Page Reviewed / Updated – April 22, 2024

This webpage will help Illinois residents understand assisted living, home care, and adult day care costs throughout the state. It also explores the payment options and financial assistance programs available 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 Illinois. But it is not comprehensive of what is available at a national level. When searching for care assistance, it is important to explore all available options to find the most suitable program for the given situation. To do this, search for assistance nationwide by using our Resource Locator Tool.

Illinois Eldercare Costs for 2024

Cost of Care Calculator

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Assisted Living / Memory Care

According to Genworth’s 2023 Cost of Care Survey, the median cost of assisted living in Illinois was found to be $5,255 / month. The most affordable assisted living care can be found in Springfield, where the monthly cost is $4,611 / month. Decatur, Champaign, Rockford, and Peoria cost about the same as the statewide average at approximately $5,012 to $5,438 / month. The most expensive areas of the state for assisted living are Kankakee and Chicago, where the average cost can be as high as $6,500 – $7,683 per month.

Memory or Alzheimer’s care, which provides a higher level of supervision and security, is typically more expensive (approximately 20% – 30% higher) than regular care in assisted living. In Illinois, assisted living residences charge approximately $1,152 to $1,920 a month over the normal fees for Alzheimer’s patients.

Home Care

In Illinois, per Genworth’s 2023 Cost of Care Survey, the average hourly rate for home care is $30 per hour. The least expensive area of the state is Rockford, where the average hourly rate is $21. Springfield and Chicago have an hourly cost equal to the statewide average of $30. ,

Home health care, which provides minimal health care, unlike regular home care, is also available throughout the state. The cost is on par with home care.

Adult Day Care

Adult day care, according to Genworth’s 2023 Cost of Care Survey, continues to be an affordable care option for many families. Statewide, the average daily rate for adult day care is $100. The most affordable adult day care can be found in Chicago, where the average cost is $98 / day. The most expensive area of the state is Bloomington, where the average cost is $215 / day.

Illinois Medicaid Financial Assistance Programs

Medicaid Programs & Waivers for the Elderly

Medicaid is health insurance for low-income and disabled individuals and seniors. Medicaid care was originally provided as institutional care, but now also covers a variety of services and benefits in one’s home and community. This is to prevent and / or delay nursing home placement.

State Medicaid Programs
In Illinois, there are two managed care health plans that are relevant to the elderly.

HealthChoice Illinois

HealthChoice Illinois is for Medicaid eligible state residents of all ages, as well as those who are “dual eligibles,” meaning they are enrolled in both Medicaid and Medicare. Via this program, long-term care services are available and include assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), such as bathing, grooming, and mobility, home health care, and adult day care. This program has lower income limits than do the HCBS Medicaid waiver programs

Illinois Medicaid-Medicare Alignment Initiative (MMAI)

MMAI is intended for disabled individuals and seniors who receive both Medicaid and Medicare benefits. This health plan streamlines the services from both programs, allowing program participants to receive all services via one plan. Adult day care, personal care assistance, personal emergency response systems and other long-term supports are available via MMAI. Unfortunately, this program is not currently available statewide.

HCBS Waivers
In addition to the two above mentioned managed care Medicaid programs, Medicaid also offers waivers. Often referred to as Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers, they allow for individuals to receive Medicaid care outside of nursing home residences. There may be wait lists for services as there are a limited number of participants that can be enrolled in each waiver. Illinois currently offers three Medicaid waivers that are relevant to aging residents.

Illinois Supportive Living Program

The Supportive Living Program is appropriate for nursing home qualified individuals who prefer to live in an assisted living environment. This includes residential memory care for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. While room and board are not covered via this program, supportive services are, and include the following:

  • Personal care assistance
  • Medication management
  • Chore services
Persons Who Are Elderly Waiver

The second relevant waiver is the Persons Who Are Elderly Waiver. It helps individuals remain living at home by providing homemaker, adult day care, and emergency response services. 

Community Care Program (CCP)

CCP provides a variety of services to assist the elderly in living independently. Benefits include personal care assistance, transportation escort, and adult day care.

Medicaid Eligibility

In Illinois, Medicaid is run by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. However, the Department of Human Services makes eligibility decisions and manages the application process. There are both income and asset eligibility qualifications.

As a general rule of thumb, the Illinois Medicaid income limit for seniors is equal to the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), which changes on an annual basis. For an individual in 2024, this means their annual income cannot exceed $1,255 / month. For married couples, the income limit is $1,703 / month. The asset, or resource, limit for both individuals and couples is $17,500. One’s home (up to $713,000 in equity) and primary vehicle are not included when calculating asset values. Several other types of assets can also be excluded, such as household belongings and personal effects.

It is important to note that persons with incomes and/or resources over these limits can still become eligible for Medicaid in Illinois. The medically needy “spend-down” option works similarly to an insurance deductible. It allows persons to spend their excessive income on their medical expenses, thereby qualifying after they have spent a specific amount.

Illinois is an income cap state and does not allow Qualified Income Trusts (QITs), but does allow monthly excess income to be allocated to Pooled Income Trusts. Financial assets over the limit can be converted into exempt assets. Both of these latter options are facilitated by the use of Medicaid planning professionals. For individuals who are near the financial limits, it is also recommended they consult with a Medicaid planning professional prior to application to ensure the best possibility of acceptance into Medicaid. Read about Medicaid Planning.

Illinois Non-Medicaid Assistance Programs

Illinois offers several non-Medicaid programs for seniors that provide services, supports, or financial assistance for eldercare.

Illinois Home Accessibility Program (HAP)

HAP provides grants to elderly and disabled individuals who have limited funds in order to improve accessibility and safety of their homes. Depending on the area of the state in which one resides, the maximum grant amount can be as much as $25,000.

Other programs seniors might find helpful include:

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. Use our Resource Locator Tool to find other programs that help pay for or reduce the cost of care. There are also programs that help veterans with assisted living as well as eldercare loans available in Illinois.

Finding Affordable Care

To help families find the most affordable care in Illinois, we’ve partnered with several organizations that maintain databases of care providers. These organizations all provide free services that match an individual’s specific care needs with care providers in their preferred geographic area. Click here to find affordable care.

Eldercare Financial Assistance Locator

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Top Cities for Senior Care in Illinois

For more information about the costs and resources available in Illinois cities, click on the links below.

Top Cities for Memory Care

Top Cities for Assisted Living