Illinois Senior Care Costs: Nursing Homes and Illinois State Supported Senior Care


Illinois Senior Care Costs:  Nursing Homes and Illinois State Supported Senior Care


  • In-Home Senior Care
  • Assisted Living
  • CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community)
  • Nursing Home
  • Veteran’s Care:  Home Companion and Nursing Aide Care or Veteran’s Retirement Home


Low-Income Illinois Seniors May Qualify for:

  • Medicare Cost-Sharing
  • Medicaid (pays for Nursing Home Care)
  • Food Stamps


Medicaid financial qualifications for seniors age 65 or older in Illinois:

Both Monthly Income and Total Assets are considered when qualifying for Medicaid.


Single Senior:  $908 income per month or less

Married Seniors (2 person household):  $1,226 income per month or less


Asset Limits for Medicaid Qualification in Illinois:


Single:   $2,000 or Less


Married:  $3,000 or Less


If you are single, to qualify for Medicaid, your countable assets must be $2,000 or less.  If you are married, your combined assets must be equal to or less than $3,000.  You can no longer pass your assets to your children or a trust, simply to qualify for Medicaid benefits to pay for a nursing home.  This was a common practice prior to the passage of what is commonly called the Bill Clinton “look-back” law.  This law, passed in 1993,  allows the government to look back at your taxes and assets for 5 years (60 months), for both financial gifts and transfers to trusts.  Before this law was passed, often wealthy individuals would rearrange their finances in order to qualify for Medicaid to pay for their long-term nursing home care.  Remember, Medicare DOES NOT PAY FOR LONG-TERM CARE in a nursing home nor in the home. 


Exempt Assets in order to qualify for Medicaid in Illinois, for low-income seniors:


  • Your Home
  • Your Personal belongings and Household Goods of Reasonable Value
  • Certain Resources Used to Earn Income
  • One Automobile (regardless of value, if used as transport to medical treatments or to work)
  • Life Insurance Policies (total value of $1,500 or less) +  All Term Life Insurance Policies
  • Burial Expenses Funds
  • Certain Other Assets that Occur Infrequently



Seniors may begin to take Social Security benefit checks as early as age 62, with the monthly social security payment increasing if the payout is delayed until age 65.  All seniors must begin taking their social security check by age 70.


The average monthly Social Security benefit check for a retired worker:   $1,177

(Source:  Social Security Administration, 2011)


This amount changes monthly based upon the total amount of all benefits paid and the total number of people receiving the benefits.  Monthly social security checks can be as low as $750 per month and as high as $2,750 per month, with the benefits connected to the amount of income and payments the person made throughout their lifetime.  (Note:  Caregiverlist advocates for senior caregivers to be hired by senior home care agencies only to insure they are contributing to their payroll taxes and will be able to collect social security when they retire).

Costs of Senior Care Options in Illinois:

Medicaid:  Free care in a long-term care nursing home if you qualify financially as low-income senior

Supportive Living:  Community living center for low-income seniors who qualify

In-Home Senior Care:  $16 to $25 per hour and $160 to $300 per day for around-the-clock live-in care

Nursing Home:  average is $220 per day, you may view daily costs of nursing homes in Caregiverlist's directory

Assisted Living:  usually should plan on $4,000 per month to pay for living expenses and caregiving needs

CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community):  Down payments can be as much as $250,000 but will usually allow senior to stay, in the event they would require full-time nursing home care and allow Medicaid to pay.

Veteran's Care:  Home health aides available for hourly care visits and Veteran's Homes for assisted living and nursing cae.


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