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How Can I Pay for Assisted Living?

November 3, 2022
Seniors paying for assisted living in San Diego

When you're considering moving into assisted living, you may not have the funds to afford it right away. But don't worry! There are many ways to pay for your senior care that can make it easier on your budget.

In this post, we'll walk through some of the most popular methods of financing and paying for assisted living in San Diego, as well as some general tips for anyone across the nation. 

Take your time and speak with financial advisors, friends, or family members who may be willing to help you navigate the many questions and details of making this life transition.

Top Ways to Pay for Assisted Living

1. Medicaid & Medicare

Medicaid and Medicare are government health insurance programs that provide coverage for low-income people, people with disabilities, and the elderly.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has expanded access to Medicaid for millions of Americans since it was passed. However, eligibility requirements vary widely from state to state. If your income exceeds the maximum allowed by your state's guidelines but is not enough to afford private insurance premiums on top of assisted living costs, then this might be an option worth investigating further with your social worker, at-home care agency, or financial planner.

2. Veteran's Benefits

Veteran's benefits are available to those who have served in the military. The Veteran's Administration (VA) offers a variety of health care and financial benefits for veterans, including payment of assisted living costs.

The VA also provides funding through its Pension program to assist veterans with meeting their basic needs, such as food and shelter.

3. Long-Term Health Insurance

Long-term health insurance is an important way to cover the cost for paying for assisted living in San Diego. If you're unable to work and don't have a pension or other assets, long-term health insurance may be the best option for you. There are numerous options available, and you should speak with your provider to ensure you have full coverage options for long-term living situations like an AL facility.

4. Social Security

Social Security is a significant benefit that can help pay for assisted living. While it's not guaranteed that all people who need assistance will receive social security, it's essential to know how the program works and whether or not you qualify for it. The amount of money you'll receive from social security depends on what stage of life you're in and how much money you've earned over the course of your lifetime. You should also know that there are different types of social security payments, so you should consult a financial advisor first.

5. Life Insurance Settlement

Life insurance settlements can be a source of money to pay for assisted living or other things you need.

If you have an individual life insurance policy that is paid up, you can cash it in. You may get a lump sum payment or an annuity that will pay regular amounts over time. The amount of money you receive depends on several factors, including your age and health at the time you apply for settlement of your policy.

6. Reverse Mortgage

A reverse mortgage is a loan that allows you to convert the equity in your home into cash. You're not borrowing against your house. Instead, you're getting paid out of all the money that's built up in your home over time. Many people trying to find ways of paying for assisted living in San Diego also take into account the sale price of their homes.

Tips for Paying for Assisted Living

There are many other methods of paying for assisted living in San Diego that we at Huntington Manor cover in a more detailed post for your reading pleasure. In the meantime, you may want to consider these tips:

Tip #1 – Are there any specials available?

Assisted living communities offer a range of pricing options, including special deals and discounts. Before you sign a contract, ask about price flexibility and special offers that could lower your monthly payments. Asking these questions will also help you determine if any additional fees are associated with living in an assisted living community, such as daily access fees or housekeeping charges.

Tip #2 – Are there a la carte options?

When you're shopping around for assisted living facilities, you'll find that there are two types of pricing structures: a la carte and inclusive. The main difference between these is that with a la carte pricing, you pay extra for things outside of your basic monthly fees, such as food and activities.

Tip #3 – What about a roommate?

If you can, consider a roommate. An extra $500 or so per month might make all the difference in how much you spend on assisted living, and it could be well worth it to share a room with someone who can help with household chores, transportation, socializing, and/or medical needs.

Tip #4 – How about public programs?

In addition to the discounts on essentials, you can also take advantage of programs that can help you save money on some other things. 

For example, prescription drug discount cards offer up to 75 percent off brand-name medications and generic drugs. You can also sign up for prescription savings programs offered by your local pharmacy or mail-order companies like Walgreens and CVS. This will enable you to get discounts on brand-name medications as well as generics, which means more money in your pocket.

Tip #5 – Try to lower moving expenses

Moving can be a huge expense, but it doesn't have to be. Ask the facility if they have a moving service that they use regularly and would recommend. If so, ask them which of their movers do the best job—you don't want to get stuck with someone who isn't careful with your things or moves slowly.


Assisted living is a great option for many seniors. However, the cost of this type of care can be prohibitive to many families and individuals.

Fortunately, there are several ways you can pay for assisted living costs. We hope this article was helpful in exploring some options for funding your loved one’s care needs so that she or he can stay in their own home and receive the help they need from professionals who understand their unique needs as an older adult.

At Huntington Manor, we work with residents from all financial backgrounds. We are happy to discuss your options. Let’s schedule a time to meet or take a tour. Feel free to give us a call or use our online contact form to set up a visit.

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