaid as a disabled or elderly person, one must be a resident of the state, and be at least 65 years of age, or under the age of 65 and disabled. The asset limits for long-term care are set at $1,600 for single persons, and $3,200 for married couples. That said, several assets are considered exempt, or put another way, not counted towards eligibility purposes. This includes one’s home (up to an equity interest of $893,000), household furnishings, personal belongings, an automobile, and prepaid funeral and burial arrangements. Income limits also apply for Medicaid eligibility. However, there are many exceptions. Generally speaking, single applicants with income less than 300% of the SSI Federal Benefit Rate (FBR) should be eligible. As of 2020, this figure is equivalent to $2,349 / month. Persons with income and / or assets over these limit(s) may still qualify by working with a Medicaid planning professional to assist with reallocation of assets and income. Read more about this option.
The state of Connecticut offers three non-Medicaid assistance programs for the disabled and elderly residents of Connecticut. These programs are intended to provide financial assistance for housing or services in order to keep them from having to leave their homes and move to more expensive nursing homes. Click on the programs below to get more information on specific benefits and eligibility guidelines.
1) Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders (CHCPE) – seniors receive personal care in their home, a foster home, or assisted living facility. Other services, such as adult day care, delivered meals, and minor home modifications are covered. Please note that this program is both state funded and Medicaid funded.
2) Congregate Housing Services Program (CHSP) – this program has 14 locations offering subsidized housing with personal care services and other benefits, like hot meals, housecleaning, and transportation assistance.
3) Connecticut Statewide Respite Care Program - provides adult day care and homemaker services. This program is intended to give primary caregivers a break from their caregiving duties. The care recipient must have a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia.
Financial assistance for aging care is not limited to just the state of Connecticut. There are also federal programs from a diversity of agencies, Veterans options, as well as non-profit assistance. For a complete view, and to find the program most suitable for your situation, please use our Resource Locator Tool. There is no fee to use this invaluable tool.
Due to the widely varying range of prices for all types of elder care throughout Connecticut, it is strongly recommended that one contacts several potential providers to find the best and most affordable care.
Senior care costs in the New England region are much higher than the surrounding areas. This organization provides a free service to help match the unique care and budgetary needs of individuals and families.
Click here for assistance with finding differing forms of affordable care.
For more information about the costs and resources available in Connecticut cities, click on the links below.