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The average cost of assisted living in the city is $5,500 a month. This guide is a starting point covering the cost of assisted living care in the city, as well as financing options to pay for it. You'll find in-depth information on 2 assisted living facilities in Berkeley and 30 in surrounding areas.
The Cost of Senior Care in Berkeley, CA
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Angeleon Care Home, one of the region’s top care homes, offers excellent assistance for seniors who need it while also giving each resident the lifestyle he or she desires.
Genworth’s 2018 Cost of Care study collects senior care cost data nationwide and shows monthly assisted living costs in Berkeley are $1,000 higher than the state average and $1,500 higher than the national average.
Assisted living prices on par with Berkeley ($5,500) are the nearby cities of San Jose, Santa Rosa and Salinas, and those slightly higher are in Santa Cruz ($5,595) and Napa ($5,425). Costs are significantly lower in Vallejo ($4,350) and areas to the east of Berkeley, such as Modesto ($3,200) and Stockton ($3,500).
Note: Senior care cost data wasn’t available for Berkeley, so data for the closest city, San Francisco, was used.
The Cost of Assisted Living in Surrounding Areas
Prices for senior care are largely based on the type of care provided, and in Berkeley, the increased cost of living also has an impact. Nursing home care is nearly double the cost of assisted living, while the cost of in-home care, such as homemaker or home health aide services at 44 hours a week, is similar to assisted living.
Note: residential care includes room and board fees, which can represent a substantial savings given the high real estate values and rental rates in the area.
Senior Care Cost Comparison Chart
Medicaid is the national health coverage program established by the federal government in 1965. It’s funded by state and federal governments and each state designs and administers their own Medicaid programs
In California, Medicaid is known as Medi-Cal. Approximately one in four California residents receive medically-necessary health benefits through the program, including hospitalization, prescription drugs and long term services and supports.
Seniors need to meet income and asset limits to receive free Medi-Cal coverage. Californians 65 and older can earn a maximum of $1,242 per month and own a maximum of $2,000 worth of countable assets, while senior couples can earn up to $1,682 per month and own up to $3,000 in countable assets.
Income from pensions, wages, alimony and investments is included in the monthly maximum. Cash, bank account balances, stocks and real estate are all considered to be countable assets with the exception of a home that the applicant owns and lives in. Seniors are also exempt from counting one vehicle, their clothing and household effects towards the Medi-Cal asset limit.
Note: seniors who receive Social Security Income benefits are automatically registered for free Medi-Cal coverage.
Seniors ineligible for no-cost Medi-Cal due to excess income may enter into a Share of Cost agreement in order to qualify for Medi-Cal benefits. SOC requires seniors to spend a predetermined amount towards their medical expenses each month. Once enrollees meet the monthly amount, Medi-Cal coverage is activated for the remainder of the month.
For more information on Medi-Cal enrollment and the SOC program, contact Covered California at (800) 300-1506.
Assisted Living Waiver
Seniors who qualify for free Medi-Cal coverage, have care needs that meet the criteria for nursing home care and prefer to reside in an assisted living facility may qualify for the California Assisted Living waiver.
This home and community-based services Medicaid waiver reduces nursing home placement rates among Medi-Cal enrollees by funding enhanced services within an approved assisted living setting. These ALW services include:
ALW participants also have access to care coordination services, and seniors who wish to transition from a nursing home into an assisted living facility through the ALW are provided nursing facility transition support.
For more information contact the NorCal Care Coordinator Agency at (916) 385-2784.
Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly
Seniors 55 and older who are eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, require the type of care normally provided in a nursing home and who prefer living in their home or an assisted living facility may qualify for the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. PACE enrollment is also open to seniors who don’t qualify for Medicaid on a private-pay basis.
PACE provides seniors with access to comprehensive medical, support and recreational services using a multidisciplinary, client-centered approach. Services are customized to the needs of each senior and may include:
Note: seniors who currently belong to a Medicare HMO need to forfeit their HMO coverage in order to enroll in PACE, which seniors are then transferred to a primary care physician within the PACE program.
For more information, contact the Center for Elders’ Independence, the PACE provider for Alameda County, at (844) 319-1150.
Optional State Supplementation
The State of California provides additional funds to use towards the room and board portion of assisted living costs for low-income seniors who collect Social Security Income through the California Optional State Supplementation program.
If approved for the OSS, individual seniors may receive up to $1,194.37 per month in combined OSS/SSI payments, while couples may receive up to $2,388.74 per month.
For more information on the OSS, contact Social Security at (800) 772-1213.
Two city-operated senior centers provide seniors with low-cost recreational programming weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Seniors can make new friends while enjoying an art class, learning to play a ukulele or participating in an exercise group.
North Berkeley Senior Center at West Berkeley Service Center
1900 Sixth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
South Berkeley Senior Center
2939 Ellis Street, Berkeley, CA 94703
Both senior centers in Berkeley also provide seniors with help accessing support services in the community. Seniors can pick up an application for Berkeley’s Paratransit Services, enjoy free and low-cost communal lunches every weekday and get referred to community and case management services from on-site Senior Services Assistants at the senior centers weekdays from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
The Area Agency on Aging also provides seniors and caregivers with help navigating health care options and area resources for the elderly.
Area Agency on Aging, Alameda County Adult and Aging Services
6955 Foothill Boulevard, Suite 143, Oakland, CA 94605
Outpatient VA medical services are available at the Oakland VA Clinic, which is affiliated with the VA Northern California Health Care System. Assistance with VA benefit applications and appeals, VA pensions and VA health care coverage is available at the Alameda County Veterans Service Office.
Oakland VA Clinic
2221 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Oakland, CA 94612-1318
Alameda County Veterans Service Office (VSO)
6955 Foothill Boulevard, Suite 143, Oakland, CA 94605
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