Can Assisted Living Charge the Full Amount Upfront?

Author: Ashlee Shefer

Reviewed By: Rachel Rose

Assisted living can charge the full amount upfront, but many communities ask for a one-time reservation deposit or community fee. This deposit holds your spot until you’re ready to move in. After admission, you pay fixed monthly rates for housing and care services. However, financial policies vary depending on the facility and state regulations. 

Why Do Assisted Living Communities Charge Fees Upfront?

Some assisted living facilities charge entrance or community fees upfront. A community fee is a nonrefundable, one-time payment that secures your spot and covers the cost of preparing an apartment for move-in. An entrance fee pays for a portion of your care and ensures access to higher levels of care as needed.

Some communities use entrance fees to offer lower monthly payments. They’re also refundable depending on how much care a resident needs, how long they’re in the community and how much they pay in monthly payments. The amount of the fee and what it covers varies based on the community. However, entrance fees typically carry higher prices than community fees and cover more services. 

How Do Assisted Living Communities Commonly Structure Pay?

Assisted living communities structure pay in several ways, depending on their unique policies and state regulations. Some states require communities to offer monthly payment plans to enable access to affordable care. These payments cover housing, meals, amenities and lifestyle services, including housekeeping and laundry. Monthly fees vary based on community location and the level of care needed. According to the 2023 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the national median monthly rate for assisted living is $5,350. Other communities offer tiered pricing scales based on the level of care residents need. For example, residents who need minimal daily living assistance pay lower fees than those requiring intensive care and supervision. Some communities utilize all-inclusive pricing, which involves paying a single monthly fee for all provided services and amenities. Others provide la carte services. With this option, residents only pay for the services they need alongside a standard monthly fee, allowing for total customization of care.