Page Reviewed / Updated - Jan. 2019
This guide provides information on the cost of senior care in Palm Beach, available financial assistance programs, low-income senior apartments, and many more community resources. For broader information about the cost of care and financial assistance programs that are available in the rest of the state, read our guide to paying for senior care in Florida.
Senior care in Palm Beach is relatively affordable when compared to other cities in Florida. Depending on the type of care, Palm Beach, for the most part, manages to stay close to or below the state average. Nursing home care according to the Genworth 2018 Cost of Care Survey, is 5% lower than the state average of $8,152, and among the lowest in the state at $7,756.
The average assisted living cost in Palm Beach is $3,620 a month, $120 more than the state average of $3,500. The lowest average in the region is Lakeland with a monthly cost of $2,808 and the most expensive is Naples at $5,448. Other cities in the region average between $3,200 and $4,000 per month.
The average cost of home care in Palm Beach is $3,480 per month, which is well below the state average of $3,909. Palm Beach is, in fact, one of the least expensive in the region, second only to Lakeland and Miami that share a monthly rate of $3,337. The highest monthly average is found in Punta Gorda at $4,385 per month and other nearby cities average between $3,700 and $4,200 per month.
Adult day care in Palm Beach averages $1,517 per month, just over $50 more than the monthly state average of $1,463. However, the cost of adult day care is about average in the city when compared to other close cities, which average between $1,360 and $1,750 per month. In other large cities in the state, Tampa’s monthly cost is about $400 higher than Palm Beach at $1,907, while Orlando is considerably lower at $1,300.
This program, known as the Nursing Home Diversion Program was initiated in 2011 and divides service areas in the state into 11 regions each served by a different Managed Healthcare Organization. Palm Beach is region 9 and serviced by Aetna, Humana, Sunshine and United Healthcare. The program is designed to meet the needs of seniors by providing services such as home care, transportation, nursing care, adult day care, medication management, and durable medical equipment for seniors who live at home or in an assisted living facility.
SMMC LTC is a Medicaid entitlement program and anyone who satisfies eligibility criteria will receive benefits. Eligible applicants will be 65 or older, be residents of the state and meet income eligibility limits of $2000 per month for single applicants and $3,375 per month for married couples. More information on plans and the application process may be found on the Access Florida website, the Florida Managed Medicare website, or by calling (877) 711-3662 to speak to a counselor.
You can apply for Medi-Cal in person, online or over the phone by calling (866) 613-3777 or (626) 569-1399.
HCBS waivers allow seniors to age in place while still receiving vital services. Waivers usually include home care, adult day care, transportation to and from medical appointments, and often nursing. Some more specific waivers may include room and board, meals and a small cash stipend in a nursing home or assisted living facility.
Institutional Care Program (ICP)
Low-income seniors in Palm Beach who reside in a nursing care facility or who will imminently be placed in a nursing care facility may be able to receive help to pay for the cost of care and medical expenses through the Institutional Care Program. The program is a Medicaid entitlement program which means that applicants will need to prove their eligibility to receive benefits.
Those applying should be 65 or older and have an asset limit of no more than $2,000 for single adults and $3,000 for couples. The income limit for the program is three times the income limit for Supplemental Security Income and changes yearly. To obtain more information on the program and to apply, please visit the Access Florida website or call (866) 762-2237.
Assisted Living for the Elderly
Applicants for the Assisted Living for the Elderly waiver, must require a nursing home level of care, but choose to receive that care in an assisted living facility. Qualified applicants will be Medicaid eligible, already reside in an assisted living facility, be 65 years or older or 60-64 and be designated disabled by social security. They must require help with at least four necessary tasks daily, or have been discharged from a nursing facility and be unable to return home due to needing continuous nursing, personal care or the need for supervision.
All waiver services are provided inside an assisted living facility and include personal care, homemaker services, companion services, medication administration, intermittent nursing, and other services as deemed necessary. For more information and to find out how to apply, visit the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, or call (800) 963-5337.
Community Care for the Elderly (CCE)
This program provides services for seniors whose needs rise to a nursing home level of care but are safely able to live at home and in their communities with targeted help, and the cost of home care is less expensive than a nursing facility. Eligible persons will be at least 60 years old and have been assessed as being at risk for nursing home placement.
Recipients receive adult day care services, personal care, transportation, homemaker services, home delivered meals, shopping assistance, and many other community-based services. The program is administered by local area agencies on aging on behalf of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs (FDEA). To learn more about what services are available in Palm Beach or to get help with applying, please visit the FDEA website or call (800) 963-5337.
Home Care for the Elderly (HCE)
Home care for the elderly is designed for low-income Palm Beach seniors that live in the family home with caregivers that are family members. A basic subsidy is provided for the care of the senior that may include medical costs, and a secondary stipend may also be provided to pay for needed services and durable medical supplies if eligible.
