Covenant Home of Chicago is one of only 33 communities in Cook County that meet the definition of supportive living in Illinois, a type of assisted living community that can help you control your costs. If you’re looking for long-term care, understanding this designation is key to making an informed choice and finding an assisted living community where you’ll be able to thrive for years to come.

What is supportive living in Illinois?

Supportive living and assisted living offer similar housing options, programs and levels of care. However, “supportive living” is a special designation in Illinois, which lets you access all of the benefits of assisted living without fear of running out of money for care in the future. Under this designation, Medicaid can step in and pay for many of the services offered by your supportive living community. These services are not covered by Medicaid at other assisted living communities or if you stay in your home. Services covered under supportive living in Illinois include:

  • personal care
  • homemaking
  • laundry
  • medication supervision
  • social activities
  • recreation
  • 24-hour staff

You will still be responsible for room and board at your community, but those costs are a fraction of the overall price of your stay in a supportive living community.

To be designated as supportive living in Illinois, a community must apply to the state and prove that it fits all state requirements. That means you can rest assured that the community meets or exceeds state guidelines regarding staffing, safety and quality.

While “supportive living” is an Illinois-specific designation, many states have related programs under other names.  

Who can benefit from supportive living in Illinois?

Supportive living in Illinois allows you to combine your own funds and Medicaid contributions to pay for assisted living services. Medicaid payment does not go into effect as soon as you move into a supportive living community. Instead, if you anticipate running out of private funding, you may then apply for Medicaid to pay for your services. That means you won’t have to move away from your home just because money becomes tight. As long as you are well enough to have all your care needs met in the supportive living community, you’ll be able to stay there and stay fully involved in the community.

There are certain qualifications you need to meet in order to qualify for supportive living in Illinois. While supportive living is available to people 22 and older with physical disabilities, supportive living for older adults becomes available at age 65. To access supportive living benefits, you will need to take part in preadmission screening and you cannot currently be a recipient of another waiver for home or community-based care services. You must also meet certain Supplemental Security Income qualifications. Once these conditions are met, you’ll be eligible for the supportive living program.

If you think supportive living could fit your needs, learn more about Covenant Home of Chicago or join us at our upcoming CMSS 101 event.