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Assisted Living in New Mexico

The southwestern state of New Mexico is home to more than 2 million residents. Seniors continue to choose New Mexico as a state to retire due to its diverse landscape and beautiful natural surroundings. Approximately 18% of New Mexico’s population is aged 65 and older, and this number is expected to increase to 30% before 2030.

While the cost of assisted living varies throughout the state, seniors can expect care costs similar to the national average in many of New Mexico’s larger cities. A low cost of living and a mild continental climate make New Mexico a good location for seniors who want care costs that are in line with the national average. According to the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the average monthly cost of assisted living in New Mexico is $4,498 compared to the national average of $4,500. This guide covers the cost of assisted living in New Mexico and provides information about resources that keep health care affordable for seniors in New Mexico.

How Much Does Assisted Living Cost in in New Mexico?

The median monthly cost of assisted living in New Mexico is $4,498 according to the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey. This is only $2 lower than the national average. In neighboring Arizona, costs are even lower at $4,000 per month. To the east in Texas, assisted living costs are $1,500 lower with a median cost of $3,998 per month. Meanwhile, Utah has some of the lowest assisted living costs in the region at an average cost per month of $3,500. Oklahoma also has lower living costs than New Mexico at $3,855. Costs are higher to the north in Colorado with assisted living costs averaging $4,750 per month.


New Mexico


The United States











The Cost of Living in New Mexico’s Top Cities

Throughout New Mexico, assisted living costs vary greatly between cities. In the New Mexico’s largest city Albuquerque, assisted living costs are higher than the state average at $4,750 per month. In Santa Fe, the state capital, assisted living costs of $5,814 are $1,064 higher than the state average. In the south of the state, the city of Las Cruces has living costs in line with the state median at $4,495 per month. The rapidly growing city of Rio Rancho, has living costs that are $252 higher than the state average. Meanwhile, the city of Roswell has some of the lowest assisted living costs in New Mexico with a median monthly cost of $3,750.




Santa Fe


Las Cruces


Rio Rancho



The Cost of Assisted Living vs. Other Types of Care

Seniors can receive many types of personalized care in New Mexico. While assisted living is one of the most expensive types of care at $4,498 per month, nursing homes cost even more at $7,604. Seniors can receive adult day health care for an average of $1,993 per month. Adult day health care offers seniors daytime caregiver support, including rehabilitation, medication administration and therapeutic services. While adult health care is the least expensive type of care in New Mexico, in-home care is more expensive. Homemaker services, which help seniors facilitate everyday tasks, cost an average of $4,605 per month. Home health aides costly slightly more based on a monthly median of $4,652. 


Assisted Living


In-Home Care


Home Health Care


Adult Day Care


Nursing Home Care

Can You Use Medicaid to Pay for Assisted Living in New Mexico?

Low-income seniors can receive coverage for many services that are offered by assisted living facilities in New Mexico through the state’s Medicaid program, Centennial Care. In New Mexico, seniors are able to pay for long-term medical care as well as other forms of medical care through the Community Benefit program.

Personal care options are provided through a managed care model that’s designed to support seniors who are financially eligible for full Medicaid coverage. Seniors must require a certain level of daily assistance due to functional limitations to qualify.

Medicaid’s Coverage of Assisted Living in New Mexico

The Community Benefit program is designed to support seniors through the aging process. Four managed care organization (MCOs) are responsible for services. In New Mexico, Medicaid covers:

  • Assisted living
  • Adult day health care
  • In-home care
  • Nutritional services
  • Therapeutic services

New Mexico also offers the Coordination of Long Term Services (CoLTS) Medicaid Waiver to support low-income seniors with the services necessary to prevent nursing home care. Seniors who wish to self-direct their care can choose providers through the Mi Via program.

Waiver Programs for Assisted Living in New Mexico

Coordination of Long Term Services (CoLTS) Waiver  

To be eligible for the CoLTS waiver, applicants must be aged 65 or older and have a monthly income of less than $2,523. Seniors receive a personalized care plan that includes:

  • Assisted living and help with activities of daily living (ADLs)
  • Case management
  • Physical therapy
  • Private-duty nursing

Applications can be submitted to the Human Services Department (HSD) Income Support Division (ISD) online via Yes New Mexico. Potential applicants can also reach the HSD through the Medicaid Expansion Hotline at (855) 637-6574.