Applicants should be 60 or older and be at risk for nursing home placement but aging in place at home would be more cost-effective. The income threshold is three times that of the requirement for Supplemental Security Income and asset levels for individuals should be no more than $2,000, and $3,000 for couples. Please visit the Florida Department of Elder Affairs website for more information and to locate a local area agency, or call (800) 9623-5337.
Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) Related Medicaid
SSI Related Medicaid is a part of Access Florida, the state’s Medicare program that is available automatically for seniors that are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The application process for SSI related Medicaid is the same as the regular Medicaid process and applicants may use the Access Florida website to complete their application.
In order to be eligible, applicants must already be receiving SSI or be eligible to receive benefits. If ineligible, the ineligibility should be due only to income disqualification. The program has a monthly income limit of $891 for individuals and $1,208 for couples. An asset threshold is also in place and requires single individuals to have no more than $5,000 in assets, while married couple applying together may have combined assets of $6,000.
Medically Needy Medicaid Program
Although still Medicaid, the Medically Needy program is a limited benefit program that is available to low-income seniors 65 and older that may not otherwise qualify for full Medicaid benefits due to assets or income. There are still financial qualifiers in place, but there is no monthly income threshold, and individuals should have countable assets that are less than $5,000 or $6,000 for couples. Applicants will have to prove that monthly medical costs such as prescriptions or supplies are more than their income will allow them to purchase comfortably.
Based on monthly income and the amount paid per month in medical expenses, a determination is made as to how much can be paid by the applicant, and after assessment, Medicaid will pay the difference of the total cost. For More information or to apply, visit the Access Florida website or call (866) 762-2237.
Optional State Supplementation Program
Low-income seniors in Palm beach that already reside in an assisted living facility or adult care home, may be eligible to receive a monthly cash stipend that is used to pay for room and board. Payments are made directly to the resident and not the facility and are based on need and income as assessed by an adult services counselor.
The income threshold for couples is $1,505 and $738 for individuals, asset limits are $3,000 and $2,000 respectively. If there is no income, seniors will have to apply for Supplemental Security Income which will be used as the baseline for determination of cash benefits. Additionally, applicants must be 65 years old and reside in a licensed facility. More program information and electronic applications are available on the Access Florida website, or by calling (800) 963-5337.
Medicare Extra Help
Help paying for the cost of prescription drugs is available to senior residents of Palm Beach through the federally funded Extra Help program. Prescription savings costs are estimated to be $4,900 per year, and the program provides help in paying for annual and monthly premiums as well as prescriptions once an applicant has been assessed as in need. The asset threshold is $14,390 for individuals and $28,720 for couples, but there is no monthly income threshold. Additional information about the program is available on the Social Security website or by calling (800) 772-1213 or (800) 963-5337.
Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
PACE is a limited availability program only in practice in some areas of the state. The program is divided into four service areas, one of which is the Palm Beach area. All the services that are provided through Medicaid are also available through PACE along with Medicare if seniors are receiving both. The program provides access to transportation, adult day care services, home health aides, personal care, home delivered meals.
It is unique in that each recipient is serviced by a small team of dedicated professionals that continuously monitors, reassesses and updates their program profile to fit changing needs. One must be 55 years or older to qualify for PACE and be in need of a nursing home level of care, but be able to receive that care at home at a lower cost than that of a nursing facility.
This is targeted at caregivers in the family home that attend to elderly family members with dementia or Alzheimer's. The program is offered through the Department of Elder Affairs and relies on a dedicated team of volunteers that provide up to 4 hours of time away for caregivers. More information may be obtained at a local aging resource center or by calling (800) 963-5337.
The Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach provides 436 affordable one bedroom and studio units across 18 buildings, where residents pay 30% of their gross income. Applicants should be at least 62 years old, and fall below income thresholds, which vary by location.
Residents also receive a utility allowance to ensure that electric and gas bills remain constant. More information may be obtained by visiting the website or calling (561) 775-9560 or (941) 795-2524.
The city of Palm Beach has 100 units of affordable senior housing all located in one development. Residents are required to pay an adjustable 30% of their gross yearly income, and must be aged 62 or older. More information may be found on the Palm Beach Housing Authority website or by calling the property office directly at (561) 689-5365.
There are a number of management companies in the Palm Beach area that offer a combined total of 513 affordable units to low-income seniors. Subsidized through the HUD program, residents pay 30% of their adjusted gross monthly income and must be at least 62 to be eligible. For a list of available low-income senior apartments and contact information for management companies, please visit the HUD website.
Staffed completely by volunteers, this program offers transportation to and from doctors visits, shopping trips and many other locations to low-income seniors that are unable to drive or afford other transportation, and respite relief is also provided to caregivers of elderly relatives. Visit the Senior Corps Website for information on this and other programs they offer.
This program provides emergency payments for utilities to households with at least one person aged 60 or older. To be eligible the household must be having a current energy crisis and have income no more than 150% of federal poverty guidelines. The maximum allowable amount payable is $600 and is paid directly to the utility provider. More information on this program may be found on the Elder Affairs website, a local Aging and Disability Resource Center or by calling (800) 963-5337.