Assisted Living in New York
The state of New York is home to nearly 20 million people, with 16.9% of its residents aged 65 and over. New York offers seniors availability to top-notch health care services, high quality of life and accessible transportation options. According to US News & World Report, New York ranks 7th in the country for its overall quality of health.
Assisted living costs in New York average $4,580 a month, which is less expensive than costs in neighboring states. For New York seniors who are considering moving to an assisted living facility, financial assistance options are available, such as Medicaid programs and waivers for those who meet the income and asset requirements. State assistance programs, such as Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) can also help seniors meet medication costs.
This guide to assisted living in New York provides the average costs involved in assisted living, ways to pay for this type of residential care, eligibility requirements and free resources for seniors.
How Much Does Assisted Living Cost in in New York?
According to the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the monthly cost for assisted living in New York averages $4,580, which, when compared with neighboring states, is one of the least expensive locations for seniors considering this type of senior living option. The only nearby state with lower costs is Pennsylvania, at $4,100 per month. Comparably, Massachusetts has the highest assisted living costs, averaging $6,500, with New Jersey just shy of that number at $6,495. Prices in Vermont ($5,250) and Connecticut ($5,129) are also costlier than in New York, where assisted living expenses are closer to the national average cost of $4,500.
The United States
The Cost of Assisted Living in New York’s Top Cities
The average cost of assisted living in the state’s most famous and populous city, New York, is $5,750, while costs upstate in Binghamton ($4,597), Poughkeepsie ($4,770) and the state capital, Albany, ($5,269) are closer to the state average. Seniors accessing assisted living in Rochester pay the lowest monthly costs, $3,775, while expenses in the nearby city of Ithaca are much higher at $8,075. Heading north to Watertown, assisted living costs are as high as $8,415 a month.
New York City
The Cost of Assisted Living vs. Other Types of Care
Seniors and their families seeking residential care in New York may want to compare costs before deciding between assisted living and other care types. For instance, the least expensive cost is for adult day health care, at $1,907 a month. Assisted living median costs in New York are $4,580, while median costs for seniors living at home and accessing homemaker services or the care of a home health aide are $5,339 and $5,529, respectively. Nursing home costs are the most expensive, with costs for a semiprivate room averaging $12,775.
Adult Day Health Care
Assisted Living Facility
Home Health Aide
Nursing Home (semiprivate room)
Can You Use Medicaid to Pay for Assisted Living in New York?
New York’s Medicaid program does cover the costs of an assisted living facility for qualifying seniors through the Assisted Living Program (ALP). This waiver program is for seniors who are nursing home-eligible. Enrollment is limited, however, as most assisted living facilities aren’t licensed to be part of the ALP. Seniors in assisted living homes can alternately apply for Medicaid home health services that are provided to them within a residential facility, such as assisted living homes.
Medicaid’s Coverage of Assisted Living in New York
Seniors eligible for nursing home placement may be able to take part in the New York Assisted Living Program (ALP). This waiver program is associated with lower costs than nursing homes charge and is generally appropriate for those seniors who do not need the all-encompassing medical care provided in a nursing home setting.
Medicaid may pay for a senior’s stay in an assisted living facility to a certain degree, although specific eligibility requirements must be met to participate in the program.
Waiver Programs for Assisted Living in New York
Assisted Living Program (ALP)
The ALP waiver in New York covers most the costs associated with the long-term care and supports available within a participating assisted living facility.
In order to be approved for the Assisted Living Program in New York, a person must be medically eligible for nursing home placement yet must not require extensive 24-hour nursing care or be chronically bed- or wheelchair-bound, as traditional nursing home facilities are more appropriate to meet the needs of those applicants.
Other eligibility requirements for an ALP include financial income and asset amounts. The limitations are a bit higher for an ALP applicant than those required for some other Medicaid programs in New York. A single applicant cannot have a monthly income exceeding $1,488, with an asset limit of $15,900.
The Assisted Living Program provides qualified beneficiaries with:
- Personal care
- Nursing services
- Home health aides
- Adult day health care
- Medical supplies and equipment
- Personal emergency response services
- Case management
- Occupational, physical and speech therapies
All of New York’s assisted living program service providers are regulated by the New York State Department of Health and require periodic reassessments to ensure residents’ safety and well-being, as well as meeting environmental and staffing standards.
Seniors can apply for the New York Assisted Living Program by completing an application that can be accessed at their local social services office by phone, in person or online.
Eligibility for Medicaid in New York
The annual income limit for Medicaid eligibility in New York is $11,208 for a single applicant, with an asset limit of $16,800, which includes cash, investments, second homes and savings and checking accounts. When only one spouse of a married couple is applying for benefits, the applicant’s income cannot exceed $11,208. The applying spouse may have countable assets of up to $16,800, and the non-applicant spouse has an asset limit of $137,400. When both spouses are applying for Medicaid, the annual income limit is $16,404, and assets cannot exceed $24,600. Excluded assets include a primary home, furnishings, appliances, personal belongings and a vehicle.
