Assisted Living in Maine

Assisted Living in Maine

by, Senior Advice

Approximately 1,344,212 people call the state of Maine home, and about one in five residents are aged 65 and older. While the overall state population is expected to remain relatively stable in the next few years, the number of seniors is predicted to jump to 351,880 by 2026 up from 257,499 in 2016.

According to the 2019 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the average monthly cost of assisted living care in Maine is $5,169, which is $1,118 higher than the national average of $4,051.

This guide provides in-depth information on assisted living costs in Maine and how those costs compare to other long-term care services for seniors. Readers will also learn about the various financial assistance programs for older adults who need assisted living care as well as state rules and regulations that govern these facilities.

SeniorAdvice's Guide to Assisted Living in Maine

Maine currently has a SeniorScore of 68%, which is 4% below the national average. The SeniorScore is compiled from more than 100 data points analyzing variables that impact quality of life, including access to health care, the cost of assisted living, life expectancy and finances.

Maine's quality of life ranking is 57%, and this number is relatively low largely due to the climate. Maine's long, wet winters and relatively short summers reduce the quality of life score although the state ranks well for its exceptionally good public schools and above-average graduation rates.

Health care in Maine is considered average, and the overall score for health and safety is 65%. There's an average number of hospitals, long-term care facilities, Medicare-registered providers and home health care providers in Maine, and the life expectancy is slightly higher than the national average at 79.2 years. However, the property crime rate is relatively high, and that has a negative impact on the overall SeniorScore.

Maine's average state income tax of 5.07% is much higher than the national average of 3.38%, and that can mean seniors who rely on investment income will pay more in income tax here than they would in states with low or no state income tax. The average sales tax in Maine is 5.49%, which is significantly below the national average of 6.97%.

Assisted Living Costs in Maine

As a Maine resident, you can expect to pay an estimated $5,865 per month for care in an assisted living facility. Rates in the state are much higher than the national average of $4,500 but lower than in the bordering state of New Hampshire where assisted living residents pay $6,053 per month. Costs in other parts of the Northeast, such as Vermont ($5,250) and Connecticut ($5,129), are lower than in Maine. However, Massachusetts' average of $6,500 is $635 higher than Maine.

  • Maine: $5,865
  • The United States: $4,500
  • New Hampshire: $6,053
  • Vermont: $5,250
  • Massachusetts: $6,500
  • Connecticut: $5,129

The Cost of Assisted Living in Maine’s Top Cities

The average costs for assisted living in Maine’s cities vary greatly. The lowest rate of $4,750 is in Bangor, while the highest cost can be found in Portland where seniors pay $6,525 each month for their residential care. Costs in Lewiston are nearly $400 below the state’s average. In nearby cities that are across state lines, such as Manchester, New Hampshire, ($8,061) and Boston, Massachusetts, ($6,819) assisted living facilities charge much more than the Maine average.

  • Bangor: $4,750
  • Lewiston: $5,484
  • Portland: $6,525
  • Manchester, NH: $8,061
  • Boston, MA: $6,819

Senior Care Cost Comparison in Maine

Older Maine residents have several options for their long-term care needs. Receiving care at home from an in-home caregiver or a home health aide costs around $5,720 per month, making this option more affordable than assisted living. Nursing homes are residential care units for frail seniors who need help with almost all aspects of daily living. The median rate for a semiprivate room is $10,494. Adult day health care providers in Maine charge, on average, $2,600 per month.

  • Assisted Living: $5,865
  • In-Home Care: $5,720
  • Home Health Care: $5,720
  • Adult Day Care: $2,600
  • Nursing Home Care: $10,494

Does Medicaid Cover Assisted Living in Maine?

Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services oversees the state’s Medicaid program, which is known as MaineCare. Income-qualifying seniors can get the cost of their long-term care in an assisted living facility covered by MaineCare through the Residential/Assisted Living program. Long-term care in an assisted living facility is directly covered by MaineCare for seniors who meet financial requirements and pass a face-to-face needs assessment.

What Assisted Living Services Are Covered by Medicaid in Maine?

Seniors who are enrolled in the MaineCare Residential Care Services program can get several of their care services in a licensed assisted living facility covered. While the cost of room and board is excluded, seniors may get some of the following benefits:

  • Help with day-to-day tasks, such as bathing, dressing and mobility
  • Medication management
  • Care coordination
  • Transportation
  • Physical, speech and occupational therapies

Seniors can apply by completing the Long-Term Care Application form before calling Maine's Assessing Services Agency at (833) 525-5784 to schedule a functional needs assessment. All applicants must undergo the assessment to determine their eligibility. This program is for seniors who need assistance with daily living tasks but don’t require the constant care and supervision that's generally offered in a nursing home.

