The state of Louisiana ranks 17th overall and fourth in senior living and housing according to our 2022 Senior Living Report. This is good news for seniors aged 65 and older who make up 15.9% of the state’s population, which is about average for the country. The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that residents aged 60 and over will make up 25% of the population by the year 2030, increasing the need for assisted living facilities in cities throughout the Pelican State.

The average cost for assisted living in Louisiana is $3,748 per month, which is well below the national average. The overall cost of living in the state is 13.1% lower than the national average. These low costs make Louisiana very attractive to families with limited incomes. Families can also benefit from great hospitals in the state, including Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans and Willis-Knighton Medical Center in Shreveport. 

Below we inform you what you need to know about the cost of assisted living in Louisiana as compared to neighboring states and cities within the state, getting help paying for assisted living through Medicaid and Medicare, free and low-cost resources in the state, and rules and regulations assisted living facilities are bound to follow. 

The Cost of Assisted Living in Louisiana

The median price for assisted living in Louisiana is about $750 less than the national average, which is $4,500 per month. Nearby states in the region have similarly low assisted living costs. To the west in Texas, the average monthly rate is $3,998. To the west in Mississippi, the median price is $3,500 per month, which is one of the lowest state averages in the country. With an average rate of $3,760 per month, Arkansas has very similar assisted living costs as Louisiana. These figures come from Genworth Financial’s Cost of Care Survey for 2021.

$3748

Louisiana

$4500

The United States

$3998

Texas

$3760

Arkansas

$3500

Mississippi

Assisted living costs in the state of Louisiana range from $2,650 per month to $4,850 per month, with Monroe being at the bottom of the range and Houma being at the top. The state capital, Baton Rouge, is on the high end of the range with a monthly median rate of $4,125. The state’s largest city and cultural center, New Orleans, has a monthly average rate of $3,973. At the opposite end of the state in Shreveport, the median rate for assisted living is $3,870 per month, and Lafayette’s costs are even lower at $3,850 per month.

$4125

Baton Rouge

$3973

New Orleans

$3850

Lafayette

$4000

Lake Charles

$3870

Shreveport

$2650

Monroe

$4850

Houma

Compared to other types of senior care in Louisiana, assisted living costs are middle of the road. The monthly rate for home care is $3,623 if you need 40 hours of service per week. Home health care is slightly more expensive at $3,718 per month. Families who only need some supervision during the day may benefit from adult day health care, which costs just $1,788 per month. A high level of care and supervision is available in the state’s nursing homes, which have a monthly median price of $5,759.

$3748

Assisted Living

$3623

Home Care

$3718

Home Health Care

$1788

Adult Day Health Care

$5759

Nursing Home Care (semiprivate)

Does Medicaid Cover Assisted Living in Louisiana?

No, Medicaid does not directly cover the costs of room and board at assisted living facilities in Louisiana. Medicaid can cover the cost of some long-term care services but only if the recipient requires a nursing home level of care. Seniors living in assisted living who are transitioning to a nursing home within 120 days may qualify for some Home and Community-Based Services while still residing in their current residence. 

There are three programs that may cover services in assisted living for some residents: Community Choices Waiver, Long Term Care Personal Care Services and the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). These programs cover personal care services, transportation and care coordination. 

What Assisted Living Services Are Covered by Medicaid in Louisiana?

The services covered by Louisiana’s Medicaid waiver programs include care coordination, transition, home modifications, nursing, home-delivered meals, assistive devices and some specialty medical services. Waivers can cover personal care services such as light housekeeping, bathing and grooming, toileting and eating. Physical, occupational and speech therapies may also be available to those who qualify. 

Assisted Living Waiver Programs in Louisiana

Louisiana Medicaid has three waiver programs that may help seniors pay for some care services in assisted living in some circumstances. None of these programs will pay for every aspect of assisted living. 

Resource

Contact

Description

(877) 456-1146

The CCW program may help seniors in assisted living who require a nursing home level of care. Services include support coordination, transition services, medical devices, nursing services and personal assistance services. Since this waiver program has limited resources, you or a loved one may be put on a Request for Services Registry (RFSR) after you apply. Priority is given to seniors who have suffered abuse and are not receiving help from other waiver programs. 

(877) 456-1146

LT-PCS covers assistance with activities of daily living, such as eating and bathing. It can also cover activities such as shopping and local transportation. It does not cover any medical services, including medication reminders and rehabilitative services. The recipient must be able to direct their own care or have a representative who can competently direct their care, and they must be likely to need nursing home admission within the next 4 months. 

Greater New Orleans (504) 945-1531
Baton Rouge (225) 490-0604
Lafayette (337) 470-4500

PACE is a comprehensive care program that helps adults at-risk of nursing home placement remain in the community. The program covers almost any kind of care that helps reach this goal, including specialty medical services, inpatient hospital care, assistive devices and restorative therapies. Once you or a loved one enter the PACE program, Medicaid will not pay for any other services. PACE is only available in Greater New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette. 

