Financial Assistance, Costs and Payment Options for Eldercare in Florida

Page Reviewed / Updated - Jun. 2016

This webpage is intended to help Florida residents understand the cost of assisted living, home care, and adult day care throughout the state, as well as the wide range in pricing. It also explores the payment options and financial assistance programs available at the state level to assist in caring for the elderly, be that in residential care or for aging in place at home.

The programs outlined here are comprehensive of what is available from the state of Florida, but not of what is available nationally. Search for assistance nationwide and the program that will most benefit you by using our Resource Locator Tool.

Cost of Care Calculator

Answer the questions below to see the cost of care in your area.




Florida Elder Care Costs

Assisted Living

The average cost of assisted living in Florida in 2016 is $3,050 per month. The most affordable areas of the state for assisted living are Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Homosassa Springs, Sebring, and the Lakeland area. In these regions the monthly cost ranges from $2,100 - $2,800. The most expensive assisted living in Florida is found in and around Crestview, The Villages in Sumter county, and Naples, where the monthly costs range from $4,300 - $4,800.

Typically assisted living for Alzheimer's patients costs extra. On average, Florida assisted living communities will charge an additional $1,100 / month for Alzheimer's / memory care.

Home Care

In Florida, the hourly rate for home care is, on average, $18.50 per hour. The most affordable home care is found in the areas of Pensacola, Homosassa Springs, Miami, and the Palm Bay area, where it averages $17 - $18 / hour. The areas of the state with the highest home care costs include Jacksonville, Naples, North Port, Punta Gorda, and The Villages, where the cost is between $21 - $24 / hour.

Adult Day Care

In Florida, the average daily rate paid for adult day care in 2016 is $65.  While this may seem pricey, adult day care is still far and away the most affordable type of senior care available. The lowest cost adult day care can be found in Crestview, Deltona, Sebastian, Sebring, and Tallahassee, where the daily rate is around $55. The highest priced adult day care is found in the areas around Jacksonville, North Port, Pensacola, Punta Gorda, and The Villages, where the costs range from $80 - $95 per day.


Florida Financial Assistance Programs

Medicaid Programs & Waivers

Medicaid is health insurance for low-income and disabled individuals and seniors. Medicaid care was originally provided as institutional care only (nursing home care), but now is offered at home and in the "community" with the design of reducing nursing home placements.

In 2014, Florida rolled out the Statewide Managed Medicare Care Long Term Care program, which replaces all of the state's HCBS (Home and Community Based Services) Medicaid Waivers. Under SMMC-LTC, a broad range of care services and non-care support are provided to financially and medically eligible persons. Benefits include personal care assistance, home-delivered meals, respite care, home modifications, and many others. More information is available here

Financially, Florida Medicaid considers both the income and assets / resources of applicants. For an individual applicant in 2016, monthly income cannot exceed $2,199, which is 300% of the Federal Benefit Rate. If married, a couple's income must be less than $4,398. Assets, which do not include a home or primary vehicle, must be valued at less than $2,000 or $3,000 for an individual and couple, respectively. Note that if one spouse is entering a nursing home, the other spouse is allowed to hold assets greater than that amount.

It is also important to note that persons with income and resources over these limits can still become eligible for Medicaid in Florida. Working with a Medicaid planning professional, monthly income in excess of the limit can be allocated to income trusts and some financial assets in excess of the limit can be converted into exempt assets. For individuals that are near the financial limits, it is strongly recommended they consult with a Medicaid planning professional prior to application to ensure the best possibility of acceptance into Medicaid.

 A Historic Note on Florida Medicaid  Prior to 2014, Florida offered home and community based services to the elderly through a collection of Medicaid waivers. It is helpful to be aware of these programs, if only to know they are no longer relevant options. Nearly all services offered under these waivers are now offered through the state's Medicaid managed care program. The waivers were:
-Alzheimer’s Disease Waiver (ADW)
-Nursing Home Diversion (NHD) Waiver
-Aged and Disabled Adult Waiver
-Assisted Living for the Elderly (ALE)
-Consumer Directed Care Plus (CDC+) 

State Assistance Programs

Florida offers 6 programs for non-Medicaid eligible seniors that provide services, supports, and financial assistance for eldercare.

1) The Optional State Supplement (OSS) is a financial grant for low-income individuals that live in residential care, be that a family group home or assisted living residence. This payment goes toward the fees of room and board. Read more about Florida's OSS eligibility and limits.

2) Project R.E.L.I.E.F., or Respite for Elders Living in Everyday Families, is a free respite care program. Respite care is provided in-home. Click here for Project R.E.L.I.E.F locations and eligibility information.

3) Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative (ADI) provides a variety of supports for Alzheimer's patients and their families and caregivers. Extended out-of-home respite, up to 30 days, is one such benefit. Read more about the ADI program.

4) Community Care for the Elderly (CCE) is designed for individuals at risk for nursing home placement, but not qualified for Medicaid. A variety of support is available, including adult day care, personal care, disposable medical supplies, and legal assistance. Learn about CCE eligibility and benefits

5) Home Care for the Elderly (HCE) program is unique in that it is designed to support caregivers, rather than care recipients. It provides direct financial assistance that helps the caregiver provide basic supports for the care recipient, as well as medical equipment that is deemed necessary. Learn more about the HCE program qualifications and grant amounts.

6) Local Services are a mix of services that vary depending on the area of the state, but can include home care, support, and adult day care. Learn more.


Other Financial Options for Care

In addition to the state specific options that help pay for care, there are many non-profit and federal options. It is strongly recommended you use our Resource Locator Tool to find other programs that help pay for, or reduce the cost of care. This presents the best scenario to find the program that best meets your needs. There are also programs that help veterans with assisted living and there are eldercare loans available in Florida.


Finding Affordable Care

To help families find affordable care in Florida, we've partnered with several organizations that maintain databases of care providers. Through these partnerships we are able to provide free services that match an individual's specific care needs with affordable care providers in their preferred geographic area.  Click here to get started.