Home to over 3.5 million people as of 2019, the state of Connecticut is welcoming to seniors. A robust system of senior services makes it an appealing place to retire, and 17.6% of the population is aged 65 and older. That’s a total of 629,032 seniors living within the state.

Seniors who retire to Connecticut have a number of options for care, but sometimes they need more than can be provided at home. Nursing home facilities provide around-the-clock nursing care for elderly and frail seniors who need additional supportive services. Families seeking nursing home care in Connecticut can expect to pay an average of $12,927 per month for a semiprivate room and $13,992 for a private room, based on data from the 2020 Genworth Cost of Care Survey.

This guide provides nursing facility cost data and comparisons with other types of care, information about financial assistance options to help pay for nursing home care, some free resources for seniors and an overview of the rules and regulations governing Connecticut nursing homes. 

The Cost of Nursing Home Care in Connecticut

Connecticut families considering nursing home care for their elderly loved ones will find that the cost of care in the Connecticut is much higher than in surrounding states. For a semiprivate room, Connecticut families pay an average of $12,927 a month according to the 2020 Genworth Cost of Care Survey. This is over $4,000 higher than the cost in Rhode Island, which is $8,669. It’s much closer but still higher than the cost in Massachusetts where families pay an average of $12,623. New York falls just below that at $12,319. All of these New England states have costs well above the national average of $7,756.

$12927

Connecticut

$7756

The United States

$8669

Rhode Island

$12319

New York

$12623

Massachusetts

Connecticut averages $12,927 a month for nursing home care in a semiprivate room, but that cost will vary from one area of the state to the next and based on the amenities of the community. In Hartford, for instance, you can expect to pay around $13,079, but in New Haven, it’s lower at $12,395. In Norwich, the average is $12,463. The highest cost is found in Bridgeport, which has a monthly average of $14,113. Across the Rhode Island state line in Providence, families can expect to pay around $9,733.

$12927

Connecticut

$12395

New Haven

$12463

Norwich

$13079

Hartford

$14113

Bridgeport

$9733

Providence, RI

While some families find that nursing home care is best for their loved one’s needs, there are other care options available in Connecticut. For those who wish to remain at home, homemaker services cost an average of $4,576 a month, while home health care, which includes some basic medical care services, costs about $200 more at $4,767. If you choose assisted living care, you should plan to pay $6,300. The most affordable option is adult day care, which averages $1,874 per month in Connecticut.

$12927

Nursing Home Care

$4576

Home Care

$4767

Home Health Care

$6300

Assisted Living Care

$1874

Adult Day Care

Financial Assistance for Nursing Home Care in Connecticut

Most people do not pay for skilled nursing care entirely out-of-pocket. Rather, they utilize financial assistance programs to help cover the cost of nursing care. Of public financial assistance programs, Medicaid provides the most comprehensive coverage of nursing home care. But, not all seniors are eligible for Medicaid. And because each state operates its own Medicaid program within federal guidelines, eligibility and benefits vary from state to state. Below, we provide more information on Medicaid in Connecticut.

Connecticut’s Medicaid Program

Connecticut has 209 nursing homes with a total of 24,522 licensed beds available to seniors. Individuals who meet specific income qualifications can use their Medicaid coverage to pay for care in a long-term care facility, including a nursing home. Medicaid covers approximately 74% of the state’s nursing home care costs. As of September of 2020, Connecticut had 900,777 individuals who participated in Medicaid and CHIP, many of whom are income-eligible seniors.

Families of seniors who qualify for Medicaid sometimes wish to keep their loved ones at home. Those who don’t wish to transition to a nursing home have some options to pay for care in their own homes using Medicaid funding. They can use the Department of Developmental Services Home and Community-Based Waiver program to pay for home-based care that allows them to age in place with appropriate supports. Connecticut also offers the Community First Choice program that allows individuals to pay for a personal care attendant and other services and supports at home.

Medicaid Eligibility in Connecticut

Connecticut seniors who are aged 65 and older may qualify for Medicaid based on income and asset guidelines. To qualify, seniors must be state residents and United States citizens or legal immigrants. The monthly income limit for seniors is $2,250. In addition, seniors can have no more than $1,600 in nonexempt assets to qualify. Seniors can apply for Medicaid coverage through the Department of Social Services.

Alternative Financial Assistance Options

  • Medicare: Medicare will cover the cost of one’s care in a skilled nursing facility for the first 20 days of their stay, and a portion of the costs up until day 100. After 100 days, the individual is responsible for all costs. Seniors must also have a “qualifying hospital stay” of at least 3 days prior to their admission to a nursing home in order to qualify for Medicare coverage.
  • Aid and Attendance: 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 skilled nursing care.
  • Reverse Mortgages: If you own a home, you may be able to use a reverse mortgage to help pay for nursing care. 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. This type of funding can be especially useful for married couples when only one partner needs nursing care, as the other residents of the home may continue living there. Reverse mortgage loans do need to be repaid with interest, typically within 12 months of receiving the loan.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Seniors who already have long-term care insurance may be covered for skilled nursing care. Most policies cover at least a portion of the cost of nursing home care, but it depends on the specific policy terms. Note that older adults who are already in need of skilled nursing care will not be eligible to sign up for a LTC insurance policy.

