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Assisted Living in Columbia County, FL

The average cost of assisted living in the county is $3,775 a month. This guide is a starting point covering the cost of assisted living care in the county, as well as financing options to pay for it. You’ll find in-depth information on 8 assisted living facilities in Columbia County and 5 in surrounding areas.

The Cost of Senior Care in Columbia County, FL

  • Assisted Living: $3,775
  • Nursing Home Care: $8,060
  • In-home Care: $3,813
  • Adult Day Health Services: $1,387

Riverwood Lodge ALF

6873 SW US Hwy 27
Fort White, FL

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

Starting at XXXX per month

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

Starting at XXXX per month

Home . . . is where the heart is, where we yearn to be at the end of the day. We all want and need the kindness and caring that we associate with being home. . . Assisted Living: Our…

Grand Cypress Assisted Living Facility

970 SW Pinemount Road
Lake City, FL

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

Grande Cypress Assisted Living is a member of the Circle of Life Communities of assisted living facilities. Located on the stunning and serene Jewel Lake in Lake City, FL, Grande Cypress is sure to help you live your best life…

WillowBrook Assisted Living

1580 S. Marion Avenue
Lake City, FL

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

WillowBrook's commitment is to provide the best care available for residents; promote independence and preserve the integrity of the residents. We emp...

WillowCreek Assisted Living & Memory Care

Lake City, FL

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

Eastside Care

152 Defender Ave
Lake City, FL

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

Plantation (THE)

Lake City, FL

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

The Canopy at Harper Lake

213 NW Gleason Dr
Lake City, FL

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

The Canopy at Harper Lake community is developed to high standards of safety and hospitality. Our facility is specifically designed to meet the needs of all of our residents. Our location was carefully chosen in an attractive neighborhood with convenient…

Eastside Care-Alf

152 Defender Ave
Lake City, FL

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

Call 1-800-991-9257 for details

Eastside Care Eastside Care INC is an assisted living facility in Lake City, FL. Eastside Care INC offers activities at their location for residents. These activities generally allow residents to maintain healthy lifestyles by encouraging movement and socializing with their…

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Map of Columbia County Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted Living Costs in Columbia County

According to the Genworth 2018 Cost of Care study, the cost of assisted living in Columbia County is $275 a month higher than the state average. The only area in close proximity that has a lower average cost is Ocala at $3,275 per month.

The least expensive area in Florida overall is Lakeland, with assisted living costing an average of $2,808 per month, and the most expensive area is Naples at $5,448 a month.

Note: Senior care cost data wasn’t available for Columbia County, so data for the closest city, Gainesville, was used.

The Cost of Assisted Living in Surrounding Areas

Care Cost Comparison

The difference between the cost of assisted living and nursing home care is quite large, with the latter costing more than double. However, it’s often easier to receive help paying for nursing home care because the individual is eligible for more state and federal assistance compared to residents in assisted living.

Homemaker services and home health aides fees are only around $40 more expensive than assisted living in the area. The cost of in-home services is based on a requirement of 44 hours of care each week, which means the cost could be more or less depending on individual needs. Also, those who continue to live at home must consider home expenses, such as taxes, yard maintenance, utilities and groceries, which are normally included when living in an assisted living facility. 

Senior Care Cost Comparison Chart

Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Columbia County

Medicaid in Florida

Seniors in Florida who need help paying for various medical goods and services, as well as long-term care, can apply for one or more of the plans that make up the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care (SMMC) program. The SMMC is relatively new, starting in 2014 as a more structured approach to the Medicaid waivers that had been offered in the past.

The SMMC is split into three plans: Long-term Care (LTC), Managed Medical Assistance (MMA) and Dental. Residents can apply for each of these plans as needed.

The Long-term Care plan is designed for seniors (65+), as well as adults of any age who are disabled, requiring a nursing facility level of care. Although the eligibility requirements are based on nursing facilities, it’s possible to be placed in and reimbursed for assisted living if it’s deemed the most appropriate in any individual case.

