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Assisted Living in Michigan

Michigan has much to offer older adults, including a tax system that leaves Social Security benefits untouched and facilitates deductions on other retirement income sources. It also has countless acres of woodlands and coastline, plus pleasant summers. The state is home to over 10 million residents, and nearly 1.8 million of them are seniors 65 years of age or older.

Assisted living facilities serve individuals who need help with day-to-day tasks yet don’t require nursing home admission. In Michigan, the average assisted living facility charges $4,250 per month. Compared to surrounding Midwestern states, Michigan is very competitive price-wise. Seniors who qualify for certain benefits, such as Aid and Attendance, or have purchased long-term care insurance may find assisted living even more affordable. Certain Medicaid programs also help seniors in need of frequent personal care support.

This guide covers the affordability of assisted living in Michigan. It also dives into options for paying for assisted living, and it lists resources that may make decision-making and resource access easier for seniors and their families.

How Much Does Assisted Living Cost in Michigan?

According to the 2021 Cost of Care Survey, Michigan’s median assisted living rate of $4,250 makes it more affordable than the average American state, where assisted living costs $4,500 per month. As for nearby states, Michigan is slightly cheaper than Indiana, which has a median rate of $4,283. Michigan enjoys a bigger price advantage over Illinois and Wisconsin, where the averages are $4,488 and $4,600, respectively. Along the same lines, Michigan’s average assisted living rate is over $400 less expensive than Ohio’s. In Ohio, the median rate is $4,635.

$4250

Michigan

$4500

The United States

$4283

Indiana

$4488

Illinois

$4600

Wisconsin

$4635

Ohio

The Cost of Assisted Living in Michigan’s Top Cities

Among Michigan’s prominent cities, Battle Creek represents a notably affordable option. There, seniors pay an average of $3,400 monthly for assisted living. Detroit and Saginaw, with their respective averages of $4,215 and $4,225, fall near the middle of the Michigan price spectrum. Bay City has a somewhat similar average of $4,423. Prices are higher in Grand Rapids, where the average cost is $4,828, and in Monroe, where it is $5,050. Ann Arbor features an even costlier average of $6,093.

$3400

Battle Creek

$4215

Detroit

$4225

Saginaw

$4423

Bay City

$4828

Grand Rapids

$5050

Monroe

$6093

Ann Arbor

The Cost of Assisted Living vs. Other Types of Care

In Michigan, the least pricey arrangement for seniors is adult day health care. It costs an average of $1,733 per month, or $2,517 less than assisted living’s typical rate of $4,250. However, assisted living is the next most affordable setup. Home care and home health care share a higher median rate of $5,529. Nursing homes are much costlier, with a typical semiprivate room costing $9,095 per month.

$5529

Home Care

$5529

Home Health Care

$1733

Adult Day Health Care

$4250

Assisted Living

$9095

Nursing Home (semiprivate room)

Can You Use Medicaid to Pay for Assisted Living in Michigan?

In Michigan, Medicaid does not directly pay for assisted living, but there are other ways for Medicaid-eligible older adults to defray costs. The Michigan Health Link program is open to seniors with dual eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid, and it offers medical care and other services. Meanwhile, the MI Choice Medicaid Waiver program caters to seniors who need nursing home-like services but, with support, can reside in a less-intensive setting. Finally, the Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) focuses specifically on helping frail seniors remain at home.

Medicaid’s Coverage of Assisted Living in Michigan

Through Michigan Health Link, seniors can receive Medicaid-covered long-term services at home, in hospitals and in nursing facilities. Enrollees in the MI Choice Waiver receive typical Medicaid services as well as supplemental care and support, with examples including attention from community health workers and nursing services. Seniors may receive this support at home, in the community or in a qualified adult foster care home or home for the aged. The latter two of those settings are Michigan’s equivalents of assisted living facilities.

PACE participants undergo a care assessment from a variety of professionals who develop a plan for each individual. Enrollees then receive certain services in PACE centers and community and medical settings, plus support at home. PACE also performs referrals as needed.