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Connecticut

Connecticut seniors who are considering nursing home care have a number of free or low-cost resources available to help them manage the transition. Some of these resources also provide seniors with services that may allow them to delay the move to a nursing home and age in place at home instead. By taking advantage of these resources, you can make the best care choice for your loved one’s unique situation. 

ResourceContactService
Aging and Disability Resource Centers(860) 424-5055Connecticut’s Aging and Disability Resource Centers are community-based agencies that help seniors through benefits screening, care transition services and options counseling. Seniors and families who suspect that nursing home care may be needed can contact the Aging and Disability Resource Center in their community to learn more about their options to pay for their care.
Connecticut Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program(866) 388-1888The Connecticut Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program provides help for seniors in nursing homes who want to protect their rights. The Ombudsman investigates complaints about abuse and neglect, monitors long-term care facilities to ensure residents’ quality of life is being protected and helps families understand their legal rights in these cases.
Connecticut Legal Aid Network(800) 453-3320Seniors and their families who face legal concerns can get help from the Connecticut Legal Aid Network. This network provides free and low-cost legal services to nursing home residents and other seniors throughout the state. This includes protection against financial abuse, fraud and scams, legal information about medical and healthcare, end-of-life planning and legal concerns specific to nursing home care.
Consumer Law Project for Elders(800) 296-1467CLPE is a free legal assistance program available through a statewide telephone hotline. Seniors or their caretakers can call the hotline to get answers to their legal questions from volunteer advocates.
Money Follows the Person(855) 626-6632Medicaid-eligible seniors who are in long-term care facilities can apply to the Money Follows the Person program for help to transition back to community living. This program allows seniors to use their Medicaid funds to cover the cost of home-based services and supports. 
Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders(800) 445-5394Seniors who are at risk for nursing home placement and meet specific financial eligibility criteria may be able to get services at home through CHCPE. This program offers care management, adult day care, companion services, home-delivered meals and homemaker support to help seniors remain at home if they wish.

Nursing Home Laws and Regulations in Connecticut

Licensing RequirementsThe Connecticut Department of Public Health licenses nursing homes and certifies them to participate in the Medicaid program. Licenses specify the patient capacity based on care level and name the Administrator and other key personnel. Licenses are valid for up to one year. To maintain licensure, facilities must follow the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.
Staffing RequirementsNursing homes in Connecticut are required to have active, organized medical staff including enough nurses and nurse’s aides to provide adequate, appropriate care for patients 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. At least one registered nurse must be on duty at all times.During awake hours, the facility must have enough licensed nursing personnel to provide 0.47 hours of care per patient. During the nighttime hours, that drops to 0.17 hours.For nurse’s aides, the facility must have enough staff to provide 1.40 hours of care per patient during awake hours and 0.50 hours per patient during nighttime hours.
Staff Training RequirementsNurse’s aides must undergo state-approved competency training within 120 days of being hired. The program must be no less than 100 hours in length, including 25 hours of clinical training.
Admission RestrictionsTo be admitted to a nursing home, seniors must have certification from their physician that they need skilled nursing services. A facility can only admit individuals who require services it is equipped to provide.
Care Planning RequirementsAll residents of a nursing home must receive a patient care plan based on their initial patient assessment. The assessment must take place within 14 days of admission, and the care plan must be developed within 7 days of the assessment.
Dietary and Nutritional Services RequirementsSkilled nursing facilities must meet the dietary needs of their residents by having a dietetic service supervisor on staff. If that supervisor isn’t a dietitian, they must consult with one. Continuous dietary service is required for the 12 daytime hours, and patients must have written and dated menus.
Specialized Rehabilitative ServicesSNFs are required to have at least one physical therapy room within the facility. Other specialized rehabilitative services are not required by law.
Medication and Pharmaceutical ServicesMedications can only be administered by licensed nursing personnel, physician assistants or healthcare practitioners. Detailed records of medications given to patients must be kept. All SNFs must have a locked medication room with adequate storage for patient medications.
Activities RequirementsSNFs in Connecticut must provide physically and mentally stimulating activities through a therapeutic recreation program. An on-staff therapeutic recreation director must oversee these activities.
Infection Control RequirementsAn infection control committee will meet regularly to discuss infection prevention plans. Daily surveillance to stop infections if they occur is required. Any infection outbreaks must be reported to the Department of Health.
Medicaid CoverageSeniors who meet certain income and asset requirements can use Medicaid coverage to pay for nursing home care. Only nursing homes approved for the Medicaid program are allowed to take this payment.