By Rick Banas of assisted living provider BMA Management, Ltd.
Over the past couple of weeks, Steve Moran of Senior Housing Forum posted a series of Blogs that focused on affordable assisted living for low-income seniors.
In Part One, Steve laid the groundwork for why affordable assisted living is needed.
In Part Two, he highlighted six trigger points that our company, BMA Management, find to be important when deciding if and where to develop affordable assisted living communities.
BMA is the largest provider of affordable assisted living in Illinois and ranks as the 16th largest provider of assisted living in the country. Thirty-six of our communities operate through the Illinois Supportive Living program, a Medicaid-waiver program that enables us to serve low-income seniors and adults with physical disabilities. On average, two-thirds of the residents in the communities are receiving financial assistance through Medicaid.
Both of Steve’s Blogs are based on a conversation that Steve had during the 2014 Assisted Living Federation of America Conference & Exposition (ALFA) in Phoenix with Rod Burkett, President of BMA Management, and Wayne Smallwood, Executive Director of the Affordable Assisted Living Coalition (AALC).
Here are links to the Blogs:
Looking at both the current population of older adults in our country as well as the coming tsunami of Baby Boomers, the need for affordable assisted living is enormous.
Here are some of the reasons why:
Today’s Older Adult Population
Data indicates that a significant percentage of the older adult population that is of an age where they might likely need assisted living simply cannot afford the cost of living in an assisted living community.
A 2012 MetLife Survey indicates that the monthly average base rate for assisted living as of a couple of years ago was $3,550, which equates to $42,600 a year. In addition to the base rate, many assisted living communities charge extra for any services or assistance that are beyond what is included in the base rate. From my experience, I have seen these extra charges run from as low as $300 a month to as high as $2,000 or more.
As of 2014, an estimated 45% of the households headed by individuals 75+ have annual household incomes of less than $25,000 and more than 60% have incomes of less than $35,000.
Among the 85+ population, nearly 53% of the households have annual household incomes of less than $25,000 and 69% have incomes of less than $35,000.
The Baby Boomers
Pundits estimate that 50% of Baby Boomers will likely not have enough money to last them through retirement. When they reach the age where needing assisted living or nursing home care will be likely, they will not have the financial means to afford it.
With the phasing out of traditional pension benefits, they will need to rely entirely on Social Security benefits for income.
They lack any substantial savings.
They have little or no housing wealth.
They have substantial credit card debt.
Affordable Assisted Living
The Illinois Supportive Living program serves as a wonderful model for making affordable assisted living available for low-income individuals. As Steve notes, the communities we operate are not “stripped-down, minimalist” versions of assisted living communities. They are warm and comfortable environments where love, compassion and dignity are the focus.
The state and federal governments benefit because the cost for an individual who is receiving financial assistance from Medicaid is 45% less in a Supportive Living community than in a nursing home.
All affordable assisted living communities managed by BMA Management, Ltd. are certified and surveyed by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. All assisted living communities are licensed and surveyed by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
“BMA Management, Ltd. is the leading provider of assisted living in Illinois
and one of the 20 largest providers of assisted living in the United States.”
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and let us know.