How To Know If You’re Eligible for Medicaid in Louisiana

If you are a Louisiana resident, you qualify for Medicaid automatically if you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP) benefits. If you are aged 65 or older, you may also qualify for Medicaid if you have a disability, take care of a person with a disability and meet the income and asset requirements.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Louisiana

Waiver Program

Annual Income Limit

Asset Limit*

Community Choices Waiver

Single: $30,276

Couple: $30,276

Single: $2,000

Couple: $3,000

Long Term Personal Care Services Program

Single: $17,136

Couple: $23,172

Single: $2,000

Couple: $3,000

Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)

Single: $28,188 

Couple: $56,376

Single: $2,000

Couple: $3,000

*Married couples can have up to $128,640 if one person is a non-applicant

How To Apply for Medicaid in Louisiana

There are a variety of ways to apply for Medicaid benefits in Louisiana. You can:

  • Call Louisiana Options in Long Term Care at (877) 456-1146 Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Call your local PACE provider listed above.
  • Fill out the Louisiana Medicaid Online Application (OLA).
  • Visit a Louisiana Medicaid Application Center. There are locations throughout the state.
  • Print and fill out an application and mail it to a Medicaid location.

Information You Will Need

Medicaid applications require extensive personal and financial details, including:

  • Personal information, such as your Social Security number, address and citizenship status
  • Financial information, such as your income, annuities and benefits payments
  • Asset information, such as bank accounts and equity holdings
  • Real estate holdings, trusts, vehicles, life insurance and other non-liquid assets

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid

If you need assistance filling out an application or determining which program is right for your situation, you can contact one of the following organizations for help.

Resource

Contact

Description

This nonprofit statewide organization provides free legal information for seniors and families who may need help with the Medicaid system in Louisiana. It offers links to free legal services that may be available near you.

(855) 229-6848

The Louisiana Department of Health operates Healthy Louisiana to assist seniors and families with benefits applications, including Medicaid waiver programs. It can also connect you with service providers in your area.

In addition to addressing reports of abuse inside long-term care settings, Louisiana ombudsmen can help residents in assisted living solve issues related to Medicaid, including denied applications and claims. 

Does Medicare Cover Assisted Living in Louisiana?

The short answer is that no, Medicare does not cover the cost of assisted living in Louisiana. Assisted living facilities are considered to be a “residential setting” and not a “clinical setting,” (think nursing homes). While Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of care received in an assisted living community, it does still cover things like approved medications, doctor visits, medical equipment, etc., just like it would if you lived at home.

For more information about when Medicare can be used to pay for senior living in a nursing home, and for Medicare-related resources, see our guide to Nursing Homes in Louisiana.

Other Financial Assistance Options for Assisted Living in Louisiana

Seniors who are not eligible (due to location, financial situation, or other factors) for other types of financial assistance, do still have some options. See the table below for an overview of some of the most common ways to make Assisted Living affordable.

How to Apply

How It Works

Aid and Attendance

Learn more and apply online at va.gov.

Veterans who receive a VA pension may also be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit, a monthly cash allowance that veterans receive in addition to their standard pension amount. The benefit is intended for veterans in need of long-term care services and may be used towards paying for Assisted Living.

Reverse Mortgages

Learn more about your options and how to apply at ftc.gov

If you own a home, you may be able to use a reverse mortgage to help pay for Assisted Living. Reverse mortgages are loans that one can take out against the value of their home, essentially converting some of the home's equity into cash. Reverse mortgage loans do need to be repaid with interest, typically within 12 months of receiving the loan.

Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance

Learn more about Long-Term Care Insurance and how to apply for a policy at acl.gov.

Seniors who already have long-term care insurance may be able to use it to pay for Assisted Living. Most policies cover at least a portion of the cost, but it depends on the specific policy terms. Note that older adults who are already in need of Assisted Living will not typically be eligible to sign up for a LTC insurance policy.

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Louisiana

Seniors and families in Louisiana have access to public and private nonprofit resources at little or no cost. These resources can assist older adults with everything from benefits claims to long-term care planning.

Resource

Contact

Description

(225) 342-7100

The Governor's Office of Elderly Affairs runs the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, which investigates abuse and ensures assisted living facilities follow the law. This state-level agency also oversees all local Area Agency on Aging offices in Louisiana. These local agencies' services include assisted transportation, care coordination, home-delivered meals, nutrition counseling and utility assistance.

(866) 448-3620

The AARP hosts support groups and offers resources to seniors. It schedules events throughout the year that help families access affordable long-term care and financial assistance through Medicare, Medicaid and other state programs. While many events and programs are free, affordable membership provides additional discounts and rewards.

(225) 219-5000

This department assists veterans throughout the state with their benefits, which can be used to help pay for assisted living and other senior services. Its experts can help veterans and their eligible dependents to navigate the claims process, including appeals to denied claims. In some cases, veterans may qualify for additional benefits through Aid & Attendance, a program designed to assist veterans with disabilities. 

(504) 831-6561

Gulf Coast Senior Services is a nonprofit organization that provides veterans care programs and elder care programs to the south half of Louisiana. Its services for seniors at home or in assisted living include respite, transportation, companionship and assistance participating in local events. There are no eligibility requirements for service. Gulf Coast Social Services has locations in Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Houma, Lafayette, Lake Charles, New Orleans and North Shore.

