Minnesota’s New Law Requires Counseling Prior to Moving to Assisted Living

Molly Schlanker, 4/17/2012

Senior care options can be confusing, especially when trying to understand the costs of care and what benefits Medicare provides (only up to 100 days in a nursing home).

Minnesota has passed a new law which went into effect on October 1, 2011, which will attempt to make sure a senior understands all the details of a move to an assisted living community.

Seniors seeking assisted living in Minnesota now must speak to a counselor who will help them make better and less costly long-term care choices.

As the state legislature has become concerned about the increase in the cost of public senior care programs which include nursing home care and is paid for through Medicaid for very low-income seniors.

Daily costs of nursing home care in Minnesota can easily be $200 per day.  For instance, Anoka Care Center in Anoka, Minnesota costs $220 per day for a private room and a private room at Maple Manor Healthcare in Rochester, Minnesota is $232 per day.  This means the annual cost of nursing home care can easily be $80,000.

The cost of an assisted living apartment in Minnesota is currently about $37,000, much less than a nursing home but without the full-time caregiving benefits of a nursing home.  However, if a Minnesota senior should spend-down their assets, they would qualify for Medicaid, the low-income state and federal program for seniors.  Medicaid does pay for long-term care in a nursing home.  You can review the Medicaid qualifications in each state within Caregiverlist’s “by-state” senior care section.

Minnesota hopes to assist seniors in understanding the costs of long-term senior care through the new law requiring counseling before a move into assisted living.

Currently 30,000 Minnesotans seek assisted living each year. But with the counseling – which will consist of a 10-minute interview where counselors with degrees in social work, nursing or related fields will ask seven screening questions to determine a person’s risk of needing nursing home care – the state estimates 945 callers a year will choose a cheaper option, most likely staying in their homes with added services, according to the Minnesota Star Tribune.

Review the costs of nursing home care nationwide with Caregiverlist’s nursing home costs and ratings tool.

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