The Managed Medical Assistance plan covers Medicaid-approved goods and services, such as doctor visits, hospitals, mental health treatment and prescription drugs, as well as transportation to and from the point of service.

The Dental plan is mandatory for all Medicaid recipients in Florida and covers all approved dental services.

Eligibility requirements for Medicaid and the SMMC:

  • Aged 65+ (or disabled)
  • At or below maximum annual income of $16,612 ($22,491 for couples)
  • At or below maximum countable assets of $2,000 ($3,000 for couples)
  • Resident of the state of Florida

In Florida, funding from Medicaid toward assisted living costs is not an entitlement, which means applicants are often placed on a waiting list even if fully eligible to receive services. Nursing home care is an entitlement in Florida, so there is no delay if this is deemed the appropriate level of care.

More information on Medicaid and the SMMC can be found on the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) website.

Applications can be made online via ACCESS Florida, which is managed by the Department of Children and Families. Call customer service at (866) 762-2237 during business hours for assistance.

Other Financial Assistance Programs for Assisted Living

Optional State Supplement (OSS)

Low-income seniors as well as the blind or disabled who are receiving SSI benefits from the federal government can apply for an additional payment at the state level through the Optional State Supplement program.

In Florida, OSS payments are intended to pay for room and board and are only made to residents of licensed facilities, including assisted living and nursing homes. Seniors living in their own home or with a caregiver are not eligible. The highest monthly payment from OSS is $78.40 per individual.

The maximum countable assets allowed for OSS are the same as Medicaid: $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple. However, the income limit is $752 ($1504.80 per couple) per month.

Applications for OSS in Florida are generally made by a case manager or facility staff. Contact ACCESS Florida on (866) 762-2237 to find out more about the application process.

Veterans Affairs Aid and Attendance (A&A) Program

Veterans or their surviving family may be eligible for additional payments from Veterans Affairs if eligible for the Aid and Attendance program. As the name suggests, this program is designed for those who need help from another person on a daily basis.

If approved for the A&A program, the payment amount is added to the monthly pension the individual is currently receiving from Veterans Affairs. This additional funding can be used to help pay for assisted living room and board, among other services.

Applicants for this program can qualify in a number of ways. The simplest qualifier is that the applicant is already living in a nursing home or bedridden. If not, they can be assessed as requiring aid with various personal tasks and activities, such as assistance with prosthetic devices, hygiene and eating. Alternatively, applicants will qualify if their eyesight is severely limited (view the full A&A eligibility for details).

In addition to qualifying via one of the above, applicants must satisfy both of these requirements:

  • Received an honorable discharge from military service
  • Minimum 90 days of active duty service with at least one day meeting the definition of wartime service

To apply for the A&A program, contact the Veterans Service Office in Lake City at (386) 758-1013. Staff can help determine which benefits are appropriate and assist throughout the application process.

Assisted Living Resources in Columbia County

Area Agency on Aging and Senior Centers

Columbia County Senior Services is the local Area Agency on Aging, with locations in Lake City and Fort White that serve the whole county. AAAs such as this are advocates, educators and service providers for the senior (60+) population and their caregivers. In Columbia County specifically, this AAA also carries out many of the same functions as a senior center. Services are offered at low or no cost to seniors, including hot lunch on weekdays, meal delivery, transportation, activities and educational events.

Lifestyle Enrichment Center of Lake City
628 SE Allison Ct., Lake City, FL 32025
(386) 755-0235

Lifestyle Enrichment Center of Fort White
18829 Hwy. 47 S, Fort White, FL 32038
(386) 497-1504

Veterans Services

The Veterans Service Office (VSO) for Columbia County is located in Lake City. Seeking help from a VSO is highly recommended for anyone attempting to apply for VA benefits as the staff have a wealth of experience and knowledge concerning Veterans Affairs and the various benefits available to veterans and survivors. The Lake City office is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Columbia County Veterans Service Office
971 W. Duval St., Ste. 180, Lake City, FL 32055
(386) 758-2184

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