Assisted Living in Missouri
Missouri is a senior-friendly state with a number of programs available through the Senior and Disabilities branch of the Department of Health and Human Services to help make retirement more affordable.
Of the 6,168,187 people who call the state home, 17.3% are aged 65 or older. Missouri boasts a low overall cost of living, with affordable housing and health care costs, and it has a comfortable four-season climate, with warm summers and comfortable but potentially snowy winters. Each year around 206 days are sunny, which is slightly higher than the national average.
This guide outlines the average costs of assisted living in Missouri and lists resources for seniors to find low-cost and free resources to help with their retirement. It discusses the potential assistance available through Medicaid to pay for assisted living in Missouri.
How Much Does Assisted Living Cost in Missouri?
Based on current data from the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, assisted living in Missouri costs $3,000 a month, on average. This is highly affordable, especially when compared to the national average of $4,500 a month. Seniors in nearby states pay more as well. Assisted living costs $4,488 a month in Illinois, $4,580 a month in Kansas, $3,855 a month in Oklahoma and $4,367 a month in Iowa.
The United States
The Cost of Assisted Living in Missouri’s Top Cities
The cost of senior care in Missouri varies significantly from one city to the next. The highest average is in the Kansas City metro area, at over $1,500 more than the state’s average of $4,585 a month. The lowest is in the state’s capital, Jefferson City, which has a monthly average of $2,075. In St. Joseph, seniors pay an average of $3,875, while to the south in Joplin, the monthly average is much less at $2,805. On the eastern side of the state in St. Louis, seniors pay $4,100, while in Columbia in central Missouri, the average is $2,800. Springfield’s average of $3,250 a month is between the two extremes.
The Cost of Assisted Living vs. Other Types of Care
Assisted living is just one care type available to seniors in Missouri. Seniors who want care in their own homes pay $4,767 for homemaker and home health aide services. Adult day health care is the most affordable choice, with a monthly cost of $1,907, while nursing home care in a semiprivate room costs $5,262. Assisted living has a fairly inexpensive monthly average of $3,000 compared to these other care types.
Adult Day Health Care
Home Health Aide Services
Nursing Home Care (Semiprivate Room)
Can You Use Medicaid To Pay for Assisted Living in Missouri?
Missouri seniors cannot use Medicaid funds to pay for assisted living care directly. However, the state has several waiver programs that allow seniors to pay for assisted living care using Medicaid funds.
Specifically, Missouri seniors can use the MO HealthNet Supplemental Nursing Care financial assistance program to pay for long-term residential care, including care in assisted living communities. Though this program may not cover all of the cost of care, it can substantially offset the overall costs to make assisted living more affordable.
Medicaid’s Coverage of Assisted Living in Missouri
Medicaid covers assisted living costs in Missouri through the MO HealthNet Supplemental Nursing Care program. This program is available to residents of assisted living facilities and nursing homes, depending on the level of care they need. The program has specific income and health requirements that seniors must meet to qualify for services.
Waiver Programs for Assisted Living in Missouri
MO HealthNet Supplemental Nursing Care Program
MO HealthNet Supplemental Nursing Care program is a cash payment of up to $292 a month to residents of assisted living facilities to help pay for the cost of their care. All seniors who receive SNC get a $50 a month personal needs allowance.
To apply for this program, seniors must fill out the MO HealthNet application and provide proof of:
- any real estate or other valuable property they own or owned recently
- all health, life and long-term care insurance they have
Once approved for Medicaid, seniors can apply for the SNC program.
Eligibility for Medicaid in Missouri
To qualify for Medicaid in Missouri, seniors must be aged 65 or older and have an income of no more than $18,075 for a single-person household or $24,353 for a married couple. This is gross income before taxes. Seniors also must have assets that fall within the state’s asset limits.
|Income Limits*||Asset Limits|
|Two-Person Household (Only One Person Applying)||$14,808||$6,000|
(Both People Applying)
In addition, seniors must fulfill the following requirements:
- Be 65 or older
- Be a resident of Missouri
- Be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident
Applying for Medicaid in Missouri
To apply for Medicaid in Missouri, seniors can use the MO HealthNet website. Seniors can also call (855) 373-9994 to apply by phone, or they can download the application and submit it to the Family Support Division.
Before You Apply
Gather the documents necessary to apply for Medicaid, including:
- Proof of all income
- Proof of property and assets
- Proof of insurance, including health and long-term care insurance
- Proof of citizenship or legal resident status
- Birth certificate
Where To Go To Get Help
You can get help applying for Medicaid from the following places:
- Local Area Agencies on Aging
- University Health
- MO HealthNet: call (573) 751-3425
Can You Use Medicare To Pay for Assisted Living in Missouri?
Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover the cost of assisted living in Missouri. 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 what Medicare visit medicare.gov.
Are There Other Financial Assistance Options for Assisted Living in Missouri?
|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 Missouri
Many government organizations and nonprofit groups in Missouri provide help and support to seniors. Through the resources from these groups, seniors staying in assisted living can have many of their needs met without a lot of cost. Several groups offer free services, including everything from advocacy to transportation help.
|Missouri Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program||(800) 309-3282||The Missouri Long-Term Care Ombudsman provides advocacy to seniors living in assisted living communities and other long-term care settings. Several regional ombudsmen advocate on behalf of seniors in these facilities to ensure they’re getting proper care. Families or seniors can talk to an ombudsman if they suspect neglect or abuse to get help rectifying the problem.|
|Missouri Stopping Adult Financial Exploitation||(573) 526-4542||Seniors who are at risk of financial exploitation, even while living in assisted living communities, can get help from MOSAFE. This organization combats financial exploitation by educating banks and seniors about this risk. Anyone who suspects that a senior is being exploited can get help from the organization or make a report to the Adult Abuse and Neglect department.|
|Area Agencies on Aging||(573) 526-4542||Missouri operates 10 Area Agencies on Aging that provide services to seniors living in their service areas. These include access to legal services, nutrition help, disease prevention advocacy and access to other local services. Seniors can contact their local AAA to find out what services are available to meet their needs.|
|Missouri Senior Legal Helpline||(800) 235-5503||The Missouri Senior Legal Helpline helps seniors connect with free legal assistance when they face questions about powers of attorney, living wills, advance directives, guardianship, wills, trusts and civil legal issues. This service doesn’t assist with criminal cases.|
|Missouri Veterans Commission||(573) 522-4227||Seniors who have served in the armed forces and live in Missouri have a number of services they potentially qualify to receive. The Missouri Veterans Commission helps connect these seniors to those resources. These resources may include financial aid and medical care. The Commission also oversees several Veterans Homes throughout the state that are ranked as the top veteran’s homes in the country.|
|Social Security Administrator||(573) 751-2971||Missouri has several Social Security offices overseen by the Missouri Social Security Administrator. At these locations, seniors can apply for their Medicare benefits, get new Social Security cards or apply for help from Social Security Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income and Medicare programs.|
|Missouri Silver Haired Legislature||(573) 751-2413||Missouri Silver Haired Legislature provides advocacy for seniors in the legislative branch of government. Seniors who are members present suggestions to legislators about the bills and resolutions that would have the greatest positive impact on Missouri’s senior residents.|
COVID-19 Rules for Assisted Living in Missouri
The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including dph.illinois.gov/covid19. These rules apply to nursing homes and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/7/2022, 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 Missouri
Seniors in Missouri who live in assisted living communities have a number of laws to protect them. The responsibility of the Department of Health and Senior Services, these rules and regulations ensure proper care in assisted living facilities, so seniors and their families have peace of mind.