Assisted Living in Vermont
Vermont is a popular place for seniors to live, with 20% of its 645,000 residents being aged 65 or over, compared to just 16.5% of the population nationwide. The state’s popularity with older adults could be attributed to its relatively low cost of living and pleasant environment, with good water and air quality.
Seniors who require some support with the activities of daily living may choose to move into an assisted living community where day-to-day maintenance is handled, and they can receive help with personal care tasks. Assisted living facilities in Vermont charge an average of $5,250 per month, which is $750 more than the national average. However, the Assistive Community Care Services program can help seniors cover the costs of their care.
This guide looks at the cost of assisted living and other care services in Vermont and provides some information about financial support available in the state, as well as other support services available to them.
How Much Does Assisted Living Cost in Vermont?
According to the Genworth Financial Cost of Care Survey 2021, the average cost of assisted living in Vermont is $5,250 per month, a significant premium over the national average of $4,500 per month. Seniors in neighboring New York pay closer to the national average ($4,580), but Vermont’s assisted living pricing is more affordable than the fees charged in New Hampshire ($6,053) and Massachusetts ($6,500).
The United States
The Cost of Assisted Living in Vermont’s Top Cities
Assisted living fees vary between cities. In Burlington, seniors pay more than the state average, with facilities typically charging $6,371. This is a more than $2,000 premium compared to the fees paid by seniors in Glens Falls, NY ($4,250). Seniors also pay lower assisted living fees in Springfield, MA ($5,048). Burlington’s assisted living communities are more affordable than those in Manchester, NH, however, where seniors pay over $8,000 per month.
Glens Falls, NY
The Cost of Assisted Living vs. Other Types of Care
Assisted living is just one care option available to Vermont’s seniors. Those who would prefer to live in their own homes have the option of adult day health care, which costs more than $2,000 less per month for daytime care and support services provided in a group setting. Help with personal care tasks in the senior’s own home costs $5,720 per month, and seniors can receive some limited home health care for a similar monthly fee. Nursing homes charge more than double the amount of assisted living facilities, with a semiprivate room costing $10,585 per month. This extra fee is due to the availability of skilled nurses 24-hours a day.
Adult Day Health Care
Home Health Care
Assisted Living Facility
Nursing Home Facility (semiprivate room)
Can You Use Medicaid to Pay for Assisted Living in Vermont?
Vermont’s Medicaid program is called Green Mountain Care. Seniors who require support with the activities of daily living may have the costs of assisted living covered under the Assistive Community Care Services (ACCS) Program. This program covers the cost of meals, personal care services, restorative nursing care and assisted therapy. Room and board are not included.
To be eligible for the ACCS program, seniors must pass a clinical needs assessment and also meet certain income and asset limits. Those who exceed these limits may still receive financial support through the income spend-down program.
Medicaid’s Coverage of Assisted Living in Vermont
The ACCS Program covers part of the cost of care in Level III residential care facilities. It does not cover the cost of room and board but covers case management, some nursing services, personal care assistance, meal preparation and other support provided by Medicaid-registered assisted living facilities. The goal of the program is to help seniors avoid premature placement in a nursing home, and assisted living services will be covered if they can provide the support required at a lower cost than a nursing institution.
Waiver Programs for Assisted Living in Vermont
Assistive Community Care Services (ACCS) Program
The ACCS program covers part of the cost of care at a Level III residential care facility. The program does not cover room and board, but it covers other services delivered at the facility, including:
- Some nursing services
- Case management
- Assistive therapies
- Personal care services
- Housekeeping services
To be eligible, seniors must have low income and pass a clinical needs evaluation. It’s expected that seniors will spend most of their income on their care services, but a small personal needs allowance is allocated for discretionary spending each month. Seniors can apply for Medicaid via the Department of Vermont Health Access website. Alternatively, seniors can contact the DVHA at (855) 899-9600. Seniors who are already on Medicaid can apply for the ACCS by contacting their nearest Agency of Human Services office.
Eligibility for Medicaid in Vermont
To qualify for Medicaid, seniors must have low income and limited assets. The current income limits for sole applicants are $30,276 per year or $60,552 for a couple applying together. Applicants can have $2,000 in countable assets. If only one person in a couple applies, the non-applicant spouse may have up to $137,400 in assets.
2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Florida
|Income Limits*||Asset Limits|
(Only One Person Applying)
|$30,276||$2,000 for applicant$137,400 for non-applicant|
(Both People Applying)
|$60,552||$4,000 ($2,000 per spouse)|
In addition to the income and asset limits, Medicaid applicants must also be U.S. citizens and reside in the state they wish to claim Medicaid. The program is open to those aged 65 and over and those under 65 living with a disability. The key criteria are:
- U.S. citizenship
- Residing in Vermont
- Passing a needs assessment (for waivers)
- Being aged 65 or over, or living with a disability
Applying for Medicaid in Vermont
Seniors can apply for Medicaid by contacting the Department of Vermont Health Access at (855) 899-9600 or completing an application form via the DVHA online portal.
