retirement

How to choose an assisted living facility

Retirement » Senior Living »How To Choose An Assisted Living Facility

Find out about hidden fees
Find out about hidden fees

Assisted living facilities do not come cheap, and fees related to such care are generally not covered by Medicare or Medicaid. Long-term care insurance will often reimburse for assisted care, but you'll have to check the terms of your policy.

According to the 2014 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the median annual rate for a one-bedroom, single-occupancy assisted living facility is $42,000, while a private nursing home room is $87,600.

Many facilities, however, charge different rates for differing levels of care. You might pay more, for example, if you take four to 12 pills per day, than the person down the hall who takes three.

Some, too, charge a one-time community, or admission, fee that can range from several hundred dollars to several thousand. Others raise their rates a certain percentage every year. Some advertise a low flat rate -- but tack on a la carte fees for social and recreational activities.

Before you sign on the dotted line, you need to know what to expect.

"People really need to look at what is included in their rate," says Suzanne Modigliani, a geriatric care manager in Boston. "Does it include 45 minutes or an hour of personal care per day? Will they pay for that service whether they use it or not?"

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