Waiver Programs for Assisted Living in Michigan

Below, you’ll find a breakdown of the key features of Michigan Health Link, MI Choice and PACE. They differ in areas such as specific services and eligibility requirements. Each program’s facilitating agencies can help seniors learn more.

Program NameProgram Limitations/Eligibility How It Works/What’s Specifically Covered How to Apply/Contact Information
Michigan Health LinkAlong with possessing dual Medicare and Medicaid eligibility, seniors must also reside in an MI Health Link service area. Enrollees cannot be in a state-operated veterans’ home or in hospice care, but they must be eligible for nursing home admission. Some seniors can enroll in both Michigan Health Link and the MI Choice Waiver.Several integrated care organizations, including Aetna and the Upper Peninsula Health Plan, dispense care to enrollees. A care coordinator works with enrollees to set up appropriate services, covering needs such as medical oversight, long-term care and prescription drugs.To start the application process, seniors should call Michigan ENROLLS at (1-800) 975-7630. The TTY number is (1-888) 263-5897. 
MI Choice WaiverSeniors must meet the program’s income and asset limits. Residing in a nursing facility blocks eligibility for MI Choice. Seniors can receive hospice care without being disenrolled, but MI Choice does not cover hospice arrangements.Many agencies, each with a specific service area, are responsible for administering the MI Choice Waiver throughout Michigan. Available services include, but are not limited to, nursing care and medical equipment, help at home or through adult day health care and support that lets seniors live in a community.Seniors can learn more about the program by contacting their regional agency. Generally, these are a given region’s Area Agency on Aging or another senior-focused entity.
PACEOnly people residing in a PACE provider’s service area are eligible, and they must meet Medicaid-established criteria for receiving long-term care. The minimum age is 55. Seniors cannot enroll in both PACE and MI Choice or in PACE and a Health Maintenance Organization. The ability to safely reside in the community is another requirement.PACE representatives can assist seniors with Medicaid applications and provide eligibility screenings. Enrollees gain access to a broad range of potential offerings, including transportation, medical services and personalized care coordination and planning. PACE can also make medications and adaptive medical equipment more accessible.There are 14 PACE organizations in Michigan. Seniors can use the PACE Association of Michigan’s online tool to identify the PACE organization closest to them and view its contact information. Michigan has also published a list of the state’s PACE centers, including their addresses, phone numbers and service areas.

Eligibility for Medicaid in Michigan

In Michigan, specific income and asset limits govern who is eligible for Medicaid waiver programs and financial assistance for long-term care. For a single individual, the yearly income limit is $30,276, and the asset limit is $2,000. For married couples in which both spouses are applying, the income limit is $30,276 per spouse, and their combined asset limit is $3,000. The income limit is the same if only one spouse is applying, but in such a situation, the asset limit rises to $137,400 for the non-applying spouse.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Michigan



Income Limits* Asset Limits
Single Applicant$30,276$2,000
Two-Person Household(Only One Person Applying)$30,276$2,000 for applicant$137,400 for non-applicant
Two-Person Household
(Both People Applying)
$30,276 per spouse$3,000

*per year

Other requirements apply to Medicaid as well. They include the following.

  • Must otherwise have inadequate medical insurance
  • Must have established Michigan residency
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible immigrant

Applying for Medicaid in Michigan

Seniors can apply for Medicaid in Michigan through the MI Bridges portal. Though the state recommends online applications, there is also a printable version of the application, which seniors can complete and send to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Health Insurance Affordability Program, PO Box 8123, Royal Oak, MI 48068-9985.

Before You Apply

Before applying, seniors should gather several pieces of information. It is helpful for applicants to have their Social Security number or the equivalent number for immigrants on hand, plus employment and income information for the applicant’s entire family, with examples including pay stubs, W-2s and tax forms. If currently enrolled in health insurance, applicants should have the relevant policy numbers. Information on job-related health insurance options (for family members) is helpful as well.

Where to Go to Get Help

Multiple resources are available to ease the Medicaid application process for Michigan residents. Through them, seniors can find information and more hands-on aid with applying.