How to Know if You’re Eligible for Medicaid in Maine

The state’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) determines eligibility for MaineCare. To qualify, seniors must earn no more than $13,596 each year as an individual or $18,312 in a two-person household. Assets are limited to $2,000 or $3,000 based on the size of your household. To receive long-term care services, applicants need to be medically assessed. Seniors may be entitled to additional exemptions.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Maine

Income Limits* 

Asset Limits

Single Applicant



Two-Person Household
(Only One Person Applying)



Two-Person Household
(Both People Applying)



*Per year

Other requirements include:

  • Must be aged 65 or above, or
  • Needs to be blind or disabled
  • Must be a Maine resident and a U.S. national, citizen, permanent resident or legal alien

How to Apply for Medicaid in Maine

Older adults can apply for MaineCare online using the My Maine Connections website. Alternatively, you may apply in person at your local DHHS District Office or send a paper application to your nearest Office for Family Independence. If you need assistance or have any questions about the enrollment process, contact the Department of Health and Human Services at (855) 797-4357.

Information You Will Need

When applying for MaineCare, seniors may need to provide some or all of the following documents:

  • Social Security number
  • Documents confirming Maine residency, citizenship and immigration status, if applicable
  • Power of attorney, conservator or guardianship documents
  • Proof of all income sources
  • Property documents
  • Proof of health insurance, including Medicare
  • Proof of all assets owned by both the applicant and their spouse, including assets sold in the past 60 months.

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid

It can be difficult to understand all the different guidelines and requirements for MaineCare coverage. However, there are several statewide agencies that help seniors apply for and receive the services they need.




MaineCare Member Services

(800) 977-6740

Seniors can call the Member Services helpline to see what care services are covered by MaineCare. You can also find out if you're eligible for coverage.

Maine State Health Insurance Assistance Program

(877) 353-3771

SHIP counselors help older adults navigate MaineCare's complexities and understand its eligibility guidelines. Seniors can speak to fully certified counselors about their rights as MaineCare recipients and receive advice about their appeal options.

Consumer for Affordable Health Care Helpline

(800) 965-7476

Maine residents can use this free advocacy service for assistance in all matters related to their MaineCare insurance. Staff help callers enroll in MaineCare, resolve coverage disputes and file complaints.

Does Medicare Cover Assisted Living in Maine?

Medicare does not typically cover the cost of assisted living in Maine, since assisted living facilities are not considered to be healthcare facilities, but "residential settings". So while Medicare doesn't cover the cost of care received in an assisted living community, it does still cover things like approved medications, doctor visits, medical equipment, etc., just like it would if you lived at home.

For more information about when Medicare can be used to pay for senior living in nursing homes, and for Medicare-related resources, see our guide to Nursing Home Care in Maine.

Additional Financial Assistance Options for Assisted Living in Maine

For Seniors who are not eligible (due to location, financial situation, or other factors) for other types of financial assistance, there are still ways to make assisted living affordable. See below for some of the most common strategies used by seniors who can't afford to pay for assisted living out of pocket.


How to Apply

How It Works

Aid and Attendance

Learn more and apply online at

Veterans who receive a VA pension may also be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit, a monthly cash allowance that veterans receive in addition to their standard pension amount. The benefit is intended for veterans in need of long-term care services and may be used towards paying for Assisted Living.

Reverse Mortgages

Learn more about your options and how to apply at

If you own a home, you may be able to use a reverse mortgage to help pay for Assisted Living. Reverse mortgages are loans that one can take out against the value of their home, essentially converting some of the home's equity into cash. Reverse mortgage loans do need to be repaid with interest, typically within 12 months of receiving the loan.

Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance

Learn more about Long-Term Care Insurance and how to apply for a policy at

Seniors who already have long-term care insurance may be able to use it to pay for Assisted Living. Most policies cover at least a portion of the cost, but it depends on the specific policy terms. Note that older adults who are already in need of Assisted Living will not typically be eligible to sign up for a LTC insurance policy.

Maine Assisted Living Rules and Regulations

Maine's assisted living programs are licensed and regulated by the state Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Licensing and Certification. Maine has two levels of assisted living, Type I and Type II, and the major difference between these two levels of licensing is related to medication management and administration.

