Page Reviewed / Updated - Apr. 2019
This webpage will help citizens of Alabama to better understand assisted living, home care, and adult day care costs throughout their state. It also discusses the different payment options and financial assistance programs that are available to aid in caring for the elderly, whether it be at home or in a residential care facility.
The programs listed here are inclusive of what is available from the state of Alabama, but is not inclusive of what is available nationally. Since this is the case, it’s important to also search for nationwide assistance, enabling individuals to find the programs that best suit their needs. One can do this by utilizing our Resource Locator Tool.
Cost of Care Calculator
The average cost of assisted living in Alabama in 2019 is $3,271 / month. In the costliest areas of the state, Anniston-Oxford, Auburn, Daphne, and Montgomery, the average cost ranges from $3,700 - $3,992 / month. The least costly assisted living can be found in Dothan, Florence-Muscle Shoals Metropolitan area, Gadsden, Birmingham, and Tuscaloosa. Here the monthly cost ranges from $2,075 to $3,250. Memory care (for individuals with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s and other related dementias) is estimated to cost an additional $850 each month.
As of 2019, the average cost for home care in Alabama is $17.00 / hour. The least expensive areas of Alabama for this type of care are Anniston, Decatur, and Montgomery, where the hourly rate is between $15.00 and $16.00. Dothan and Florence are also fairly inexpensive at approximately $16.50 / hour. The most expensive areas are Birmingham, Gadsden, Huntsville, and Daphne, where the hourly rate is between $18.00 and $19.00. Auburn and Mobile are also on the more expensive side at an average of $17.25 - $17.50 / hour.
Home Health Care, which is generally provided by a nurse or home health aide, is also available in Alabama. With the average hourly cost being $17.00 / hour, it is the same average cost as is home care. That said, in some regions of the state the average cost is higher. For example, in Montgomery and Mobile, home health care is approximately an additional $1.50 - $2.00 more per hour.
Adult day care provides the most affordable care option for seniors in Alabama. In 2019, the average daily cost is $35. In the more expensive areas of Huntsville and Daphne, the average daily rate ranges from $60 - $70. Less costly areas range from an average of $18 - $25 / day, and are located in Dothan, Mobile, and Montgomery. Birmingham is also very affordable at approximately $35 / day. Notably, Alabama has some of the least expensive adult day care available in the United States.
In Alabama, the Medicaid State Plan will cover the cost of nursing home care, as well as limited personal assistance in the home of elderly individuals. In addition to this program, the Alabama Medicaid program offers HCBS (Home and Community Based Services) Waivers to provide aid to elderly individuals in their homes or communities, preventing or delaying nursing home placements. While the Medicaid State Plan will also cover some care in the home and community, it is generally more limited than the waiver plans. Make note, the state plan is an entitlement program (meaning as long as one is eligible, one will receive services), while the waiver programs are not (there are limited slots available for assistance).
As of April 2019, there are currently four Medicaid assistance programs offered, including the State Medicaid Plan. In addition, there is an option for consumer direction of services for those receiving services under any of the three Medicaid waivers.
1) Alabama offers the Elderly and Disabled (E & D) Medicaid Waiver to provide services to allow elderly or disabled individuals who would otherwise require nursing facility care to remain living at home or in the community. Services include personal care assistance, respite care, adult day care, home delivered meals, and more. Find out more about the Elderly and Disabled Medicaid Waiver eligibility and benefits.
2) The State of Alabama Independent Living (SAIL) Medicaid Waiver, previously known as the Homebound Waiver, is designed to help disabled individuals move back to or remain living in their homes or communities instead of a skilled nursing facility. Find out more about the SAIL Medicaid Waiver eligibility requirements and benefits.
3) The Alabama Community Transition (ACT) Medicaid Waiver provides services for elderly and disabled nursing home residents to assist them in returning to living independently in the community. Benefits include adult day health, personal care, homemaker services, meal delivery, and home modifications. Learn more about the ACT Medicaid Waiver.
4) Originally not offered statewide, the Personal Choices (PC) Program is now available across the state. This self-directed care program allows for seniors and disabled individuals receiving services under the E & D Waiver, the SAIL Waiver, or the ACT Waiver, the option to choose and manage their own care providers. Read about the Personal Choices Program eligibility requirements, benefits, and locations.
Each program has its own eligibility requirements, which include income and asset qualifications. As of 2019, a single elderly applicant’s monthly income cannot be greater than $2,313 (300% of the Federal Benefit Rate) in order to qualify for long-term care Medicaid. There is also a resource limit of $2,000. Resources, also called assets, do not include household goods, personal effects, a vehicle, or one’s home (if the applicant or their spouse lives in the home and the equity value is not greater than $585,000). If these income or resource limits are exceeded, there are still certain circumstances in which the individual can still qualify for Medicaid in Alabama. Applying for Medicaid can be complicated, particularly if one is over the income and / or asset limit(s). Therefore, it is always recommended that individuals applying for Medicaid contact an Alabama Medicaid planner before doing so. Read more.
Currently, the state of Alabama does not offer any non-Medicaid financial assistance programs for aging care. However, the state does offer financial assistance to help elderly residents in the form of reduced home heating / cooling bills and weatherization assistance. Read more.
The state also offers nutritious meals and transportation assistance paid for under the Older Americans Act. For more information, one should contact their local Area Agency on Aging.
Along with these options to assist in paying for care, there are many federal and non-profit options available to individuals and families. Our Resource Locator Tool is very useful in helping the elderly find additional programs that may help pay or reduce costs of care. In addition, there are also programs available to help veterans with assisted living, as well as eldercare loans in the state of Alabama.
Since there is such a broad range of cost for elder care throughout different parts of the state of Alabama, there is sufficient reason to reach out to multiple providers to find the most affordable care. With assisted living, in particular, one should take into account the areas outside of metropolitan centers if the main concern is price. In order to be of assistance to families, our organization provides a service, free of charge, that matches an individual’s needs with care providers in their price range and geographic preferences. Click here for assistance finding affordable care.