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The average cost of assisted living in the county is $5,125 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 12 assisted living facilities in Skagit County and 12 in surrounding areas.
The Cost of Senior Care in Skagit County, WA
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Genworth’s 2018 Cost of Care study shows that the average monthly cost of assisted living in Skagit County is $5,125, which is $10 less than the state average and $1,125 higher than the national average. To the north, costs are significantly lower in Bellingham ($4,250) and higher in cities south of Skagit County, such as Bremerton ($5,720).
Statewide, assisted living care prices start at $4,000 in Spokane and go up to $5,750 in the Seattle area. Overall, prices for assisted living are higher in Washington state than many other areas nationwide.
Note: Senior care cost data wasn’t available for Skagit County, so data for Mount Vernon, a city in Skagit County, was used.
The Cost of Assisted Living in Surrounding Areas
Senior care costs in Skagit County start at $2,340 per month for adult day health services, which provides nonmedical day programming in a group setting for up to 8 hours daily Monday thru Friday.
Semiprivate nursing home care is the most expensive option at $9,034, while 44 hours of in-home care from a homemaker or home health aide costs $5,815 per month. Assisted living, which includes room and board, costs $5,125 per month.
Senior Care Cost Comparison Chart
Established in 1965 to help needy individuals access basic health services, Medicaid is the federally mandated health plan for low-income seniors, adults with disabilities and children. Mandatory benefits include physician services, hospitalization, medical tests and long-term care.
Medicaid is administered at the state level and may also include state-specific optional benefits, such as case management, rehabilitation, prescription medications and hospice care.
Apple Health Eligibility
Washington’s Medicaid program is called Apple Health and is managed by the Washington State Health Care Authority. To qualify for long-term Apple Health benefits, including home and community-based waiver programs, seniors aged 65 and older must meet income and asset criteria. Those who already receive Supplemental Security Income payments are automatically enrolled in Apple Health.
Single seniors can earn up to $2,313 per month, and couple’s applying together can earn up to $4,626 per month. The asset limit for individuals is $2,000 and $3,000 per couple.
Income from wages, investments, pensions and alimony payments is included, and assets include cash, bank account balances, stocks, bonds and most real estate. A home which the applicant and/or their spouse own and live in is exempt as long as it’s valued at no more than $585,000.
Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance
When only one spouse requires long-term Apple Health and the non-applicant (community spouse) has a monthly income below $3,160.50, the minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance rule applies.
Under the MMMNA, the applicant can transfer income to the non-applicant to bring their monthly income up to $3,160.50, and this amount is then deducted from the applicant’s monthly income when determining Apple Health eligibility.
Community Spouse Resource Allowance
The community spouse resource allowance lets a non-applicant spouse keep 50% of the couple’s joint assets, up to a maximum value of $126,420, when one spouse requires Apple Health coverage for long-term care. This is in addition to exempt assets, such as an owner-occupied home, one vehicle and non-revocable burial trusts.
Under the CSRA, if the couple owns less than $55,547 worth of joint assets, the community spouse can keep 100% of those assets.
To apply for Apple Health, contact the Washington Healthplanfinder customer support center at (855) 923-4633.
Community Options Program Entry System
Seniors with Apple Health coverage who are aged 65 or older and need help with at least two activities of daily living may qualify for the Community Options Program Entry System, a Medicaid home and community-based waiver. This nursing home diversion program helps seniors age in place in an assisted living facility by providing services and supports that are similar to those offered in a nursing home.
COPES services include:
Note: Personal care services to assist with bathing, grooming and other activities of daily living aren’t provided through the COPES waiver. Personal care services are available through the Community First Program and eligible seniors can participate in both programs at the same time.
To enroll in COPES, seniors must complete a medical and functional assessment performed by a designated evaluator through the Department of Social and Health Services, Home and Community Services. The assessor will determine if the applicant can live safely in the community with the services and supports available through COPES.
Community First Choice Program
Community First Choice is an Apple Health program for seniors aged 65 and older living in a community-based setting, such as assisted living, who require personal care services to avoid institutionalization.
CFC services include:
The CFC program also funds transition services for seniors currently in a nursing home who would like to move into an assisted living setting. CFC services can be combined with COPES services.
For more information on COPES or the CFC program, contact the Northwest Regional Council’s Senior Information and Assistance Program in Mount Vernon at (360) 428-1301.
Optional State Supplementation
The Optional State Supplementation program provides up to $46 per month to individuals and up to $92 per month to couples who are aged 65 and older and receive Supplemental Security Income. These funds are added directly to the monthly SSI payment to help seniors pay for their room-and-board costs.
For more information, contact the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213.
Elderlife Assisted Living Bridge Loan
Seniors who need financing to pay for a move into an assisted living facility may qualify for an assisted living loan from Elderlife Financial.
This 12-month loan is geared towards seniors who have a good credit rating, as approval is based on the credit score of the applicants. Up to six people can be listed on the loan application.
Seniors approved for a bridge loan are provided with access to the funds in as little as 24 hours. The loan is set up like a line of credit, therefore, seniors only need to borrow the money they require and the monthly payments are interest only.
The loan balance plus any accrued interest can be paid in full at any time without penalty.
For more information and to apply over the phone, contact Elderlife Financial at (888) 228-4500.
The County Veteran Service Officer helps vets, survivors and dependents collect their maximum entitlements from the VA and State. Service is available by appointment on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays in Mount Vernon and Wednesdays at the Concrete Community Center.
Outpatient VA health services, including primary care, nursing and social work services, and vision testing, are available at the Mount Vernon VA Clinic. Comprehensive emergency, acute and specialty services are offered at the nearby VA Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle.
Skagit County Veteran Service Officer
(360) 416-7585 ex. 1162
Mount Vernon VA Clinic
307 S. 13th St., Suite 200, Mount Vernon, WA 98274-4100
Skagit County operates five senior centers located in Anacortes, Burlington, Mount Vernon, Sedro-Wolley and Concrete that are open Monday thru Friday. Each center offers daily meal service programs, free health-screening clinics, and a variety of low-cost exercise classes, social groups and drop-in games.
Seniors who need help applying for COPES, Medicaid or Medicare, require low-cost legal services or would like to sign up for wheelchair-accessible transportation can contact the Skagit County Aging and Disability Resources Program.
Aging and Disability Resources Program
301 Walley Mall Way, Suite 100, Mount Vernon, WA 98273
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