Financial Assistance, Costs and Payment Options for Eldercare in Rhode Island

Understanding the costs associated with senior care and finding programs that offer care and / or financial assistance can be complicated. To assist Rhode Island residents in better understanding these matters, this webpage will cover the average costs of assisted living, home care, and adult day care throughout the state. Programs that provide assistance, both in the home and in the community, will also be covered.

The programs found on this page include everything that the state of Rhode Island has to offer as far as senior care assistance. However, there are additional programs that are available on a national level, as well as others that are available locally and privately. To assist in one’s search for the program that is most suitable for the situation, please use our free Resource Locator Tool.


Rhode Island Elder Care Costs

Assisted Living / Memory Care

In Rhode Island, in 2017, the average cost of assisted living is $4,951 / month, with the range starting as low as $3,420 / month, going all the way up to $8,550 / month. This equates to $41,040 to $102,600 on an annual basis. The capital city area, Providence, has an average monthly cost of $5,246. With such a wide variance of cost, one might want to consider moving to a geographic area with a lower monthly cost if not already living in one.

Home Care

Statewide, the average cost of assisted living in 2017 is $23.50 hour, but as with the cost of assisted living, the average rate fluctuates greatly ($16.50 - $26.50 / hour). In Providence, the average hourly cost is slightly lower that the statewide average at $23.25. Home health care, which is care provided by health care professionals, is on average $2.50 / hour more (average rate runs between $24.50 - $29.50 / hour) than non-medical home care.

Adult Day Care

With the wide variance in the cost of senior care in Rhode Island, the most affordable care option for seniors who wish to remain living at home, but require some daytime supervision is adult day care. As of 2017, the average cost is $55 throughout the state. (This figure is 15% under the nationwide average of $70 / day). The most costly adult day care is found in Providence, where it runs $72 / day on average. 


Rhode Island Financial Assistance Programs

Medicaid Programs for the Elderly

Medicaid is a health care program for low-income residents of the U.S. and is jointly funded by each state and the federal government. Each state manages their own Medicaid program, which is run within guidelines set by the federal government. While all states offer programs for children and families, here we will only focus on the programs that relate to the elderly.

Each state has a state Medicaid plan, which will cover the cost of nursing home care for seniors and disabled individuals, as well as limited in-home care. Most states also offer Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers, which provide in-home care, community supports, and a variety of services, to prevent the unnecessary placement of those who are elderly or disabled in nursing homes. However, Rhode Island is unique in that its state plan and Medicaid Waivers are merged under what is called the Rhode Island Global Consumer Choice Compact Waiver (also called the Rhode Island Comprehensive Demonstration). A large number of benefits and services are available under this global waiver, including personal care, homemaker services, meal delivery, home modifications, adult day care, respite care, and skilled nursing. This waiver allows for self-direction, meaning eligible Rhode Island residents can choose the caregiver of their choice, including adult children. 

Three former HCBS Waivers that offered senior care assistance were merged under this global waiver. These include the Personal Choice Program, the Shared Living Program (Rite @ Home), and the Home and Community Care Medicaid Waiver.

Eligibility Requirements
In Rhode Island, elderly residents must meet set income and asset guidelines in order to be eligible for Medicaid. As of 2017, seniors must not have a monthly income greater than $2,205 / month or $26,460 / year (300% of the Federal Benefit Rate). Liquid assets (bank accounts, government bonds, cash, etc.) must not exceed $2,000. One’s home, given the individual lives in it and it is valued under $560,000 is also considered an exempt asset. If one is over the income and asset restrictions, this does not automatically call for disqualification of Medicaid.  However, it is strongly recommended that one consult a Medicaid Planning Professional for assistance, as applying for Medicaid is complicated. Learn more.


State (Non-Medicaid) Assistance Programs

The state of Rhode Island also offers four non-Medicaid programs that are relevant to senior care that provide care and / or financial assistance.

1) The SSI Enhanced Assisted Living program provides financial assistance to elderly individuals who are eligible for SSI, which aids with the costs associated with assisted living. Eligible applicants may receive up to $1,212 / month in assistance.

2) The Pharmaceutical Assistance for the Elderly (RIPAE) program provides financial assistance with the cost of prescription drugs. Discounts may range from 15% to 60%.

3) The Paid Family Leave / Temporary Caregiver Insurance (TCI) program allows Rhode Island residents to take up to 4 weeks off of work in a given year to provide care for a seriously ill relative. Compensation may be as high as $817 / week.

4) The Home and Community Care Co-Pay program provides seniors with supports and services to assist them in aging in place at home. Home health care, adult day care, home modifications, personal care assistance, personal emergency response systems, and care in assisted living are all supports offered. With services via this program, there is a co-payment.


Other Financial Options for Care

In addition to the state specific programs that assist in covering the cost of elderly care in Rhode Island, there are also federal and non-profit programs available. In order to find other programs that assist in paying for care or reduce your out-of-pocket cost, make sure to use our Resource Locator Tool.  This tool makes it easy to locate and consider all of your options and choose the program that best fits the circumstances. Eldercare loans and programs that aid veterans with assisted living are other available options.


Finding Affordable Care

As one can see, the cost of senior care varies greatly across the state of Rhode Island. Given this, it’s important that one check with a number of care providers to find the most affordable care. Our organization has partnered with several other organizations that are able to match care needs with affordable, high quality providers in the geographic location in which one desires. Click here to find affordable senior care