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Genworth’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey shows that the average in-home care and home health care rate in Hawaii is $5,720 per month. In-home care includes non-medical assistance with personal care, light housework and companionship, and home health care involves medical and rehabilitation services delivered by a licensed medical professional.
With an average monthly rate of $5,720, home care costs in Hawaii match the rates in Alaska and are higher than the national average, $4,957. By comparison, rates in California ($6,101) are higher, and seniors in Nevada ($5,148) and Arizona ($5,339) pay less for home care than Hawaiian seniors do.
In terms of home health care costs, Hawaii’s monthly average of $5,720 also matches the average rate in Alaska and is $572 above the national average of $5,148. In California, the same type of care costs around $6,101 per month. This care type costs $5,148 in Nevada and $5,434 in Arizona.
|Home Care||Home Health Care|
Hawaii’s senior care costs start at an average of $1,625 per month for adult day health care services. Assisted living care runs about $5,375 per month, and the average in-home and home health care rate is $5,720. Nursing home care, which includes around-the-clock medical care in a specialized residential facility, is by far the costliest option, with an average cost of $12,501 per month.
Home care services are covered through Med-QUEST, which is Hawaii’s integrated elderly, blind and disabled Medicaid program.
Eligible seniors can use Med-QUEST benefits to access a range of community-based services designed to help older adults remain safe and independent and avoid placement in an institutional setting such as a nursing home.
Med-QUEST covers services such as:
To receive Med-QUEST home care services, you need to be a Medicaid beneficiary. You also need to undergo an assessment to determine if home care services will meet your specific care needs.
Medicaid eligibility is based on your income, your countable assets and your citizenship status. To qualify for regular Medicaid, you can earn up to $1,303 per month, or $15,636 per year, if you live alone. If you live with a spouse or common-law partner and you’re both applying for Medicaid, your combined annual income can be no greater than $21,060 per year.
In terms of countable assets, which includes cash, bonds and all real estate except your principal residence, you can have up to $2,000 per person.
|Income Limits*||Asset Limits|
|Two-Person Household||$21,060||$4,000 ($2,000 per person)|
In addition to income and asset limits, you need to:
There are three ways to apply for Medicaid in Hawaii.
You can either:
To locate a Med-QUEST office that accepts mailed-in Medicaid applications, phone the Hawaii Connection Call Center.
What Information You Will Need
Medicaid enrollment is contingent on financial need, citizenship status and place of residence. To verify your eligibility for Hawaii MedQuest benefits, you’ll be asked to demonstrate the following:
In Hawaii, new residents can apply for Medicaid as soon as they arrive, as long as they plan to make Hawaii their permanent home.
How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid
If you need assistance with your Medicaid application, you can contact one of the following programs for help.
|Contact||Area Served||Services Provided|
|Hawaii State Health Insurance Assistance Program||(808) 586-7299
|Entire State||Hawaii’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program, also known as SHIP Hawaii, is a federally funded, volunteer-based statewide program that helps Hawaiians understand their Medicare options. Trained SHIP volunteers meet with Medicare-eligible seniors and their caregivers to deliver free, one-on-one unbiased Medicare counseling and information. SHIP volunteers also offer Medicare presentations to community groups and at senior centers.|
|University of Hawai’i Elder Law Program||(808) 956-6544||O’ahu||The University of Hawai’i’s Elder Law Program, UHELP, provides free elder law services to seniors who may otherwise be unable to afford to hire a lawyer. The program focuses on assisting seniors with civil issues related to aging, such as accessing public benefits including Medicare and Medicaid; financing long-term care services; and navigating health care quality issues and complaints.|
|Med-QUEST Helpline||(800) 316-8005||Entire State||Seniors who need help applying for Med-QUEST can call the toll-free helpline.|
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:
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.
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.
