Illinois seniors aged 65 and over who are U.S. Citizens and state residents can take advantage of various financial aid plans. Paying for assisted living usually comes down to two methods – non-subsidized payments from personal funds or borrowed money and subsidized payments from federal or governmental sources, such as Medicare and Medicaid.

Most elderly individuals in Illinois cover the costs of assisted living through their personal or familial funds. For those who have financial needs, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services provides a Supportive Living Program, which uses Medicaid to support payments for personal care and services at supportive living facilities. Nevertheless, seniors enrolled in this program still need to take on the expense of their room and board.

Does Medicare Cover Assisted Living in Illinois?

Medicare, a federally-funded health care program for seniors, generally does not cover many expenses associated with long-term care in senior living communities. All Americans at least 65 years of age are eligible for Medicare. In some cases, disabled individuals may be able to sign up for Medicare even if they are under 65 years old.

Although Medicare doesn’t include long-term care coverage, it does pay for short-term care at nursing home facilities for seniors requiring rehabilitation or nursing care after an illness or injury. In some cases, Medicare may cover rehabilitation services and therapies in the home or at a senior living community, such as an assisted living facility. Other Medicare health plans may include:

  • Medicare Advantage Plans
  • Medicare Cost Plans
  • Demonstrations/Pilot Programs
  • Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)

Does Illinois Medicaid Pay for Assisted Living Costs?

In Illinois, Medicaid does not cover the cost of assisted living. However, the Illinois Supportive Living Program is a waiver program that offers low-income seniors aged 65 or older and disabled individuals who meet certain financial requirements to be able to pay for such care. While this waiver does not cover the cost of room and board, it does offer financial aid for other expenses associated with assisted living, as administered by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. Seniors must receive assisted living services through a qualified Supportive Living Program Provider Site before they can receive funding. Covered services may include:

  • Personal care assistance
  • Intermittent nursing care
  • Meals and snacks
  • Housekeeping and laundry services
  • Social and health activities
  • Recreational services
  • Around-the-clock staffing to meet residents’ needs