Page Reviewed / Updated - May 2019
Understanding costs associated with home care, adult day care, and assisted living can be quite difficult. This page will help with understanding these costs for the state of Arizona. It explores different financial assistance and payment programs available for caring for the elderly, wherever they reside in the state. While this page provides useful information for programs that are based in the state of Arizona, this list of programs is not all-inclusive of what is available to the elderly. To find additional assistance at the national level, one must use our Resource Locator Tool, which provides a complete set of resources.
Cost of Care Calculator
Statewide, as of 2019, the average monthly cost in Arizona for assisted living is approximately $3,800, though average monthly costs range from $3,500 on the low end to $5,098 on the high end. The city of Flagstaff has the most expensive assisted living care in Arizona, with an average cost of $5,098 / month. In contrast, the area of Lake Havasu provides the most affordable assisted living care at approximately $3,500 /month, and the area of Prescott is just slightly higher at $3,775 / month. Alzheimer's / Memory care costs approximately $720 to $1,140 additional each month due to the increased need for supervision and security.
Home care costs in Arizona vary greatly in terms of range, with costs averaging between $19.50 - $25.00 / hour. The range in 2019 can be large, but the average cost, in almost any part of the state, is $22.75 / hour. However, the most affordable in-home care can be found in Yuma and Sierra Vista, with the average hourly cost at $19.50.
Home health care, which is provided by a licensed healthcare provider, allows care recipients minimal medical care. This is only slightly more expensive than home care, with the state average being $23.25 / hour.
In 2019, the most stable elder care costs for Arizona residents are in adult day care services with a statewide average of $93 / day. Yuma provides daily costs of $75 at the least expensive end of the spectrum, while Tucson and Prescott are slightly higher with an average of $80 / day. By far, Flagstaff has the most expensive adult day care costs at an average of $185 / day. Within each city, the prices are nearly uniform in terms of range, with only the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale region having widely varying costs.
In Arizona, Medicaid is referred to as the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) 1115 Demonstration. This is a managed care system, operating as a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). There is a separate division for elderly and disabled residents, called the Arizona Long Term Care System (ALCS). As in all states, Medicaid will pay for nursing home care, as well as limited personal care in the home, for impoverished elderly persons with a functional need.
As mentioned above, the Arizona Long Term Care Services (ALTCS) is the Medicaid division that services senior and disabled applicants. Through this program, long-term care may be provided at home, in adult foster care, or in a nursing home. This program also pays for care related services for those in assisted living. Services and benefits via ALTCS may include home nursing, meal delivery, durable medical equipment, and more. The applicants must meet impairment requirements in order to receive these benefits. There are no enrollment caps for this program, which means anyone who is eligible is able to receive services.
Within ALTCS, individuals are given an option as to how they receive services. Agency with Choice (AWC) is Arizona's new option that allows individuals receiving care in the home to hire, train, and even dismiss, the personal caregiver of their choosing. A bonus of this option is that individuals may hire family members, including spouses, to provide care. With AWC, a provider agency shares employer related tasks with the program participant. To be eligible for this option, Arizona residents must meet functional and financial eligibility requirements, which are handled through assessments performed by the caseworkers.
Another option under ALTCS is the Self-Directed Attendant Care (SDAC) program. This program allows individuals needing personal assistance to serve as the legal employer of their personal care provider, including a family member. The cost of equipment that promotes independence is also covered via this program. Examples include grab bars and shower chairs. Any elderly and/or disabled Arizona resident who qualifies for Medicaid also qualifies for this option.
In order to be eligible for ALTCS, elderly Medicaid applicants in Arizona must meet certain resource (asset) limits, as well as functional requirements. As of 2019, there is a $2,000 resource cap for individuals, and $4,000 for couples. Some resources are considered exempt items, such as one’s primary home, given the applicant or their spouse reside in the home and it is valued under $585,000, and one’s vehicle. Applicants must also be at least 65 years of age and have a qualifying disability and / or require a level of care equal to that provided in a nursing home. Monthly income caps exist as well. However, these limits vary based on one's marital status, if one's spouse is also applying for Medicaid, and whether they live independently. A general rule of thumb is single applicants with a monthly income under $2,313 (300% of the Federal Benefit Rate) in 2019, should be eligible for some form of assistance.
Applicants near or over AZ Medicaid's limits should consider consulting with a Medicaid planning professional prior to applying. More.
Arizona has in place one Non-Medicaid assistance program. The Non-Medical, Home and Community Based Services (NMHCBS) program provides non-medical services to the elderly so they can remain living in their home instead of moving to a more expensive facility. Benefits may include personal care services, adult day care, homemaker services, and home modifications. Arizona residents must meet age and activity-assistance requirements to qualify. Read more.
Also worth mentioning is the Family Caregiver Support Program, abbreviated as NFCSP, which is Arizona's version of the national program.
Our Resource Locator Tool is invaluable for finding alternate options from those listed here. There are many other useful programs with various other funding channels, which may help reduce costs associated with eldercare assistance. To find the program that best meets your needs, make sure to use this option.
To find the most affordable care in Arizona, one must look for multiple providers as options. The more options that are considered, the lower the potential of the costs. This organization provides free services to assist families with specific needs at specific price points. Click here for help in finding assistance options.
For more information about the costs and resources available in Arizona cities, click on the links below.