Assisted Living in Arizona
Arizona is a popular retirement destination. The overall pleasant climate makes it a good choice for active seniors who appreciate year-round opportunities for outdoor recreation, and because most of the state is desert, the vegetation that causes seasonal allergies isn’t present. The state has many award-winning golf courses and national and state parks, and Arizona’s capital city and largest metro area, Phoenix, has several high-ranking hospitals, including Banner-University Medical Center, Mayo Clinic-Phoenix and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.
Arizona doesn’t tax Social Security benefits or impose inheritance, estate or gift taxes. Residents of assisted living facilities in Arizona pay an average monthly cost of $4,000, which is less than the national average of $4,500.
This guide explores the costs of assisted living in many cities of Arizona and discusses available options to pay for this care option. A list of programs and services designed to promote a good quality of life among senior citizens is also included.
How Much Does Assisted Living Cost in Arizona?
The average cost of assisted living in Arizona is $4,000 per month, according to the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey. This is lower than the national average of $4,500 per month. Prices rise to $5,250 in neighboring California but drop to $3,750 and $3,500 in Nevada and Utah, respectively. Monthly prices are higher to the east in New Mexico at $4,498 and northeast in Colorado at $4,750.
The United States
The Cost of Assisted Living in Arizona’s Top Cities
Residents of assisted living facilities in the northern Arizona community of Flagstaff pay the state’s highest monthly cost at $5,000 per month, while their counterparts at the southern part of the state in Sierra Vista and Tucson pay $4,150 and $4,050, respectively. The lowest assisted living costs are found in Arizona’s southwestern corner in Yuma at $3,800 with the capital city and largest metro, Phoenix, running a close second at $3,975. Those in Prescott Valley pay an average of $4,500 per month, while prices rise slightly in northwestern Arizona in the resort community of Lake Havasu City to a monthly average of $4,700.
Lake Havasu City
The Cost of Assisted Living vs. Other Types of Care
The average monthly cost of adult day health care in Arizona is $2,102, making it nearly half the cost of an assisted living facility. The price tags of homemaker services and home health aides are higher, however, at $5,339 and $5,434, respectively. Nursing home residents in Arizona pay an average monthly cost of $6,540 for semiprivate rooms.
Adult day health care
Home health aide
Nursing home (semiprivate room)
Can You Use Medicaid to Pay for Assisted Living in Arizona?
The branch of Arizona’s Medicaid system that covers assisted living and other long-term care options is called the Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS). Services are available for those aged 65 and over and those with disabilities. The approach to long-term care is different in Arizona than in many states. Instead of a waiver program, the state provides community-based supportive services as part of a managed care system. This approach eliminates the wait lists often associated with waiver programs, and because it’s an entitlement program, all eligible applicants are guaranteed benefits.
When applicants are deemed eligible to receive Medicaid services, a caseworker is assigned to help determine which level of care is appropriate for the individual.
Medicaid’s Coverage of Assisted Living in Arizona
The ALTCS covers personal care and nursing services for those who require a nursing home level of care. Covered services include assistance with routine aspects of daily living, such as dressing, bathing, grooming and mobility. Residents of assisted living facilities who require direct care services to delay or prevent them from entering a nursing home may receive reimbursement through this program.
Eligibility for Medicaid in Arizona
In 2022, the Medicaid income cap for home and community-based services in Arizona in one-person households is $30,276 per year and the assets cap is $24,000 per year. For two-person households, with one person applying, the income and assets caps remain the same for the individual applicant, but the assets cap for non-applicants is $137,400. In two-person households where both people are applying, the income and asset caps are double for those of single applicants at $60,552 and $48,000.
2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Arizona
|Income Limits*||Asset Limits*|
|Two-person household (only one person applying)||$30,276||$28,000 for individual applicants|
$137,400 for non-applicant
|Two-person household (both people applying)||$60,552||$48,000|
Besides meeting specific income guidelines, applicants for Medicaid in Arizona:
- Must be Arizona residents,
- A citizen of the United States, a permanent resident or legal alien and
- Possess a valid Social Security card or be in the process of obtaining one
Applying for Medicaid in Arizona
Applicants can apply for Medicaid in Arizona online, in person or by mail. The online application is available on their website and is the most convenient way for most people to apply. There is also an application that can be downloaded and printed and then mailed or returned in person to the local Department of Economic Security, or applicants can call the toll-free number for Applicant & Member Services in Arizona at (855) 432-7587 to request a paper application to be mailed.
Can You Use Medicare to Pay for Assisted Living in Arizona?
Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover the cost of assisted living in Arizona. Unlike nursing homes, assisted living facilities are not considered to be “clinical settings’ and so are not eligible for Medicare coverage. That being said, you can still use Medicare to cover the cost of approved medications, doctor visits, medical equipment, etc.
For more information about Medicare visit medicare.gov.