Resource Contact Service 
Access and Navigation Partners Online OnlyTo make the Medicaid application process easier, MI Bridges facilitates two partnerships. Access Partners offer internet access and computers, and Navigation Partners help clients find resources and complete the application process. On request, Navigation Partners also liaison with clients’ caseworkers and track benefits.
Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program(800) 803-7174MMAP delivers its services through Michigan’s Area Agencies on Aging. MMAP’s counselors help clients understand Medicaid eligibility, enrollment and coverage. They are knowledgeable regarding other health insurance topics as well, and they work to prevent fraud.
Medicaid Beneficiary Help Line(800) 642-3195Michigan’s Beneficiary Help Line is available for callers with questions about Medicaid. Callers can file complaints regarding issues with medical care and prescriptions, coverage denials and billing problems. For help with applications specifically, seniors can call the state’s application-focused helpline at (855) 276-4627.

Can You Use Medicare to Pay for Assisted Living in Michigan?

Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover the cost of assisted living in Michigan. 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 Michigan?


How to ApplyHow It Works
Aid and AttendanceApply 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 MortgagesResearch and learn about the different types at ftc.govIf 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) InsuranceLearn 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 Michigan

Many organizations have taken on the task of making information gathering and decision-making easier for older adults and their families. Below are several examples, which, depending on the organization, may help individuals currently in assisted living, those considering it as an option and those seeking supportive resources.

Resource Contact Service 
Michigan Long Term Care Ombudsman Program (866) 485-9393The representatives of Michigan’s LTCOP work to improve the quality of life of residents in long-term care facilities, including homes for the aged and adult foster care homes. They do so by helping residents resolve concerns and access needed services, and they also provide information on long-term care options. The program’s services are confidential.
Michigan Elder Justice Initiative Refer to the Staff Directory
or
Use the Contact Form
MEJI focuses on ameliorating issues related to long-term care, benefits and elder abuse, among other senior-relevant matters. It conducts LTCOP services in several counties. Additionally, MEJI houses the MI Health Link Ombudsman, through which seniors can find free assistance with MI Health Link.
Michigan Area Agencies on AgingVarious OfficesMichigan’s Area Agencies on Aging are points of contact that help elders learn about locally available resources. Their capabilities include care management, caregiver support and elder rights assistance. Additionally, they can perform eligibility assessments for benefits programs. To learn more about AAA services, seniors can find their local AAA through the link to the left or via the Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan.
Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency(800) 642-4838The MVAA can aid older veterans in finding and accessing state and local benefits, and it oversees a network of benefits counselors. Potentially available state-level benefits include emergency assistance and legal aid, and possible federal-level benefits include Aid and Attendance and pensions. Other perks may be accessible for eligible veterans as well.
Department of Insurance and Financial Services(877) 999-6442The DIFS runs Michigan’s Health Insurance Consumer Advocacy Program, which is an information conduit for individuals with insurance questions and problems. Additionally, the DIFS maintains a database of helpful links and information regarding health coverage, and it has published a health insurance guide for seniors in Michigan, which covers many Medicare- and Medicaid-related topics.
Social Security Offices(1-800) 772-1213The Social Security Administration oversees multiple senior-relevant benefits programs, including standard Social Security and Supplemental Security Income. It also handles Medicare enrollment. Many regional Social Security offices are spread throughout Michigan, which may be helpful for seniors seeking assistance.

COVID-19 Rules for Assisted Living in Illinois

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including michigan.gov/coronavirus and cms.gov. These rules apply to nursing homes and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/8/2022, 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?Yes
Does the state recommend or require that senior living facilities assist families with setting up virtual visit alternatives? Not Available*
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
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 (Conditions Apply)
Are facilities still allowed to host group activities within the community?Yes (Conditions Apply)

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 (Conditions Apply)
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 (Conditions Apply)

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Michigan

In Michigan, assisted living facilities per se do not receive licensure from the state. However, generally equivalent facilities — homes for the aged and adult foster care homes — require licensure if their care levels rise to a certain threshold. In such cases, the Adult Foster Care and Homes for the Aged Licensing Division oversees licensure and regulation.

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