Scope of Care

Assisted living services in Maine provide personal supervision, including protection from environmental hazards. Personal care services, such as assistance with activities of daily living, dietary programs and care management services, are also provided. Medication management and nursing services are available, and service levels vary depending on the type of facility.

Care Plan Requirements

Residents who are admitted to an assisted living program must be assessed within 30 days, and this assessment must include a comprehensive evaluation of needs related to personal care, skilled nursing care and medication administration.

Medication Management Requirements

Type I facilities can provide medication reminders and help residents self-administer prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Type II facilities can administer prescription and OTC medications, and some injection medications can be administered by staff who have received the appropriate training.

Staff Requirements

All assisted living programs must have an on-site administrator who is at the facility during regular business hours. At least one responsible adult must be available to provide resident care at all times, and ALFs with 10 or more beds must also retain the services of a dietary aide, registered nurse and pharmacist consultant.

Staff Training Requirements

Staff who work in a designated dementia care unit in an ALF must complete at least eight hours of orientation in dementia care and eight hours of clinical orientation. Staff who administer medications must have successfully completed a state-approved medication course lasting 40 hours or longer and must attend a biennial refresher course.

Medicaid Coverage

Medicaid beneficiaries who require long-term care may be eligible for enrollment in MaineCare's Elderly and Adults with Physical Disabilities waiver, a Medicaid program that covers care services provided by an assisted living center.

Reporting Abuse

Staff who suspect abuse or neglect of an assisted living resident must report their concerns to the facility administrator. Seniors, family members and the general public can file a report with their local law enforcement agency or call the Division of Licensing and Certification's 24-hour emergency phone number at (800) 452-1999.

Free Assisted Living Resources for Seniors in Maine

Seniors in Maine can access many helpful services and benefit programs with assistance from the following resources. There's help available for seniors who are ready to plan for long-term care, require legal advice or want to explore financing options.




Area Agencies on Aging

(877) 353-3771

Seniors in Maine are served by five Area Agencies on Aging that offer supportive services. The state’s AAAs can help older residents plan for their long-term care. Seniors may benefit from services like options counseling, information assistance, referrals and advocacy. 

Legal Services for the Elderly 

(800) 750-5353

Low-income Maine seniors may be eligible for legal advice and representation from this statewide nonprofit. Legal Services for the Elderly can help seniors with civil matters related to consumer law, guardianship and Medicare advocacy.

Maine Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

(800) 499-0229

Maine’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman program provides confidential support to assisted living residents. You can contact the ombudsman to discuss concerns about the quality of care you’re receiving in a specific facility. Volunteers can investigate complaints and advocate on your behalf.

The Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services

(207) 287-7020

Senior veterans and their family members can get help from the state’s Bureau of Veterans’ Services. The bureau is committed to ensuring that former members of the country’s military claim and receive the benefits and pensions they’re entitled to.

2-1-1 Maine

(866) 811-5695

This service helps Maine's senior residents identify relevant local resources. The 2-1-1 comprehensive directory includes regional nonprofit agencies and private companies that offer assistance to older adults.

Maine COVID-19 Rules & Regulations for Assisted Living Facilities

Date Updated: 2/8/2022


All of the information below is based on research from a variety of sources, including those listed above. Among other types of senior living facilities, these rules apply to assisted living facilities. It's important to note that since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving crisis, you should contact your local assisted living community or Area Agency on Aging for the latest information.

Visitation & Group Activities

Are loved ones allowed to visit residents in-person?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are residents to quarantine after being visited by loved ones?


Are visitors required to mask when visiting loved ones?


Are third-party contractors allowed in senior living facilities?


Are temperature checks required for visitors coming into the senior living facility.


Can residents leave the facility for non-medical reasons?


If residents leave, are they required to quarantine when they return?

No (Conditions Apply)

Does the state require senior living facilities to cancel all group outings?


Does the state allow senior living facilities to host group activities?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Safety Measures for Staff and Residents

Does the state require senior living facilities to regularly check staff members for elevated temperatures?


Does the state require senior living facilities to regularly test staff members for COVID-19?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Does the state require senior living facilities to regularly screen residents for COVID-19 symptoms?


Does the state require senior living facilities to regularly check residents for elevated temperatures?


Does the state require senior living facilities to regularly test residents for COVID-19?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Post a Comment