Page Reviewed / Updated - May 2019
This webpage is intended to aid Vermont residents in understanding the costs associated with elderly care throughout the state. Average costs of assisted living, home care, and adult day care will be covered. Programs that are available to aid in the cost of paying for senior care, both in-home and out-of-home, will also be discussed.
While the programs listed on this page are inclusive as to what is available from the state of Vermont, nationwide programs are also available for assistance. To assist one in searching for other available programs, such as those from non-profit and private organizations, and to find the best option for one’s needs and circumstances, don’t hesitate to use our free Resource Locator Tool.
Cost of Care Calculator
As of 2019, the average cost of assisted living statewide in Vermont is $4,500 / month. The Burlington metro area is above the statewide average and costs approximately $5,020 / month. Compared to the nationwide average of $4,000 / month for assisted living, the cost of assisted living in Vermont is quite high.
For those who have Alzheimer’s or a related dementia, memory care units in assisted living facilities are also available. These types of units, also referred to as Alzheimer’s care units, provide a higher level of care, supervision, and security. For these types of units, one should expect to pay approximately $900 - $1,350 / month more than the average cost of traditional assisted living facilities.
In Vermont, as of 2019, the statewide hourly average rate for home care is $27.00. As with the cost of assisted living, this figure is quite high compared to the nationwide average for home care, which is just $21 / hour. The metro area of Burlington is slightly above the state average at $27.50 / hour.
In addition to home care that is non-medical in nature, limited in-home medical care is also available. On average, this type of care costs approximately $1.50 more per hour than does in-home non-medical care.
In 2019, the statewide average cost of adult day care in Vermont is $136 / day, which again, is quite high in comparison to the nationwide average of $72 / day. The area of Burlington is also very costly, particularly when compared to the nationwide average, at approximately $143 / day.
Medicaid Programs & Waivers
Prior to learning about Medicaid based assistance, it is beneficial to understand what Medicaid is. Medicaid is a jointly funded federal and state health care program intended for low-income individuals. The federal government sets basic parameters for the program and each state administers the program as they see fit within the given parameters.
In the state of Vermont, the Medicaid program is called Green Mountain Care. This program pays for nursing home care, as well as limited in-home personal care, for those who are elderly and disabled with limited funds.
The Assistive Community Care Services (ACCS) Program is a state Medicaid option for Vermont residents who live in Level III residential care homes / assisted living facilities. Intended to delay or prevent nursing home placement, personal care assistance, light housecleaning, assistive therapy, routine nursing, and a number of other benefits are available.
In addition to the Medicaid state plan, Vermont offers Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Medicaid Waivers. Unlike the state Medicaid plan, HCBS Waivers are not entitlement programs. This means there are enrollment caps and not everyone who is eligible for services will receive them if the enrollment cap has been reached. Currently, Vermont has four HCBS Medicaid Waivers.
1. The Global Commitment to Health Waiver provides elderly Vermont residents (including those in an assisted living facility or an adult foster care home) with in-home services to prevent or delay nursing home placement. Via GC, personal care assistance, adult day care, respite care, home modifications, and more is available. The option for self-direction of care allows seniors to hire family members, even spouses, as caregivers.
One may be familiar with the Choices for Care (CFC) Waiver, a program that provides long-term care services for seniors. However, CFC now operates within the Global Commitment to Health Waiver. However, this program is often still referred to as Choices for Care. Within CFC, there is a Moderate Needs Group (MNG) Services Program, which provides benefits for both Medicaid and non-Medicaid Vermont residents. A nursing home level of care is not required, but program participants must require some assistance to live independently. In addition to adult day care and homemaker services, flexible funding to promote independent living is also provided. Flexible funding can be used for personal emergency response systems, home modifications, and to hire personal caregivers.
2. The Attendant Services Program (ASP) provides in-home personal care assistance (bathing, dressing, mobility, etc.), light housecleaning, meal preparation, shopping for groceries, and so forth, for disabled Vermont residents. This is a self-directed program, meaning eligible applicants hire, train, manage, and fire their own care providers. This includes friends and some family members.
3. Via the Adult Day Services Program, seniors are provided with adult day care. At these facilities, benefits may include daytime supervision, nursing services, personal assistance, meals, recreational activities, and transportation to and from the facility.
4. The High Technology Home Care Program provides skilled nursing services for Vermont residents who are elderly and disabled and require medical technology. Additional benefits include case management and caregiver training.
For Vermont residents to be eligible for Medicaid, there are both income and asset limits. Make note, eligibility for the state Medicaid plan and Medicaid Waivers may differ. That being said, as of 2019, single applicants applying for the state Medicaid plan are allowed income up to $1,066 / month. For those residing in Chittenden County, the monthly income limit is slightly higher, with the income limit set at $1,158 / month. The asset limit is $2,000, which does not include the primary home in which one lives, given the equity value is not greater than $585,000, a motor vehicle, their household items, and personal goods.
For married applicants of institutional (nursing home) Medicaid or a Medicaid Waiver, there are spousal impoverishment rules put into place to prevent non-applicant spouses from having too little from which to live. There is a Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance (MMNA), which allows applicant spouses to transfer up to $3,160.50 / month in income to their non-applicant (community) spouses. There is also a Community Spouse Resource Allowance (CSRA) that allows non-applicant spouses to retain up to $126,420 of the couple’s assets. This unfortunately isn’t as straightforward as it sounds, as there are rules and formulas in place to govern if, and how much, community spouses are allowed in respect to the MMNA and the CSRA.
Applying for Medicaid can be complicated, particularly if one is over the income and / or asset limit(s) or is married. In cases such as these, it is highly recommended one seek assistance from a professional Medicaid planner. Learn more here.
The state of Vermont also offers a number of non-Medicaid programs that provide assistance to senior residents.
1. The Healthy Vermonters and VPharm are Vermont’s state pharmaceutical assistance programs. Healthy Vermonters provides medications at a discounted rate with no monthly premiums, which VPharm (for seniors enrolled in Medicare Part D) does charge monthly premiums, but offers larger discounts.
2. Dementia Respite Care Grants provide primary caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s and related dementias financial assistance for respite care, which allows caregivers a break from caregiving duties. Respite care may be in-home or in an adult day care facility. Overnight respite care is also available.
3. The VCIL Home Access Program and the Sue Williams Freedom Fund is intended for disabled individuals who have limited income. Through the Home Access Program, home modifications, such as installation of wheelchair ramps and widening of doorways, are made possible. While the Sue Williams Freedom Fund is similar to the Home Access Program, it is available to assist in the cost of mobility aids, such as wheelchairs and walkers.
4. The Home Sharing Program is unique in that it pairs aging Vermont residents who wish to remain living at home with a housemate. In exchange for free or reduced rent, the individual provides care assistance, meal preparation, housecleaning, etc.
Aside from state specific options for senior care assistance in Vermont, there are also non-profit and federal programs available. To assist one in locating other options that aid in paying for elderly care, don’t hesitate to use our free Resource Locator Tool. Utilizing this tool, it is easy to find other options that are available and to choose the one that is best for one’s needs and situation. Other opportunities include programs that help out veterans with assisted living or utilizing eldercare loans.
When searching for senior care assistance, it is beneficial to check with multiple providers to find high quality care at an affordable rate within one’s geographic area. To aid in one’s search, our company has partnered with a number of organizations that have large databases of care providers. There is not charge to use this service. Click here for assistance finding affordable care.