Typically, families pay by the hour or by the day for adult day care, since most people don’t spend all day there every day. As of March 2022, the average daily rate (for up to eight hours) for adult day care facilities in the U.S. is $80, according to Genworth’s Cost of Care database.
Costs depend on the services provided, the individual’s needs, and the city or state where the facility is located. Typically, adult day care can be divided into two broad types — social care and healthcare. In both situations, though, services like meals, social activities, and basic health services are usually provided.
Adult day healthcare usually involves more medical services, such as medication dispensing or therapy for health conditions like dementia and others.
Average Costs of Adult Day Care Nationwide
Most people who visit adult day care facilities will spend between four and 12 hours per day there, up to five days per week. Adult day care services, including those that are social as well as healthcare-focused, are popular respite care options for families and loved ones responsible for providing care to older adults.
For many families, adult day care services are a more affordable alternative to full-time nursing care or in-home care services, both of which are much more expensive on average.
With an average daily rate of $80, adult day care is far lower than the equivalent for home care services ($168), in-home health care ($174), assisted living ($152), or residential nursing homes, which start at $268 for a semi-private room and go up to $306 for a private room.
It’s important for older adults and their families to do their research to find which facilities in their area are the most affordable, as well as pay attention to fee structures to determine if there is an hourly or daily cost associated. Some facilities charge by the hour, while others offer flat rates.
Average Costs of Adult Day Care by State
Adult day care averages $80 per day in the U.S., but prices vary quite a bit depending on the state. Such services are most expensive in sparsely populated states like Maine ($165), Wyoming ($155), and Alaska ($145). They’re cheapest in Alabama ($31) and Texas ($33). Nationally, families can expect to spend about $1,600 for one month of adult day care for their loved one.
|State||Median Monthly Adult Day Healthcare (160 Hours)|
|District of Columbia||$2,160|
How to Pay for Adult Day Care
There are numerous ways to pay for adult day care, but the most asked about options are Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Benefits and self payment options.
Does Medicare Cover Adult Day Care Costs?
While most seniors qualify for Medicare benefits, the fact is that Medicare does not cover any costs associated with adult day care. While often confused with Medicaid benefits, Medicare in no way currently contributes to adult day care costs, regardless of supplemental policies that are on the marketplace.
Does Medicaid Cover Adult Day Care Costs?
Currently, Medicaid provides comprehensive coverage for both adult day care and adult day health care. This is particularly true for individuals that would generally require nursing care on a full time basis. While regulations vary from state to state, for those who qualify for Medicaid it is a top option to ensure that coverage for these services is available.
Do Veterans’ Programs Cover Adult Day Care Costs?
The program for Veterans Health Benefits (VHA) will cover expenses associated with adult day health care as included in the Veteran’s benefits package, but will not generally cover adult day care for social purposes or for caregiver respite. Additionally, those seeking coverage for such care will need to have a VA physician approve these services as needed. There may be co-pays for such coverage depending on income and levels of care involved. Veteran’s Pensions including Aid and Attendance is one exception to the non-coverage policy concerning non-health and health day care. Those with this supplementally policy may qualify for benefits for even social adult day care situations.
What are Private Payment Options for Adult Day Care
Many individuals ultimately end up using retirement funds, savings or other forms of payment for adult day care. Long term insurance is a popular option, but the qualifications for this type of care will depend upon the policy. Some long term policies only allow for coverage for health care related expenses within assisted living homes or nursing facilities while other policies are more generous. Other private payment options can include reverse home mortgages, loans or by cashing out on the value of life insurance policies.
Did You Know: A more affordable alternative to adult day care may be a medical alert system such as Medical Guardian.
Are Adult Day Care Costs Tax Deductible?
While the dependent care credit is typically associated with children, it can be used to deduct daycare expenses. However, individuals also have the option to consider a medical expense deduction for their loved ones receiving adult day care. It’s important to note, that taxpayers can only claim one deduction or the other, so a financial advisor such as a tax professional can run the numbers and guide you towards the most beneficial claim.