What Pays For RCFEs?

RCFEs are legally allowed to request a pre-admission fee, as long as it is provided in the admission agreement. They vary quite a lot, from $250 up to $5,000. However, not all facilities add this type of fee.

Deciding on the most suitable Residential Care Facilities for assisted living in case of your aging parent or loved one, involves several aspects. You need to search for residential care that provides an appropriate living style, is in a suitable location, and most importantly finds an affordable living arrangement. Here is everything you need to know about how to choose an assisted living at RCFEs.

RCFEs Fees

You need to know that becoming an assisted living resident at any RCFE, involves more than just the monthly fees.


  • Pre-Admission Fee

RCFEs are legally allowed to request a pre-admission fee, as long as it is provided in the admission agreement. They vary quite a lot, from $250 up to $5,000. However, not all facilities add this type of fee.

Rest assured that paying this pre-admission fee doesn’t mean you are forced to continue with this living arrangement. If the aging parent doesn’t enter the respective facility, this amount shall be reimbursed in full (100%). Also, for an amount exceeding $500, the refund will be at 80% if the person leaves the RCFE during the first month, 60% if he/ she leaves during the second month, and 40% if the resident withdraws during the third month.


  • Monthly Fee

These fees are changeable and highly variable, yet, the variation range must be provided within the Admission Agreement. For example, in California, the monthly fees vary from one RCFE to another from $900 to over $5,000. Obviously, the fees depend on the geographic area, the aid and attendance benefits, the accommodation type (living in a private room or a shared room, the type of apartment, etc.).

Also, for residents with Alzheimer’s disease, or various types of dementia, specialized care and personnel are needed. Thus increasing the fee level.


  • Additional Rates

Normally, you shouldn’t expect any fee fluctuation over a period of 12 months, according to the signed agreement. Yet, some additional services unexpectedly needed by the elderly resident can add up to the usual monthly payment. You have to check carefully what services are provided in your agreement.


Whenever an RCFE decides to increase the monthly fees, it must give its residents a 60-day notice, together with an explanation for all additional costs. This period is considered enough to either find means to cover the new expenses or find a new assisted living facility.


Payment Variants

Here are the variants to cover your expenses for RCFE


  • Assisted Living Waiver or ALW

This system uses the Medi-Cal funds that cover payments for seniors in assisted living. The RCFE must be registered in the AWL program. The good news is that the Medi-Cal funding program operates in over 15 counties. Just check the list with participating counties and RCFEs, then apply for one.


  • Supplemental Security Income or SSI

This is a limited public funding system for assisted living. The rate is very low and hardly any elderly person is accepted in RCFEs based on SSI.


  • Medi-Cal

As we mentioned before, the Medi-Cal funding system is available for the ALW. However, some seniors might qualify for Medi-Cal funds that are strictly covering health insurance, medication management, and medical equipment.


  • Private Pay

This is the most common payment method for covering the living expenses at the RCFEs. The reason is only a few people can cover the assisted living options through their long-term care insurance.

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