Before You Apply
To help the application process go as smoothly as possible, seniors should aim to have any important documents available when they start the application process. Useful documents include:
- Passport/Birth certificate
- Bank statements
- Social Security Income statements
- Documentation of VA benefits (if applicable)
- Property deeds/car titles
- Documentation of any shares or other investments
- Health/life insurance documentation
Seniors who cannot provide the above documents can contact the DVHA for advice and alternative options.
Where to Go to Get Help
The following organizations offer help and support for seniors who need help applying for Medicaid. Seniors can use these resource pages to learn about the application process and eligibility criteria.
|Green Mountain Care – DVHA Portal||(802) 879-5900||The DVHA Portal is the official portal of the Green Mountain Care program. Seniors can use the portal to apply for Medicaid and access information about the program, costs, eligibility criteria and the different waivers available.|
|Benefits.gov||(800) 250-8427||Benefits.gov has a nationwide portal that provides information about the support available. The Vermont Medicaid page lists the eligibility criteria and also provides a list of useful contacts for people who are looking to make a claim.|
|Agency of Human Services||2-1-1||The Agency of Human Services has field offices across the state that offer families and individuals help to claim the benefits and support they’re eligible for. Seniors who are unsure whether they are eligible for the ACCS waiver or need assistance completing Medicaid application forms can seek assistance at their local AHS office.|
Can You Use Medicare to Pay for Assisted Living in Vermont?
Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover the cost of assisted living in Vermont. 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 Vermont?
|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 Vermont
Seniors living in Vermont can take advantage of a variety of services provided by local government organizations and nonprofits. These resources include advice lines, educational programs and supportive services that help them live independently and remain active members of their local communities.
|Aging and Disability Resource Connections||(802) 241-0294||The Aging and Disability Resource Connections initiative oversees several programs for Vermont residents, including the Vermont 211 advice line and the Vermont Center for Independent Living. These programs help the state’s older adults access the information and services they need to stay healthy and independent as they age.|
|Vermont Office of Veterans’ Affairs||(802) 828-3379||The Office of Veterans’ Affairs works with former servicemen and women and their surviving spouses. It helps veterans claim the VA pensions and benefits they’re entitled to and can also assist with appeals, access to health care and housing issues. The office has a dedicated helpline for veterans in crisis.|
|Vermont SHIP||(800) 642-5119||The State Health Insurance Program provides free, impartial advice and information for Medicare beneficiaries who need help with their benefits or choosing providers. The program helps combat Medicare fraud while also ensuring beneficiaries are accessing all the benefits they’re entitled to.|
|Vermont Long-Term Care Ombudsman Project||(800) 917-7787||The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Project advocates for the rights of those living in long-term care facilities. Volunteer ombudsmen work with facility residents and their families to answer questions, investigate concerns about elder abuse or neglect and mediate in the event of disputes or complaints between families and care providers. The ombudsman can also assist families looking for support with the CFC Medicaid waiver.|
|VT Law Help||Online Contact Form||Vermont Law Help is an online resource that offers information about a variety of civil legal issues affecting all age groups. It can also help seniors connect with lawyers who offer free legal advice about benefits, housing issues, family law, estate planning and elder abuse. Cases are screened individually and directed to legal aid organizations or service providers based on the level of need and the resources currently available.|
|Vermont Association of Area Agencies on Aging||(800) 642-5119||There are five Area Agencies on Aging in Vermont. The V4A coordinates these agencies and runs a helpline for seniors looking to connect with their nearest agency or learn about the services and activities available in their area. Each AAA runs senior centers, outreach programs, education and wellness sessions and services such as transportation or meals on wheels.|
|Social Security Offices||(877) 840-5776 (Burlington)(866) 690-1944 (Rutland)(877) 505-4542 (Montpelier)||The Social Security Administration has three offices in Vermont. These offices can assist with Social Security Income or Disability claims, answer questions about benefits and provide documentation that may assist with claims for other benefits or programs. Seniors can visit the offices in person or access many of the services via phone.|
COVID-19 Rules for Assisted Living in Vermont
The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including healthvermont.gov/covid-19 and dail.vermont.gov. These rules apply to nursing homes and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/15/2022, 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 Vermont
The Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living Division of Licensing and Protection oversees assisted living facilities in Vermont. It lays out the rules and regulations facilities are required to abide by relating to health and safety, accommodation standards, staffing and the level of care they are expected to provide to their residents.