I. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in Alaska

According to Genworth Financial’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey, you can expect to pay around $5,720 for either in-home care or home health care services in Alaska. In-home care covers nonmedical assistance with day-to-day activities such as grooming, running errands and light housework, while home health care includes skilled services delivered by a regulated medical professional.

The Cost of Home Care and Home Health Care in Nearby States

At an average of $5,720 per month, home care costs in Alaska are on par with rates in Hawaii, and above the nationwide median of $4,957. In Washington, home care rates run around $6,547 per month, while further south the same type of care costs $6,006 in Oregon, and $6,101 in California.

For home health care, Alaska’s monthly average of $5,720 also matches the amount paid in Hawaii. In Washington, home health care is more expensive at $6,578 per month. Seniors who opt for home health care in Oregon or California pay about $6,101, while the national average is $5,148 per month.

Home Care Home Health Care
Alaska $5,720 $5,720
National $4,957 $5,148
Washington $6,547 $6,578
Oregon $6,006 $6,101
California $6,101 $6,101
Hawaii $5,720 $5,720


The Cost of Home Care vs. Other Types of Care

As is typical in most states, nursing homes in Alaska offer the costliest long-term care option, with monthly rates averaging $31,512. Assisted living care is far more affordable at $6,830, while adult day care services average around $1,562 per month. In-home care and home health care services cost an average of $5,720 per month, which is $1,110 less than assisted living.

II. Can Medicaid Help You Pay for Home Care in Alaska?

Alaska’s Medicaid program, also known as Denali Care, pays for in-home care for eligible seniors directly through the Personal Care Services Program. Alaska Medicaid also funds the Alaskans Living Independently (ALI) Waiver, which covers a range of in-home care services that may help you avoid, or delay, out-of-home placement.

Home Care Waiver Programs in Alaska

Alaska’s Medicaid program, also known as Denali Care, pays for in-home care for eligible seniors directly through the Personal Care Services Program. Alaska Medicaid also funds the Alaskans Living Independently (ALI) Waiver, which covers a range of in-home care services that may help you avoid, or delay, out-of-home placement.

How to Know if You're Eligible for Medicaid in Alaska

To qualify for enrollment in Alaska’s state Medicaid plan, you need to have an annual income at or below $22,597 per year if you live alone, or $30,444 per year if you reside with another adult. You must also meet the countable asset limits set at $2,000 per individual or $3,000 per couple. Countable assets include cash, bonds and investments. Your principal residence is excluded as long as it’s valued at no more than $636,000.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Alaska
Income Limits* Asset Limits
Single Person $22,597 $2,000
Two-Person Household $30,444 $3,000

* per year

You must also meet the following criteria to qualify for Medicaid:

  • Be a permanent resident of Alaska
  • Be either a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, permanent resident or legal alien
  • Need help obtaining health insurance and/or health care
  • Be aged 65 or older, or blind or disabled

How to Apply for Medicaid in Alaska

Seniors in Alaska may apply for Medicaid by mail, fax or in-person using a paper application. The application form can be downloaded from the Division of Public Assistance website, or you can request one by calling (800) 478-7778. Once you’ve filled out your application, mail it to the nearest public assistance office listed on the final page of the application.

Alternatively, you can apply online at My.Alaska.gov through the ARIES self-service portal.

You can also complete your Medicaid application through the Virtual Contact Center by calling (800) 478-7778.

What Information You Will Need

When you apply for Medicaid, you’ll need to provide proof of your income, citizenship status, residency in Alaska and personal finances. You should be prepared to show:

  • Documents confirming your citizenship status, age and place of residence
  • Your latest bank statements
  • Statements detailing any investments you have, including stocks, bonds and real estate
  • Any insurance policies you hold, including life insurance and prepaid funeral contracts
  • Your most recent federal income tax return
  • Pay stubs (if you’re employed)

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid

Navigating the Medicaid application process can be challenging, and that’s especially true if your financial situation is complicated, or you need to file an appeal. Thankfully, there are a number of programs and services available to help you apply for coverage through the program.

Contact Area Served Services Provided
Alaska Legal Services Corporation Elder Law Project (888) 478-2572 Entire State The Alaska Legal Services Corporation’s Elder Law Project is a program for low- and moderate-income individuals aged 60 and older. The Project provides seniors with legal representation and advice on issues related to elder law, such as access to public benefits including Medicaid and Medicare.
Virtual Contact Center (800) 478-7778 Entire State Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Assistance, operates a Virtual Contact Center. You can call the Center’s toll-free number to learn more about Medicaid programs and services, get help with your application or find your nearest public assistance office.
Anchorage Project Access (907) 743-6610 Anchorage Anchorage seniors who need one-on-one help with their Medicaid application can schedule a free appointment with a certified application counselor through Anchorage Project Access, a nonprofit organization.

III. Can You Use Medicare to Pay for Home Care in Alaska?

Medicare doesn’t pay for non-medical home care, but it can cover the cost of the medical version of home care, called “Home Healthcare” in some situations. In order to be eligible, you need to be homebound and have a referral from your doctor for the specific type of medical care that is needed. There are also other restrictions that apply.

