North Carolina is a beautiful state that is home to over 1.76 million senior citizens who are enjoying their golden years surrounded by breathtaking scenery that ranges from the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains to the lush coastal plains.
The state's Southern climate is also ideal for seniors who want to escape harsh winters and enjoy mild weather all year round.
North Carolina has been rated as 39th in the nation for its senior-friendly amenities according to the 2022 Senior Living Report. However, the state received high marks for community involvement, health care, and affordability. Seniors will find that the cost of living in North Carolina is 9% lower than the national average, making it an attractive option for those on a fixed income. Housing and transportation are especially budget-friendly, making North Carolina an excellent location for assisted living.
The Cost of Assisted Living in North Carolina
The cost of assisted living in North Carolina is affordable, with the median monthly cost coming in at $4,010. This is 10% less than the national average of $4,500 according to Genworth Financials' 2021 Cost of Care Survey. In comparison, seniors in South Carolina and Georgia enjoy even more budget-friendly rates of $3,612 and $3,535 per month, respectively. Tennessee is also a reasonable option, with prices at $4,105 per month. However, as you move up the Atlantic coast, prices increase, with monthly rates in Virginia coming in at $5,250.
Assisted living prices vary greatly in North Carolina's largest cities. Fayetteville is one of the cheapest options, with a median monthly cost of $3,000. Greensboro is also a budget-friendly choice, with prices coming in at $3,800, which is $210 per month less than the state median. Charlotte is closer to the national average, with rates averaging $4,400 per month. Meanwhile, Asheville and Winston-Salem are more expensive, with monthly costs of $4,998 and $4,923, respectively. Wilmington is the most expensive city for assisted living in North Carolina, with a median cost of $5,254, which is 30% higher than the state average. Raleigh is also more expensive than average, with monthly costs of $5,388.
The cost of long-term care in North Carolina varies depending on the type of services offered and where the care is provided. Assisted living costs about $375 less per month than in-home care, which includes both home care and home health care. If you're looking to save money but still want to enjoy social interaction and personal assistance, you can join an adult day health care program in your community for $1,197 per month. If you're not eligible for assisted living for health reasons, you can expect to pay around $7,483 per month for semiprivate accommodations in a nursing home and $8,213 for a private room.
Does Medicaid Cover Assisted Living in North Carolina?
Yes, North Carolina covers assisted living through its Medicaid State Plan. Personal Care Services are part of the state's Long-Term Services and Supports program. To be eligible, you must meet the financial eligibility requirements for Medicaid for the Aged, Blind and Disabled and also pass a personal needs assessment. You may qualify if you have a medical condition, physical disability, or cognitive impairment that results in unmet personal care needs. For example, you may be eligible if you need:
Limited help with three or more activities of daily living
Extensive assistance with at least one of two ADLs
Complete assistance with one of two ADLs
North Carolina offers a wonderful opportunity for senior citizens to enjoy their retirement years with a pleasant Southern climate and scenic surroundings. The state provides excellent community involvement, healthcare, and affordability, making it a great option for assisted living. With the median cost of assisted living at $4,010 per month, which is lower than the national average, seniors can enjoy their golden years without having to worry about finances. Additionally, Medicaid does cover assisted living through its Medicaid State Plan, making it more accessible for eligible individuals. Whether you're interested in a bustling city or a peaceful rural community, North Carolina offers a wide range of options to fit your needs. So, if you're considering a retirement location, North Carolina is definitely worth exploring.