Colorado Assisted Living & Home Care: Costs and Financial Assistance

Introduction:

This page assists citizens of Colorado in better comprehending adult day care, assisted living, and home care costs throughout the state. This site also explores the programs that offer financial aid, as well as differing payment options, available to individuals and families to care for the elderly.

The outlined programs here encompass all the available assistance from the state of Colorado. However, this is not a comprehensive list of what is available on the national stage. For help in searching for assistance at the national level, and finding the program that best suits the situation and care needs, please use our Resource Locator Tool.

Did You Know? The cost of assisted living care in Colorado can vary from as low as $2,120 / month to as much as $8,920 / month.  

Colorado Elder Care Costs for 2018

Assisted Living / Memory Care

The average cost of assisted living in Colorado in 2018 is $4,133 / month. However, based on one’s geographic location within the state, the range of cost is large, with $2,120 / month on the low end to $8,920 / month on the high end. In the most expensive areas of the state around Boulder, Colorado Springs, and Fort Collins, the monthly average range of cost is consistent with the statewide average, though the monthly average is higher at $4,570 to $4,910 / month. The Denver area is a little less pricey at an average of $4,320 / month. The least expensive assisted living can be found in Pueblo and Greeley. In these areas, the average cost is between $2,820 and $3,380 / month. Alzheimer's or Memory Care communities within assisted living facilities typically have fees of an additional $1,070 / month over the regional averages for those residents that require 24/7 supervision.

Home Care

As of 2018, the average hourly rate for home care across Colorado is $23.25. The least expensive area of the state for home care is in the area of Greeley where the average hourly cost is only $11.75 / hour. The next most affordable areas are Pueblo and Grand Junction, where the cost is closer to $21.25 / hour. In Colorado Springs, the range is $17.75 - $25.75 / hr., with the hourly average cost at $22.75. Home health care, provided by a health professional, is only slightly more expensive, and on average costs just $1.75 more per hour.

Adult Day Care

Adult day care is the most affordable care option for seniors. As of 2018, the average daily cost statewide is $68. In the areas of Boulder and Denver, the average daily cost is consistent with the statewide average. In the Colorado Springs area, it is a bit more expensive, closer to $73 / day, and the Greeley area is the most costly area, averaging about $99 /day. The least expensive area of the state for adult day care is in the city of Grand Junction, where it is available for as little as $65 / day. It is worth noting that adult day care is typically billed in half-day increments, not on an hourly or daily rate.

 

Financial Assistance Programs

Medicaid Assistance Programs for the Elderly

In the state of Colorado, the Medicaid state plan is called Health First Colorado, and covers the cost of some personal assistance, as well as the cost of nursing home care. However, many elderly individuals prefer to remain living in their home, which is also less costly for the state. Colorado currently has one state Medicaid waiver plan, also referred to as a Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver. Waivers are intended for elderly and/or disabled residents, and provide them with assistance, so that they can remain living independently. However, unlike the state Medicaid program, HCBS Waivers have caps on the number of individuals who can enroll in the programs. This means that even if one is eligible for a Medicaid waiver, there may be a wait list for services. 

Waiver for the Elderly, Blind and Disabled – This self-directed waiver program provides care services at home and alternative care facilities instead of at costlier nursing homes. Other benefits include home modifications, personal emergency response systems, adult day, care, respite care, and non-medical transportation. Learn more here.

Under the Waiver for the Elderly, Blind and Disabled, there is an option called Consumer Directed Attendant Support Services (CDASS) – This option allows seniors greater flexibility and freedom when choosing care providers. Even family members can be hired to provide care. Learn more about the benefits here.

Colorado long-term care Medicaid and Medicaid waiver eligibility considers three factors (income, marital status, and assets) when it comes to finances. Generally speaking, in 2018, there is an income cap of $2,250 a month per applicant. This figure is equivalent to 300% of the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR). For applicants who are married and have a non-applicant spouse (community spouse), the income of the community spouse is not considered. In fact, applicant spouses are able to transfer a portion of their income to non-applicant spouses to prevent them from becoming impoverished. As of 2018, this amount can be as high as $3,090 / month. There is an asset restriction of $2,000 for a single applicant, and $123,600 resource cap for non-applicant spouses. Asset transfers up to five years in the past, referred to as the Medicaid Look-Back Period, are evaluated to prevent transfers in order to meet Medicaid eligibility. Violating the look-back period can result in a period of ineligibility for Medicaid services. More on Medicaid eligibility.

 

State (Non-Medicaid) Assistance Programs

Colorado offers three non-Medicaid assistance programs. All three of the programs have the end-goal of keeping state residents in their homes and out of costlier care facilities.

1.) The Old Age Pension (OAP) program provides financial assistance to help elderly residents attain a minimum monthly income. In some circumstances, dental and health benefits may be obtained via this program. More information can be found here.

2.) The Adult Foster Care (AFC) program provides financial assistance to disabled and frail seniors to help cover the cost of adult foster care. Benefits of adult foster care include personal care assistance, housekeeping, 24-hour supervision, and medication reminders. Benefit eligibility and restrictions can be found here.

3.) The Home Care Allowance (HCA) program is designed to provide financial assistance, enabling elderly residents to pay for home care services and benefits to continue independent living. Individuals may self-direct their care, even hiring family members. Further details are provided here.

 

Other Financial Options for Care

There are many other options to help pay for senior care other than the choices listed on this webpage. There may also be programs to assist veterans, as well as eldercare loans. In order to find additional programs in Colorado that may help reduce the cost of various types of care, our Resource Locator Tool is invaluable.

 

Finding Affordable Care in Colorado

After familiarizing oneself with the wide range of senior care costs in Colorado, there is clear reason to reach out to multiple providers in order to find the most affordable services. Though average costs in various parts of the state do not vary too widely, the costs between different types of care do vary widely. It is important for families to consider which type of care is most affordable and beneficial to them. Our free service assists in matching care services to specific individual needs. Click here for affordable care assistance.