Hawaiian seniors who want to age in place in their own homes can access support through the state’s many free and low-cost resources geared toward seniors.
|Contact||Area Served||Services Provided|
|Hawaii Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC)||(808) 643-2372||Entire State||Hawaii’s ADRC provides a range of services designed to help older adults and people with disabilities retain their independence. Seniors and their caregivers can contact the ADRC to connect with programs such as SHIP Hawaii, the state’s health insurance assistance program; Hawaii’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program; and SMP Hawaii, an anti-fraud program geared toward seniors.|
|Kupuna Legal Services||(808) 536-0011 (Oahu)
1-888-536-0011 (Neighbor Islands)
|Entire State||Operated by the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, Kupuna Legal Aid Services provides free legal advice and assistance to seniors aged 60 and older. The program focuses on helping seniors who are victims of crime, as well as those who need advanced planning services. Legal professionals with Kupana Legal Aid Services assist with advanced health care directives, simple wills, deed transfers upon death and power of attorney documents.|
|Hawai’i Meals on Wheels||(808) 988-6747||Oahu||Hawai’i Meals on Wheels is a private, nonprofit organization that delivers free and low-cost prepared meals to homebound seniors and people with disabilities. Meals are delivered each weekday by trained, screened volunteers who also perform informal wellness checks on clients.|
|Office of Veterans’ Services||(808) 433-0420||Entire State||The Office of Veterans’ Services offers a variety of free services to eligible vets, their survivors and dependents. Veteran Service Officers can help vets apply for the VA’s two enhanced pension programs, VA Aid and Attendance and Housebound, which provide cash that can be used toward home care costs.|
|Weatherization Assistance Program||(808) 245-4077 (Kauai)
(808) 521-4531 (Honolulu)
(808) 932-2717 (Hawaii)
(808) 249-2990 (Maui)
|Entire State||The Weatherization Assistance Program is a federally funded, locally administered program designed to help low- and moderate-income households reduce their home heating and cooling costs. The WAP funds a variety of approved energy-saving home improvements, such as the installation of low-flow bathroom fixtures, LED or CFL lighting and solar water heaters. Eligible seniors may also qualify for refrigerator replacement and energy-efficient air conditioning units.|
In accordance with COVID-19 vaccination mandates issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, all home health care workers in Hawaii who deliver Medicaid and/or Medicare-funded services must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The CMS COVID-19 mandate states that all Hawaii health care workers to whom the mandate applies to must have at least one dose of an approved, single-shot vaccine or two doses of a two-dose vaccine, by February 2022.
Some limited exemptions do apply to the CMS vaccination rule, but these exemptions are quite rare. Exemptions are available for health care workers who cannot complete their full course of COVID-19 vaccination because they had a severe allergic reaction to their first dose and those who need to delay vaccination due to recent COVID-19 infection.
Hawaii’s home care providers are regulated under Chapter 11-700 of Hawaii’s Administrative Rules. The state’s Department of Health, Office of Health Care Assurance licenses and inspects home care agencies in Hawaii. You can verify the license status of home care agencies in Hawaii online through the government Home Care Agency Licensing website.
|What Types of Care Can Be Provided?||Home care providers may provide personal care and/or homemaker services, as well as respite care services. All personal care services must be delivered by a trained personal care aide and may include assisting the client with bathing, skin and oral care, toileting, ambulation, dressing and exercise.
Home care providers cannot deliver financial management services.
|Are Care Plans Required?||Home care clients must be provided with a care plan developed in conjunction with the client and/or their representative and a supervisor from the home care agency. This care plan must be reviewed on an annual basis or anytime there is a significant change in the client’s needs.|
|Can Home Care Providers Assist With Medication Management?||Home care providers cannot assist with medication management.|
|Are There Special Requirements for Screening Home Care Aides?||All staff must undergo a criminal background check and child abuse screening. Those who will have direct contact with patients must be screened for tuberculosis.|
|Are Home Care Aides Required to Undergo Special Training?||Care providers must successfully complete a recognized personal care aide training program prior to commencing work with a home care agency.|
|Does Medicaid Cover Home Care in Hawaii?||Hawaii’s Med-QUEST program covers some home care costs for eligible beneficiaries.|
|How Do I Report Abuse of Myself or a Loved One?||Elder abuse, neglect or exploitation must be reported to the nearest Adult Protective Services department at (808) 832-5115. If an elder is in immediate danger, call 911.|
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.