Page Reviewed / Updated - November 05, 2020
This webpage will assist residents of Mississippi in understanding the average costs associated with assisted living, home care and home health care, and adult day care throughout the state. Payment and financial assistance options, as well as programs that assist in providing elderly care, whether it is in-home or in a residential facility, will also be covered.
The programs outlined on this page are comprehensive of what the state of Mississippi has to offer. However, there are also programs that are available on a national level that are not covered on this webpage. When researching your options for senior care, it is vital to explore all avenues in order to find the most appropriate program for the given circumstances. In order to assist in your search for nationwide assistance, make sure to use our invaluable Resource Locator Tool.
Cost of Care Calculator
In Mississippi, as of 2020, Genworth’s 2019 Cost of Care Survey indicates that the statewide average monthly cost of assisted living is $3,524. The most affordable assisted living can be found in the city of Hattiesburg at an average rate of $3,575 / month. Gulfport-Biloxi also has a very affordable average monthly cost of $3,650, which is just over the statewide average. The costliest average rate of assisted living is found in the area of Jackson-Ridgeland ($4,163 / month). However, even so, compared to the nationwide average cost of assisted living ($4,051), the cost of assisted living is very affordable in the state of Mississippi.
For those that need additional assistance and supervision due to Alzheimer’s/dementia, assisted living facilities also have Memory Units, which are specifically designed for more intensive care. For Memory Care units, expect to pay to pay approximately 20%-30% more, or stated differently, an additional $893 to $1,040 per month.
Mississippi residents can expect to pay an average hourly rate of $18.00 (in 2020) for home care throughout the state, according to the 2019 Genworth Cost of Care Survey. Regardless of your geographic location within the state, the hourly average is fairly consistent. Unlike with the cost of assisted living, the Jackson-Ridgeland area offers the most affordable hourly rate at $16.75. The Hattiesburg and Gulfport areas are more costly, but on par with the statewide average, with an average hourly rate of $18.00. As with the cost of assisted living, home care is very affordable compared to the national hourly cost of home care ($22.50).
Home health care, provided by health care professionals, is also available and is ideal for those who require in-home health care services. On average, this type of care costs approximately $.50 more an hour than non-medical home care. However, in Hattiesburg, the cost is higher with an average cost of approximately $2.00 more per hour.
Per Genworth’s 2019 Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of non-residential adult day care in Mississippi in 2020 is $65 statewide, while the national average cost is $75 / day. In Jackson-Ridge, the approximate daily cost is much more affordable at $37, while Gulfport-Biloxi is higher than the statewide average at $75 / day. The population density of a geographic location and the lack of local competition affect the cost of day care much more so than it does other types of senior care.
Medicaid, which shouldn’t be confused with Medicare, is a health care program that provides medical and some non-medical care services to low-income seniors. The state of Mississippi and the federal government jointly administer this program. The Medicaid state plan will cover the cost of nursing home care, as well as limited personal care. Medicaid in Mississippi also offers Medicaid Waivers, which are commonly called Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers. Through these waivers, those who are elderly and / or disabled are able to receive services, both in the home and in the community, to prevent or delay nursing home placement. Unlike the Medicaid state plan, these waivers are not entitlements. This means there are limited slots for enrollment, and if all the slots are filled, enrollment is waitlisted. Currently, the state of Mississippi offers three HCBS Waivers that are relevant to the elderly.
Programs and Waivers
The Assisted Living (AL) Waiver provides personal care services to qualified individuals in assisted living communities to assist them in living independently. Other services available via this waiver include homemaker services, medication management, transportation assistance, personal emergency response systems, and skilled nursing services on a temporary basis.
The Independent Living (IL) Waiver is intended for individuals who have neurological or orthopedic impairments and require a nursing home level of care. However, this waiver is still relevant to seniors due to the fact that many common diagnoses among the elderly, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, may qualify an individual. Supports may include home modifications, medical equipment, and personal care services. Consumer direction is permitted for personal care services, which means applicants may hire the caregiver of their choosing, including select relatives.
The Elderly and Disabled (E&D) Waiver is intended for individuals who would require nursing home placement, if not for the services provided by this waiver. Supports and services may include adult day care, meal delivery, assistance with activities of daily living, such as mobility and toiletry, light housecleaning, and respite care.
In order to be eligible for long-term care Medicaid in Mississippi, there are both income and asset restrictions. As of 2020, an applicant may not have a monthly income in excess of $2,349. In other words, they may not have an annual income of more than $28,188. (This figure is equivalent to 300% of the Federal Benefit Rate). As far as assets, an applicant is restricted to $4,000 in countable (liquid) resources. (These are assets that are cash or can easily be converted to cash). However, the asset limit excludes certain assets, such as an individual’s home, as long as they live in it, or have “intent” to return to it, and their equity interest in the home is under $595,000. If they have a spouse who lives in the home, it is exempt regardless of the applicant’s circumstances. Other exempt assets include household furnishings, a vehicle, and personal belongings, such as one’s engagement and wedding rings.
Having income or assets in excess of these amounts does not automatically disqualify one from Mississippi Medicaid. However, it is very important that one does not give away assets or sell them very cheaply in order to meet Medicaid’s asset limit. The state of Mississippi looks back on all past asset transfers for 60-months from the date of one’s application. This is called the Medicaid Look-Back Period. If one has gifted assets or sold them under fair market value, this is in violation of the look-back period and can result in a period of Medicaid ineligibility.
If one is over the income and / or asset limit(s), it is highly suggested that one contact a Medicaid Planner, who can assist in restructuring finances so one can qualify.
In-Home Care Services and Homemaker Program is a non-Medicaid assistance program via Mississippi’s local Area Agencies on Aging offices. The services provided are intended to assist seniors in receiving the care they need to remain living independently in their homes. Services provided may vary by geographic region, but may include home delivered meals, shopping for groceries, laundry, and personal care assistance.
Another program option, which doesn’t directly assist with senior care, but may free up money to go towards care, is LIHEAP. This program provides reduced energy costs for heating and cooling one's home. Read more.
In addition to the state specific programs that assist in covering the cost of elderly care in Mississippi, 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.
Given the variance Mississippi sees in the daily cost of day care and the monthly cost of assisted living, an important part of managing the cost of care is to find high quality, affordable care. To assist with this search, we’ve partnered with several organizations that maintain large databases of care providers throughout the state. This service is free of charge and assists in matching an individual’s needs with care providers in the geographic area in which they prefer. Click here to find affordable care.