2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in New York
|Income Limits*||Asset Limits|
|Two-Person Household(Only One Person Applying)||$11,208 for applicant||$16,800 for applicant$137,400 for non-applicant|
(Both People Applying)
Other eligibility requirements include:
- Need for a nursing facility level of care
- United States citizenship or legal immigrant with at least 5 years of residency
- Current New York resident
Applying for Medicaid in New York
Seniors can apply for New York Medicaid through the county’s local department of social services either in person, through a mailed-in application or online.
Before You Apply:
Certain information and documents must be available before completing the Medicaid application or speaking with a Social Services representative. You will need to show:
- Proof of date of birth (birth certificate)
- Proof of US citizenship (passport, driver’s license, green card)
- Proof of income (pay stubs, Social Security statement, Supplemental Security Income, retirement benefits)
- Proof of assets (bank statements, life insurance policies, property)
- Proof of residence (rental receipts, deed)
- Medicare card, other insurance cards
Where to Go to Get Help
Applying for Medicaid in New York can be complicated and time-consuming. Fortunately, help is available to seniors through a variety of free organizations and programs.
|NY Medicaid Helpline||1-800-541-2831||Overseen by the New York State Department of Health, this hotline is available to help people who have questions about Medicaid programs, directing callers to the appropriate resources.|
|NY State Department of Social Services (DSS)||See phone number for each county on website||New York is made up of 58 counties, with each county having at least one physical state Social Services department available to help residents with finding information about programs and filing applications for Medicaid.|
|NY Connects||1-800-342-9871||This resource helps individuals and their families with free, unbiased information concerning long-term services and supports in New York, such as Medicaid. Seniors can access the program’s help by phone, online or by scheduling an in-person visit to one of their more than 60 offices throughout the state.|
Can You Use Medicare to Pay for Assisted Living in New York?
Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover the cost of assisted living in New York. 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 New York?
|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 New York
Seniors who reside in or are planning a move to an assisted living facility may want to seek out free or inexpensive services available to them in New York. The following resources help older New York residents with taxes, legal issues, in-home supports, prescriptions and more.
|myBenefits||1-888-328-6399||This service lets seniors access a variety of New York State agencies for nutritional assistance, special tax credits, health insurance programs, prescription drugs and legal assistance.|
|NY State Local Offices for the Aging||Each local office has its own phone number, listed on the website||Each New York State county has an Office for the Aging. New York City has one office to cover all five of its boroughs. Your local office helps you access many services directly or will direct you to the organization that you need. Some services include home-delivered meals, senior centers, transportation and in-home supports.|
|Social Security Administration||1-800-772-1213||Seniors can contact the Social Security Administration to find out more about how to access certain benefits, such as extra help with Medicare Drug Plan costs, Supplemental Security Income, disability benefits and other entitlement programs.|
|Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC)||1-800-332-3742||This New York State program for seniors aged 65 and older helps meet out-of-pocket costs for prescription medications via secondary coverage for Medicare Part D plans after deductibles are met. The low-cost EPIC plans are income-based, with drug co-payments costing as little as $3-$20, depending upon the medication.|
|New York State Division of Veterans’ Services||1-888-838-7697||Seniors can gain help through this state advocacy agency that’s available to all veterans and their families. A Veterans Benefits Advisor helps with accessing benefits, pensions, health care, financial matters and issues with housing, including assisted living facilities.|
|Lifeline Telephone Service||1-800-234-9473||This telephone assistance program provides discounted land-line or wireless phone services to income-eligible seniors and others. Participants in federal programs, such as SSI, SNAP, Medicaid, Veterans’ Pension Benefits and NY State programs (HEAP) may be eligible to participate and receive a bill credit and waiver for line charges and other discounts.|
|Long Term Care Ombudsman Program||1-855-582-6769||Run under the auspices of the NY State Office for the Aging, this ombudsman program advocates and finds resources for the elderly living in assisted living facilities, adult homes and nursing homes. Their counselors educate seniors about their rights as to the quality of life in a caring environment. The ombudsmen investigate and help resolve residents’ complaints, working with seniors, their families and staff members.|
COVID-19 Rules for Assisted Living in New York
The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including coronavirus.health.ny.gov and cms.gov. These rules apply to nursing homes and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/13/2022, 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 York
Adult care facilities in New York are licensed and regulated by the state’s Department of Health. Assisted living homes must provide residents with respectful care and oversight that promotes each person’s dignity, independence and privacy in a homelike setting. Each licensed assisted living facility is inspected by the department every 18 months.