Of course, it is important to understand the costs involved in assisted living. The majority of assisted living communities are private pay meaning that the resident is fully responsible for the cost. While Medicare and Medicaid do not usually cover the cost of assisted living services, long term care insurance does. Veterans and their spouses should also ask about VA Aid and Attendance.
Ask, up front, about how costs are paid at the assisted living you or a loved one are considering. Look beyond the glossy brochures and ask specific questions about the cost of living there. A reputable community will always have a written contract, so ask to see one. Be sure that they clearly differentiate between the cost of the apartment and the cost of any services provided.
It may be a good idea to have a calculator with you when you tour so that you can have a running total of the costs. Find out if services are bundled or itemized, when provided. Ask for a listing of any other fees that might be assessed. Assisted living communities vary greatly with regard to the amount of the security deposit, “buy-in” fee, endowment fee, or move-in fee that might be assessed. Also, there can be variance in the timing of rent and fee charges. So, be sure to ask about each of these cost items.