Financial Assistance, Costs and Payment Options for Eldercare in Massachusetts 

Introduction:
This page is intended to aid residents of Massachusetts in understanding the costs associated with assisted living facilities, adult day care, and home care throughout the state. A number of programs that offer assistance in caring for seniors, as well as payment options are also explored.

While the programs covered here are inclusive of what the state of Massachusetts offers, it is not inclusive of what is offered on a national level. In order to find the program that is most suited to your needs and situation, it is important to research all of your options. Make sure to use our Resource Locator Tool to search for nationwide assistance.

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Massachusetts Elder Care Costs

Assisted Living / Memory Care

The monthly cost of assisted living in the state of Massachusetts in comparison to the nationwide average of $3,650 / month is high. Statewide, in 2017, the average cost of assisted living in Massachusetts is $5,513 / month. The most costly areas of the state are the town of Barnstable and Boston, where the monthly average is between $6,250 and $6,468. The most affordable assisted living can be found in Pittsfield, Springfield, and Worcester, where the monthly cost ranges from $4,550 - $5,039. For individuals who require Alzheimer's or Memory Care communities, which provide an increased level of supervision and security, there are additional monthly fees. The cost may run $1,050 to $1,250 / month more than does traditional assisted living, due to the need for an increased level of care.

Home Care

For home care, the average hourly rate throughout Massachusetts in 2017 is approximately $25.25. Again, as with the nationwide average for assisted living, the hourly rate for home care is higher than the national average. The most expensive areas of Massachusetts for home care are Boston and Pittsfield, where the average rate is $25 - $25.50 / hour. The least expensive areas of the state are Barnstable Town and Springfield, where the hourly cost ranges from $23.75 - $24.25 / hour. For those who need a higher level of home care, home health care, which is provided by health care professionals, is also available. This type of care is approximately $1.50 - $2.50 / hour more costly than non-medical health care. 

Adult Day Care

As far as care options for the elderly go, adult day care is one of the most affordable options. Statewide, in 2017, the average daily cost is $67, which is just under the statewide average of $70 / day. However, as with the other types of care in Massachusetts, price varies based on the location within the state. The most expensive areas for adult day care are found in Boston and Worcester. In these locations, the cost averages between $70 and $77 / day. The most cost efficient locations are Springfield, Pittsfield, and Barnstable Town, where the daily cost ranges from $61 - $65. Note, adult day care centers commonly bill in half-day increments.   

 

 

 

Massachusetts Financial Assistance Programs

Medicaid / MassHealth Programs for the Elderly

In Massachusetts, the state Medicaid (MassHealth) plan covers the cost of residing in a nursing home facility, in addition to limited personal assistance. While this assistance proves to be very beneficial, many elderly individuals prefer to remain living in their own homes. This is made possible via Medicaid Waivers, also called Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers. Currently, Massachusetts offers five Medicaid Waivers or programs to assist seniors and disabled individuals in living independently. This offers a win-win situation, as the individual remains living at home or in the community and the state saves money.

1) The Massachusetts Frail Elder Wavier provides in-home services and community supports to individuals who require a nursing home level of care. Benefits and services include home health aide, personal care assistance, meal delivery, home modifications, respite care and adult day care. Click here to learn more.

2) Adult Day Health provides daytime support for seniors and allows fulltime caregivers to continue working or, at the very least, allows them a needed break from caregiving responsibilities. For those with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, Dementia Day Services are available, and for those who need a higher level of care, Supportive Day Programs, are available. Click here for eligibility information

3) The Personal Care Attendant (PCA) Program provides personal care services for elderly and disabled individuals, either in their home or in the home of a relative. This program allows for self-direction, meaning eligible applicants can hire the caregiver of their choosing, including select family members. Unlike many programs that provide long-term care services for the elderly and disabled, this program is an entitlement. This means that anyone who is eligible for services is able to receive them. To learn more about program benefits, click here

4) The Caregiver Homes Program provides financial assistance to caregivers providing 24-hour care to an elder, either in their own home or the home of the elderly individual. Often times, it is a relative or friend that is providing the care. For additional information, click here

5) Group Adult Foster Care (GAFC) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI-G) Assisted Living Benefit enable seniors to reside in adult foster homes or assisted living facilities, rather than nursing home facilities. GAFC covers the costs associated with personal care assistance and medication management, while SSI-G provides financial assistance with the cost of room and board. Click here for eligibility requirements

While eligibility requirements for Medicaid and Medicaid Waivers may vary slightly, there are both income and asset limits for eligibility purposes. As of 2017, in order to be eligible for Massachusetts Medicaid, an individual must not have an income in excess of $1,005 / month. This figure is equivalent to 100% of the Federal Poverty Rate. The asset limit for a single applicant is $2,000, which excludes the individual’s home, given he or she lives in the home, a single vehicle, and some personal effects.

If income is over the allowable amount, it may still be possible to qualify for Medicaid via the assistance of a Medicaid planner. More on Medicaid eligibility.

 

State (Non-Medicaid) Assistance Programs

As of 2017, Massachusetts has three non-Medicaid programs offering supportive and financial assistance to seniors and or their caregivers.

1) The Home Care Program (HCP) and Enhanced Community Options Program (ECOP) provides non-medical supports and personal care services to elderly individuals in their homes. While very similar in nature, ECOP is intended for those who have greater care needs. For more information on benefits and eligibility requirements, click here

2) The Supportive Senior Housing Initiative Program provides care consistent to assisted living in publicly supported housing communities. Services may include 24-hour supervision, medication management, meals, personal care services, and housecleaning. To learn more about this program, click here

3) Massachusetts’s Prescription Advantage Program, which is a state pharmaceutical assistance program (SPAP), helps seniors cover the cost of prescription drugs. Click here for eligibility requirements

4) Massachusetts Family Caregiver Support Program, is the state version of the national program.  Read more.

 

Other Financial Options for Care

In addition to the included options for assistance in paying for senior care, there are additional programs that provide aid. Eldercare loans and Veteran’s assistance programs are two options that may be available. To research all of your options and to find the program that is best suited to your situation, make sure to use our Resource Locator Tool.

 

Finding Affordable Care

As one can see, the cost of senior care throughout Massachusetts varies widely based on location within the state and the type of care provided. Reaching out to multiple providers to find the most affordable service and the best care option for the situation is important. Our company offers a free service that assists individuals in matching their needs to providers in the area at affordable costs. Click here for affordable care assistance