(800) 259-5300

Counselors from the Senior Health Insurance Information Program provide free and unbiased advice for Medicare beneficiaries so that they can make smart long-term care decisions. You can get help from a counselor in person or over the phone. Counselors operate from partner sites throughout the state, including medical centers, AAAs and clinics. This program is run by the Louisiana Department of Insurance. 

COVID-19 Rules for Assisted Living in Louisiana

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including ldh.la.gov and cms.gov. These rules apply to nursing homes and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 3/16/22, but since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving pandemic, contact your local senior living facility or Area Agency on Aging for more specific and up-to-date information.

Visitation Policies

Rules for Louisiana Communities

Are loved ones allowed to visit to provide emotional support?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are relatives allowed to visit for end-of-life care?

Yes

Are residents required to quarantine after visiting with a loved one?

No (Conditions Apply)

Are visitors required to wear PPE (including masks) in order to visit residents?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are non-medical contractors (such as hairdressers and entertainers) allowed in senior living facilities?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are visitors checked for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are visitors required to answer questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?

Yes

Outings & Social Activities

Rules for Louisiana Communities

Are residents allowed to leave (errands, visiting family, etc.) for non-medical reasons?

Yes

Are residents who leave required to quarantine when they return?

No (Conditions Apply)

Are senior living communities required to cancel all group outings?

No

Are residents allowed to eat meals together in a common area?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are residents allowed to gather in common areas for group activites?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

COVID-19 Safety Measures for Staff and Residents

Rules for Louisiana Communities

Are staff members regularly required to do a temperature check?

Yes

Are staff members regularly tested for COVID-19?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are staff members members regularly required to do a health and safety screening, including questions about travel, contact with positive cases, etc?

Yes

Are residents regularly screened for COVID-19 symptoms?

Yes

Are residents regularly checked for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are residents regularly tested for COVID-19?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Louisiana

Assisted living facilities in Louisiana comply with regulations set by the Agency for Health Care Administration, Bureau of Health Facility Regulation. These regulations ensure a high standard of care for residents by setting minimum requirements for care, staffing and environmental features.  

LOUISIANA LAWS AND REGULATIONS

Assisted Living Service Plan Requirements

Before any senior can take residence in an ARCP, they must go through a pre-admission screening to determine if the facility can meet their needs. If staff conclude that the senior is an appropriate fit for the community, they conduct a full assessment of the resident's needs and preferences in terms of amenities and accommodations. This information is used to create a comprehensive individual care plan. Care plans can be revised whenever the resident's needs or preferences change. 

Assisted Living Admission Requirements

ARCPs cannot admit seniors who require more than 90 days of continuous nursing care. Seniors who require temporary nursing care in an assisted living setting can hire a private provider. Behaviors that can disqualify a senior from a community, include violent, aggressive or otherwise dangerous behavior that may harm the resident, staff or visitors. 

Assisted Living Scope of Care

Assisted living facilities offer personal care services, 24-hour supervision, health-related services and assistance with daily activities, including housekeeping, laundry, chores, dressing, bathing, grooming and eating. Staff can also help residents engage in social activities and remind them of their medications. Transportation to local activities and medical appointments may also be provided. 

Assisted Living Medicaid Policy

In Louisiana, the state's regular Medicaid program and the Medicaid waiver programs do not help fund room and board for seniors living in assisted living communities or any of the services they receive while in residence.

Assisted Living Facility Requirements

The Louisiana Department of Health requires that each ARCP facility houses its residents in apartment-style accommodations with lockable doors. Each of these apartments is required by law to include:

- A kitchen with running water, refrigeration, stove or microwave and food storage.

- An ADA-compliant bathroom with sink and shower/bath

- A bedroom area with a storage closet

- An emergency call system that's easy for any resident to access at any time of day

- A heating and cooling system that can be controlled by each individual unit

- A phone jack

Medication Management Regulations

Staff are permitted to remind residents of the medications they can take according to their personal care plan. They can help read labels, open containers, check the dosage and physically assist with taking the medication. Staff are not legally permitted to administer prescription or over-the-counter medications themselves.

Staffing Requirements

While Louisiana does not require a specific staff-to-resident ratio for assisted living facilities, each facility is required to have enough staff on hand at all times to meet all resident needs. This includes always having a staff member awake. Each facility must also have at least one director who is always available on call.

Staff Training Requirements

Louisiana requires directors of assisted living facilities to complete 12 hours of continuing education related to their management responsibilities. Each staff member who cares directly for residents must complete 5 days of supervised training. All employees must be reviewed for their knowledge of facility policies at least once per year. 

Background Checks for Assisted Living

Louisiana law requires background checks for all employees at Adult Residential Care Providers as well as the owners and board members. Any reported illegal activity that is relevant to elder care or management of a facility may result in denial or revocation of a license. 

Requirements for Reporting Abuse

Louisiana's Elder Protective Services department takes reports of all kinds of physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse affecting assisted living residents. Reports can be submitted at any time as soon as someone witnesses abuse. Life-threatening situations should be reported to emergency services.