Page Reviewed / Updated - September 2019
This guide presents the costs of different types of senior care including assisted living, home care, nursing home care, and adult day care. It also discusses sources of financial assistance available in El Paso, Texas. Additional local resources, such as affordable senior housing utility assistance, are also included. More information is available in our guide to paying for senior care in Texas.
El Paso has relatively low senior care costs compared to Texas as a whole. According to the Genworth 2018 Cost of Care Survey, most levels of care are far below the state average, with the exception of nursing home care which is higher by approximately $70 per month.
El Paso is the most affordable area in Texas for assisted living with an average monthly cost of $2,250, which is far below the state average of $3,795. Texarkana has similar costs for this level of care at $2,265 per month.
The two cities in the Genworth Survey geographically closest to El Paso, Midland and Odessa, are roughly twice as expensive as El Paso with monthly costs of $4,183 and $4,605, respectively. Austin is the most expensive city for assisted living in the state at $5,190 per month.
El Paso has one of the lowest average costs for in-home care in Texas at $3,041 per month. Texarkana is the only area with a lower monthly cost, at $3,022. The state average is roughly $800 higher at $3,813 per month.
Odessa has monthly average costs of $4,185, which makes it the most expensive area in Texas for this level of care, followed by Austin at $4,099.
With a monthly average cost of $628, adult day care in El Paso is relatively affordable compared to other surveyed areas in Texas. The state average is $758, and Abilene, the most affordable area in the state, is $10 less than El Paso at $618.
Lubbock has adult day care costs roughly $80 per month higher than El Paso, while Midland is more than twice as expensive. Dallas and Austin share the highest average cost for adult day care in Texas at $1,408 per month.
Nursing home care in El Paso has an average cost of $4,867 per month, which is roughly $70 higher than the Texas average. Odessa and Midland are similarly priced at $4,684 and $4,745 per month, respectively.
Longview is the most affordable area in the state for nursing care at an average cost of $3,954 per month, while Austin has the highest monthly cost for this level of care at $5,323.
Seniors with low incomes and few assets other than their home may qualify for Medicaid healthcare coverage. El Paso residents can benefit from free or low-cost services in their own home or a nursing facility, as well as partial coverage of assisted living via a waiver.
Other services covered by Medicaid in Texas include:
STAR+PLUS is the Medicaid managed care program for seniors and disabled people in Texas. The goal of this program is to provide the appropriate medical and social services in the home or elsewhere in the community, and ultimately to delay the need for nursing home care.
All Texas residents eligible for or currently receiving Social Security Income are guaranteed Medicaid coverage.
Seniors and the disabled applying for Medicaid must be at least 65 years old or meet the Social Security standard of disability. They must also be a resident of Texas and have satisfactory citizenship or immigration status.
The monthly income limit is $2,313 for an individual, or $4,626 for a married couple if both are applying for Medicaid. Applicants must own less than $2,000 in countable assets, or less than $3,000 for a married couple if both are applying. Higher income and asset limits apply when one spouse is living in a nursing home while the other spouse is living elsewhere.
Nursing home care and standard in-home services are entitlements in Texas, which means Medicaid will provide immediate assistance to qualified applicants. Assisted living and enhanced in-home care programs aren't entitlements, so there is often a waiting list, and these services are subject to the requirements of the programs explained below.
Seniors can apply for Medicaid coverage online at Your Texas Benefits. Paper applications are also available on the website. Call (877) 541-7905 for assistance with online applications or other questions.
STAR+PLUS HCBS Waiver
Texas Medicaid has additional programs known as home and community-based services (HCBS) that are available to seniors who qualify. These services are provided in the home of the individual, assisted living or other licensed facility.
Services available through the STAR+PLUS HCBS waiver include:
Individuals applying for this program must be eligible for, or currently receiving Medicaid coverage and Supplemental Security Income payments. They must also require a nursing home level of care.
HCBS waiver services through Texas Medicaid aren't entitlements, so there is often a waiting list to receive services.
Apply for the HCBS waiver by submitting the appropriate forms online at Your Texas Benefits or request a paper application. Call the STAR+PLUS HCBS helpline on (877) 782-6440 or the El Paso HHS office on (915) 534-7314.
Read more about Texas Medicaid waiver services in our STAR+PLUS HCBS guide.
Community Care for Aged and Disabled
The CCAD program helps qualified seniors pay for care received outside of nursing homes. The goal is to prevent residents from being prematurely placed in expensive nursing facilities when community-based options are more appropriate. As such, applicants must be assessed as requiring a nursing facility level of care and able to live safely in the community if provided additional support.
Applicants must also meet the financial eligibility requirements for Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income to be eligible for assistance through CCAD.
Services available through Community Care for Aged and Disabled include:
CCAD and Medicaid can be used together, but not for the same services. For example, if an individual is receiving Medicaid assistance to pay for housekeeping, the CCAD won't pay for housekeeping at the same time.
Apply for CCAD services at Your Texas Benefits. Printable forms are also available. Call (877) 541-7905 for help using the website, or go to the El Paso office of Health and Human Services at 2300 Yandell Drive.
Read more about the services and requirements of this program in our Texas CCAD guide.
Community First Choice
The CFC program is another Medicaid initiative aimed at preventing Texas residents from being placed in a nursing home when they could safely remain in the community with additional support.
Applicants must be assessed as requiring an institutional level of care and in need of supervision or assistance with regular activities of daily living and be eligible for Medicaid.
Community First Choice is an entitlement program, which means qualified individuals are entitled to receive the appropriate services immediately.
Services available through Community First Choice include:
Apply for services from Community First Choice at Your Texas Benefits by submitting the forms online or printing and mailing a copy. Call (877) 541-7905 for help with the website. El Paso residents can also visit the local Health and Human Services office at 2300 Yandell Drive or call (915) 534-7314.
Read more in-depth information about this program in our Texas CFC guide.
The local housing authority manages public housing properties in the area, including 1,800 units designated for residents aged 62 or older. It also manages the federal Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program at the local level, which helps low-income individuals and families of all ages to pay for their rent in private housing.
This community on Giles Road has apartments with up to four bedrooms for low-income residents. All utilities are included in the cost and rent is subsidized by the federal government.
This community on Lilac Way has apartments with up for four bedrooms for low-income seniors. All utilities are included in the cost and apartments have central air / heat, appliances and ceiling fans. Section 8 applicants are welcome.
Low-income residents of El Paso may qualify for help paying their utility bills. Project BRAVO manages the Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) at the local level, which combines various federal utility assistance programs in Texas.