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Assisted Living in Georgia

Mary Ellen Vanaken

Mary Ellen was born and raised in Long Island, New York. After graduating from college, she worked on Wall Street for JP Morgan in New York City...

Mary Ellen was born and raised in Long Island, New York. After graduating from college, she worked on Wall Street for JP Morgan in New York City...

Jan 12 9 minutes read


Bankrate named Georgia as one of the top retirement destinations in the country due to the number of active adult communities, housing costs and income tax perks for seniors. As well as a low cost of living, the state’s assisted living costs are lower than the national average and one of the lowest in the region. Medicaid and Medicare can help cover some costs for seniors who need assistance paying for residential care.

This guide covers the cost of assisted living throughout the state and compares this to the cost in nearby states as well as the costs of other types of care. There’s also information on Medicaid and Medicare and a list of resources to address senior needs.

How Much Does Assisted Living Cost in in Georgia?

Seniors choosing an assisted living community in Georgia can expect an average cost of $3,535 per month according to the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey. This is around $965 less than the national average. To the south of Georgia, Florida residents pay around $4,000 a month, while to the north in South Carolina and Tennessee, the cost is around $3,612 and $4,105, respectively. Alabama is the only neighboring state with a lower cost at $3,503 per month.


The Cost of Assisted Living in Georgia’s Top Cities

The cost of assisted living varies throughout the state. In the far northwestern corner in Rome, assisted living costs around $4,293 per month. In the state capital of Atlanta, the average is $3,845. In northeast Georgia in Gainesville, assisted living is higher than the state average at $3,893, while Augusta and Valdosta residents pay around $3,606 and $3,179 per month. At the Alabama border, Columbus has one of the highest costs at $4,223.


The Cost of Assisted Living vs. Other Types of Care

The state long-term care costs vary depending on individual needs. Aside from assisted living at $3,535, nursing homes are residential care facilities that provide the most comprehensive level of care outside a hospital. A semiprivate room in Georgia is around $7,011 per month. Seniors who prefer to age in their own homes for as long as possible may choose homemaker services for $4,290 per month, which includes help with housekeeping, grooming, bathing, medication management, yard work, transportation and meals. A home health aide, which costs around $4,385, can provide all the services of a homemaker with the addition of skilled nursing and other medical care. Adult day health care is the least expensive option at $1,300 per month. This is useful for families who need help with their loved ones while they work.


Can You Use Medicaid to Pay for Assisted Living in Georgia?

In Georgia, Medicaid doesn’t directly cover the cost of assisted living. Instead, the state provides several waivers that help cover the costs of skilled nursing and some personal services for seniors with these types of needs. These waivers have an enrollment cap, meaning even seniors who are eligible may not immediately receive assistance. Instead, they may be placed on a waiting list.

Medicaid will cover the cost of memory care patients in an assisted living community based on their functional need.

Medicaid’s Coverage of Assisted Living in Georgia

Georgia’s two Medicaid waivers operate under the Elderly and Disabled Waiver Program. These include the Community Care Service Program (CCSP) and the Service Options Using Resources in a Community Environment (SOURCE). Both waivers serve the frail elderly and disabled seniors who otherwise would require nursing home care but choose to receive their care in an assisted living community or at home due to costs.

Waiver Programs for Assisted Living in Georgia

Community Care Services Program (CCSP)

The CCSP helps pay for home and community-based services in long-term care. Eligible seniors must meet the same income limits and functional care requirements as nursing home patients covered by Medicaid.

Services covered by the waiver include:

  • Personal care, such as bathing, dressing, feeding and toileting
  • Meal prep
  • Transportation
  • Housekeeping
  • Wound care
  • Skilled nursing
  • Medication management
  • Respite care

Service Options Using Resources in a Community Environment (SOURCE)

SOURCE recipients must be eligible for Medicaid and meet the requirements for a nursing home level of care. The waiver allows seniors to receive care at home or in an alternative residential care facility. The waiver covers personal support services, assisted living services, extended home health, meals, emergency response systems, 24-hour medical access to a case manager and physician’s visits.

To apply for either waiver, seniors may contact the Georgia Department of Community Health or any local Department of Family and Children’s Services.

Eligibility for Medicaid in Georgia

Medicaid recipients in Georgia must meet stringent income and asset limits. These limits are based on a percentage of the Federal Poverty Level. The individual income limit from all sources is $30,276 per year and assets totaling no more than $2,000. In a two-person household with only one applicant applying, the same income and asset limit applies., except the non-applicant has an asset limit of $137,400 and may receive a Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance based on the spousal impoverishment rule. This rule is designed to prevent financial instability in the spouse who remains at home. In a two-person household where both individuals apply, the income limit is $60,552 or $30,276 each and an asset limit of $3,000.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Georgia




Additional eligibility requirements include:

  • Must be 65 or older, legally blind or disabled
  • Must live in Georgia
  • Must require nursing home care

Applying for Medicaid in Georgia

To apply for Medicaid, seniors may visit the Georgia Gateway, which can also help determine eligibility, or call the customer contact center at (877) 423-4746. Individuals may apply in person at any Division of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS).

Before You Apply:

Before you apply for Medicaid be sure to gather all the documentation needed to prove eligibility.

Information You Will Need:

  • Birth certificate
  • Proof of citizenship or qualified alien status
  • Valid Social Security number
  • Proof of GA residency
  • Proof of income for the past 60 days
  • Award letter from Social Security, veteran’s benefits, retirement awards
  • Copies of pensions and annuities
  • Bank statements for the past 60 days
  • Proof of ownership of property
  • Copies of insurance policies

Where to Go to Get Help

Georgia provides several free resources to help seniors apply for Medicaid. These services can also answer questions about other benefit programs that may provide additional help paying for assisted living.




Can You Use Medicare to Pay for Assisted Living in Georgia?

Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover the cost of assisted living in Georgia. Unlike nursing homes, assisted living facilities are not considered to be “clinical settings’ and so are not eligible for Medicare coverage. That being said, you can still use Medicare to cover the cost of approved medications, doctor visits, medical equipment, etc.

For more information about what Medicare visit medicare.gov.

Are There Other Financial Assistance Options for Assisted Living in Georgia?




Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Georgia

Georgia seniors can find useful information to address their quality of life and specific needs through the following services. These free services address all aspects of life as an older adult in all stages of long-term care.




COVID-19 Rules for Assisted Living in Georgia

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including dch.georgia.gov. These rules apply to nursing homes and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/3/2022, but since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving pandemic, contact your local senior living facility or Area Agency on Aging for more specific and up-to-date information.

Visiting Loved Ones




Outings and Group Activities







Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Georgia

Assisted living communities in Georgia are regulated by the Georgia Healthcare Facility Regulation. The agency oversees and administers the laws and regulations regarding staffing, room and board, personal care and health and safety. It regularly inspects long-term care facilities to ensure they maintain the standards for licensure. 

Laws and Regulations for Assisted Living in Georgia

Article via Charlie Bennett with SeniorHousing.Net. Image via Pinterest

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