What’s a Private Pay Assisted Living Community and What Does it Cost in NYC?

What’s a Private Pay Assisted Living Community and What Does it Cost in NYC?

There are so many different kinds of senior living communities in New York City that it can be difficult to choose which is the right one for you. This is especially true when thinking about money—the amount you pay per month will depend on which kind of community you choose. You may have heard of something called private pay assisted living, which is different from your typical assisted living program. But what exactly is private pay assisted living?

Senior consulting with financial advisor about assisted living costs

Private Pay Assisted Living

In New York City, there are two kinds of assisted living facilities: ones that are covered in part by Medicaid, and ones that are not covered by Medicaid at all. Ones that are not covered by Medicaid at all are considered private pay communities. Because Medicaid cannot offset any of the expenses of private pay communities, you will have to use your own funds—any monthly income you have, social security, life insurance, pensions, veteran benefits, etc.—to pay for it. 

What’s Special about Private Pay Communities?

Private-pay assisted living differs from Medicaid-eligible assisted living (known as assisted living programs or ALP) in what it offers as well. ALPs are often limited in what they can provide: while they offer help with your activities of daily living and housekeeping services, and may administer basic medication, they usually cannot serve individuals who require too much help from staff or have outstanding medical needs. 

Private pay assisted living, however, typically provides more support and services than ALPs. These communities have enhanced licensing, meaning they offer a higher level of care: they have more specialized staff members and can administer more complicated medication. Essentially, private-pay assisted living is a social model for seniors that provides extra medical support. 

Private Pay Communities and Memory Care

Private pay communities are particularly attractive to some adults because they often provide memory care in addition to their other services. While typical ALPs do not have memory care services in-house, many private pay ones do have the resources to support residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s. 

Senior and caregiver in a private-pay assisted living community

Enriched Housing

Enriched housing is another private-pay senior living model. It is essentially an adult day care, providing housekeeping, recreational activities, help with personal care, and emergency services. It does not, however, provide any medical services or the level of care that a mainstream assisted living community does. Think of enriched housing as a retirement home—it offers an enhanced environment for seniors who are mostly independent and can take care of themselves. 

A Hidden Gem: Flushing House

Named the “best in boro,” an example of a private-pay retirement community is Flushing House located at 38-20 Bowne Street Flushing, New York 11354. It is for older adults who can live independently, but want to downsize from their current home to a supportive, enriched community where they can socialize with other people their age. What makes it extra unique is that it is a relatively affordable private-pay community.

How Much does a Private Pay Community Cost in NYC?

In New York City, the range of costs for a private pay community is wide. You can pay as little as $4,000 a month, but the cost could easily increase from there depending on the facility and the level of care you require. Again, because none of the services provided by a private pay community are covered by Medicaid, you have to be prepared to fund your time there yourself. While the cost seems overwhelming, there are plenty of ways to finance your assisted living residency. You can start by talking with local Oasis Senior Advisor for the NYC area, Teres Rodney, at trodney@youroasisadvisor.com, to discuss your options and find a community within your budget.