Eligibility for Medicaid in New Mexico

Income limits in New Mexico vary depending on marital status and the number of household members receiving Medicaid. Single applicants must have an income of less than $2,523 per month. The income limit is the same for married couples where one spouse is applying for Medcaid. For married couples with both partners applying, the income limit is $5,046 per month.

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 nonapplicant
Two-Person Household
(Both People Applying)

*per year

In addition to meeting these financial requirements, to be eligible for Medicaid in New Mexico, you must also:

  • Be a state resident.
  • Be a U.S. national, citizen, permanent resident or legal alien.
  • Meet age or health requirements.

Applying for Medicaid in New Mexico

Applications for Medicaid can be made via the YES New Mexico online portal. Assistance is also available via the Consolidated Customer Service Center at (800) 283-4465.

Before You Apply

To apply for Medicaid, seniors need to show documents that prove citizenship, income and assets.

  • Birth certificate
  • Passport or driver’s license
  • Proof of income
  • Proof of assets
  • Proof of residence
  • Medicare card or other insurance cards

Where to Go to Get Help

There are local resources available to help seniors apply for Medicaid and better understand which benefits are available to them. For assistance with Medicaid in New Mexico, contact one of the following organizations.

ResourceContact Service
YES New Mexico1(800) 283-4465This online portal that allows seniors to apply and access information about their Medicaid benefits.
New Mexico Medicaid Call Center(888) 997-2583Applicants who wish to apply over the phone can talk with a Medicaid representative via this hotline.
ISD Customer Service Center(800) 283-4465The Income Support Divison (ISD) provides additional program information as well as Medicaid assistance for seniors and their families.

Can You Use Medicare to Pay for Assisted Living in New Mexico?

Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover the cost of assisted living in New Mexico. 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

Are There Other Financial Assistance Options for Assisted Living in New Mexico?

How to ApplyHow It Works
Aid and AttendanceApply online at 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 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 New Mexico

Government agencies and nonprofit organizations provide resources for seniors in New Mexico who are looking to obtain long-term care. Below are local services that are beneficial to older adults who are looking for social and recreational programming, legal support and community-based initiatives.

Long-Term Ombudsman Program(866) 451-2901The state’s ombudsman program advocates fo the rights of elderly New Mexicans. Volunteers investigate complaints filed at assisted living facilities in New Mexico and actively work to resolve them. The program ensures the health and safety of older adults and prevents abuse, neglect and exploitation. The statewide office is located in Santa Fe.
NM Department of Veterans Services(505) 383-2400The New Mexico Department of Veterans Services supports elderly veterans through the Aid and Attendance benefit and other programs. Assistance is provided to cover some of the costs associated with long-term care. Education and counseling about programs and eligibility is provided for veterans and their families. The health care division in Albuquerque provides legal help and homelessness prevention resources.
Aging Network and Senior Services(800) 432-2080Elderly and disabled New Mexicans can receive support through this government agency from a varety of programs. Transportation services and year-round programming at more than 240 senior centers ensure that older residents can maintain an active lifestyle while aging with dignity.
Area Agencies on Aging(505) 768-2084 (Albuquerque)
(800) 432-2080 (Statewide)
Four local Area Agencies on Aging provide programming and community-based services to New Mexico adults aged 60 and older. Services include legal assistance, caregiver support, transportation, case management and adult day care.
Legal Resources for the Elderly Program (LREP)(800) 876-6657Residents aged 55 and older can receive free legal assistance through the New Mexico Bar Association. The program is available regardless of income. LREP has served seniors in New Mexico for 30 years in many areas of civil law, including Medicaid, long-term care, guardianship, estate planning and Social Security Disability Insurance.

COVID-19 Rules for Assisted Living in New Mexico

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including and These rules apply to nursing homes and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/10/2022, 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? Yes
Are visitors being screened for elevated temperatures?Yes
Are visitors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?Yes

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 New Mexico

Assisted Iiving communities in New Mexico are regulated by the Program Operations Bureau and the District Operations Bureau. These bureaus work to make sure that all communities meet specific quality standards and comply with licensure requirements and insurance regulations. Additional regulations apply to staffing and medication administration.

Laws and Regulations for Assisted Living in
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