Are There Other Financial Assistance Options for Assisted Living in Arizona?
|How to Apply||How It Works|
|Aid and Attendance||Apply online at va.gov.||If you are a veteran and you receive a VA pension, you may also be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit. This benefit takes the form of a monthly cash allowance that you receive in addition to your standard pension. This benefit is used by veterans who need long-term care services, including care received at an assisted living facility.|
|Reverse Mortgages||Research and learn about the different types at ftc.gov||If you own a home, you may be able to use a reverse mortgage to access some of the equity in your home. Like traditional loans, reverse mortgages do need to be repaid with interest, typically within 12 months, so seniors should carefully weigh this option alongside other financing methods.|
|Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance||Learn about how to receive LTC insurance benefits at acl.gov.||While those who currently need assisted living will typically not be eligible, if you purchased an LTC insurance policy in the past, you may be able to use it to help pay for assisted living. While most policies cover at least a portion of the cost, you still need to check the specific terms of your policy.|
Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Arizona
Arizona has several state and federal agencies that provide services to older adults. The following resources are designed to help facilitate a good quality of life for senior citizens and help them maintain independence as they grow older. Information includes senior centers, Social Security, veterans benefits and where to turn for help if abuse or neglect in a long-term care facility is suspected.
|Area Agency on Aging||(877) 600-2722||Arizona has a network of seven Area Agencies on Aging. These agencies are part of a larger federal program designed to promote independence, dignity and good quality of life. Seniors can get assistance with a range of age-related issues, such as Medicare and Medicaid counseling, health and wellness screenings, case management and balance workshops. The organization also provides referrals to resources at the local, state and federal levels, provides caregiver support and administers the Senior Nutrition Program on a local level.|
|Long Term Care Ombudsman||(602) 542-6454 extension 9||The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is designed to safeguard all legal rights of residents of assisted living and other long-term care facilities. Residents of these facilities and their loved ones can contact this office if they suspect abuse, neglect or any other violation of their legal rights. All services provided by this office are confidential and completely free of charge.|
|Social Security Offices||(800) 772-1213||There are 18 Social Security field offices located within the state of Arizona. Seniors can visit these offices to apply for Social Security benefits. These offices also offer screenings for Medicaid eligibility.|
|Arizona Senior Center Association||(602) 262-6604||Senior centers play a vital role in keeping senior citizens connected with others in their community. Seniors can join their peers for congregate lunches offered as a part of the Senior Nutrition Program, take classes in subjects, such as art, language, computers and other areas of interest, participate in group outings or simply sit and visit with others over coffee, tea or soft drinks.|
|Arizona Department of Veterans Services||(602) 255-3373||Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and their immediate family members, including descendants, can get help identifying and accessing service-based benefits to which they may be entitled. Besides helping applicants navigate the application process for benefits, the agency also helps with appeals, refers applicants to relevant resources they may not be aware of and represents claimants at hearings. The agency also administers the Arizona Military Family Relief Fund, which provides emergency financial assistance for veterans and active service members who are experiencing unexpected hardships that are service-related.|
COVID-19 Rules for Assisted Living in Arizona
The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including azdhs.gov. These rules apply to nursing homes and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/2/2022, but since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving pandemic, contact your local senior living facility or Area Agency on Aging for more specific and up-to-date information.
Visiting Loved Ones
|Can I visit my relative in person if he/she wants emotional support from me?||Yes (Conditions Apply)|
|Can I visit my relative in person for end-of-life compassion care?||Yes|
|Will my loved one be required to self-quarantine after I visit him or her?||No|
|Do I need to wear PPE and/or a cloth mask if I do visit my relative in person?||Yes|
|Are Hairdressers and other non-medical contractors still allowed in senior living facilities?||Not Available*|
|Does the state recommend or require that senior living facilities assist families with setting up virtual visit alternatives?||Yes|
|Are visitors being screened for elevated temperatures?||Yes|
|Are visitors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?||Yes|
*NOTE: This information was not available for this state, contact your local area agency on aging or senior living facility for more information.
Outings and Group Activities
|Are residents allowed to leave the facility for non-medical reasons?||Yes (Conditions Apply)|
|Are residents of senior living facilities who leave and return required to self-quarantine?||No (Conditions Apply)|
|Are senior living facilities required to cancel all group outings?||No|
|Are residents still eating together in the dining hall?||Yes|
|Are facilities still allowed to host group activities within the community?||Yes|
Safety Measures for Staff & Contractors
|Are staff members and contractors being screened for elevated temperatures?||Yes|
|Are staff members and contractors being tested for Coronavirus?||Yes|
|Are staff members and contractors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?||Yes|
Safety Measures for Residents
|Are staff members required to regularly screen residents for coronavirus symptoms?||Yes|
|Are residents relied on to screen themselves and self-report potential coronavirus symptoms?||No|
|Are staff members required to take residents’ temperatures?||Yes|
|Are residents being tested for coronavirus?||Yes|
Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Arizona
Arizona’s Bureau of Residential Facilities Licensing oversees assisted living facilities in the state of Arizona to ensure compliance with all applicable local, state and federal rules and regulations. These rules and regulations cover issues such as accommodations, medication and staffing.