Below is an overview of some of the services typically covered by Medicare for those who are eligible:

  • Physical Therapy: Physical therapy is used to help patients recover from injuries (broken bones, knee injuries, etc.), and to treat ongoing conditions such as arthritis. Additionally, physical therapy is often provided in the home to help seniors recover from surgeries and procedures, such as a knee or hip replacement.
  • Nursing Care: Licensed nurses can provide a number of medical services (such as wound care, changing feeding tubes, etc.) for those who need medical care, but don’t need to stay in a hospital full-time.
  • Occupational Therapy: Occupational therapy is designed to help seniors regain or maintain the ability to accomplish normal, daily tasks, such as bathing, dressing, eating, etc., and providers can travel to your home if needed.
  • Speech Therapy: Seniors can lose the ability to adequately communicate for many reasons, and speech therapists are there to help seniors regain the ability to communicate using a variety of means. Additionally, speech therapists help to keep seniors independent by modifying diets and teaching special techniques to swallow safely.

As mentioned above, home care is distinctly different from home healthcare, but there is some overlap – so while Medicare doesn’t cover non-medical home care, there are personal care services that may be covered in special circumstances – such as an occupational therapist helping with eating or dressing.

Read our guide to Medicare and Home Care Coverage for more information.

IV. Other Financial Assistance Options for Home Care in Alaska

While the above programs can be a great way to make home care affordable for many people, they are not the right solution for everyone. Thankfully, there are other ways to make home care more affordable for you and your family. For more information about your other options, read our section on Other Ways to Pay for this guide.

V. Free Resources for Aging in Place in Alaska

You’ll find that there are a number of free and low-cost resources for Alaska seniors who want to age in place in their own community. These resources include home meal delivery services, elder law programs and support for veterans.

Contact Area Served Services Provided
Aging and Disability Resource Centers (855) 565-2017 Statewide Alaska’s seniors and their caregivers can access a variety of community-based services and supports through the state’s eight Aging and Disability Resource Centers. These centers are staffed by resource specialists who can help older adults develop long-term care plans and apply for public benefits.
Alaska Office of Veterans Affairs (888) 248-3682 Statewide The Alaska Office of Veterans Affairs serves veterans and their families. Veterans service officers help vets secure their service records, access VA health care services and apply for VA pension plans that can be used to pay for home care costs.
Senior Benefits Program (800) 478-7778 Statewide Low- and moderate-income seniors aged 65 and older may be eligible for a monthly cash benefit ranging from $76 to $250 through the Alaska Senior Benefits Program. Eligibility is based on gross income only, and the maximum income limits for 2022 are $29,733 for an individual and $40,058 for a married couple.
Salvation Army — Older Alaskans Program (907) 349-0613 18 communities across Alaska including Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau and Sitka The Salvation Army’s Older Alaskans Program provides seniors with non-emergency transportation to medical appointments, companionship, home-delivered meals and public meal sites for those aged 60 and older.
Weatherization Program Locate your nearest service provider online Statewide The Weatherization Program, a federally funded, locally administered initiative, helps low- and moderate-income Alaskans decrease their home energy costs through free upgrades to reduce their consumption. Program services may include the addition of insulation to attics and walls; installing weatherstripping; and replacing old appliances with new, energy-efficient models.


VI. Vaccination Requirements & COVID-19 Rules for Home Care Aides in Alaska

In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect vulnerable populations such as seniors, people with disabilities and others who access health care services, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid mandated COVID-19 vaccination for a broad range of health care providers.

Alaska home care aides who deliver services through a Medicaid- or Medicare-funded agency or organization must be fully vaccinated with an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, such as Comirnaty (Pfizer-BioNTech), Spikevax (Moderna) or Janssen. A few specific COVID-19 vaccine exemptions do exist for health care providers under this mandate, including for those who experienced a severe adverse reaction to the first dose of a two-dose vaccine series.

Note that these rules were current as of April 2022 and are subject to change. Individual home care providers may also have their own COVID-19-related policies, so check with local agencies for a complete list of their rules.

VII. Rules and Regulations for Home Care Providers in Alaska

Home care providers in Alaska that offer home health services are licensed and regulated by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Health Care Services.

What Types of Care Can Be Provided? Home care providers can deliver nonmedical assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, getting dressed and toileting. Home care aides can also provide companionship and respite care, escort clients to medical appointments and errands, and assist with light housekeeping and meal prep.
Are Care Plans Required? Medicaid-funded service providers need to develop a comprehensive care plan detailing what services will be delivered, what the service goals are, and the frequency and duration of service. Private-pay service providers are exempt from care plan requirements.
Can Home Care Providers Assist with Medication Management? Home care providers can prompt clients to self-administer prescription and over-the-counter medications, but only licensed medical professionals can dispense or administer meds.
Are There Special Requirements for Screening Home Care Aides? All home care aides employed by a state-licensed agency must successfully pass a criminal record check conducted through Alaska’s Background Check Program.
Are Home Care Aides Required to Undergo Special Training? There are no formal education or training requirements for home care aides, although most home care agencies will only hire caregivers who have completed a recognized training program.
Does Medicaid Cover Home Care in Alaska? Alaska Medicaid provides eligible seniors with coverage for in-home personal care through the PCS program as well as the ALI Waiver.
How Do I Report Abuse of Myself or a Loved One? Concerns regarding the abuse or exploitation of a senior or other vulnerable adult should be reported to Adult Protective Services, a unit of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. You can file a report by calling (800) 478-9996 or (907) 269-3666. If the victim is in immediate danger, contact the nearest law enforcement agency.

VIII. How to Find a Home Care Provider in Alaska

Whether you are looking for yourself or a loved one, finding a quality home care provider can be a stressful process. To help you overcome this challenge, we’ve created a helpful checklist below that can help guide you through the process of both determining your needs, and finding a home care agency that will be the best fit for you and your family.

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