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According to the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, Idaho’s in-home care services and home health care have a median cost of $5,434 per month. Where you live in the state, what programs you qualify for and the type of care you require may affect how much you pay.
In-home care services don’t include medical treatment but may consist of helping with tasks such as walking, getting dressed, cooking, cleaning, taking medications and transportation. Home health care requires the supervision of a licensed nurse or nurse practitioner and addresses medical needs in addition to personal care tasks.
Compared with its neighbors, Idaho is one of the cheapest places to obtain home health care services, but it still costs more than the monthly national average of $4,957 for in-home care and $5,148 for home health care. Montana is slightly less expensive at $5,339 per month for both services, but the monthly care cost in Wyoming is $5,529 for both care types, and $5,625 for in-home care and $5,720 for home health care in Utah. Washington is much more expensive, with care costing up to $6,547 per month for in-home care and $6,578 per month for home health care.
|Home Care||Home Health Care|
There are different levels of skilled nursing care and companion care available. An assisted living facility is less expensive than home health care and might cost $3,838 per month while adult day care services run about $2,167 per month. Living in a nursing home facility would cost $8,517 per month. Most people who choose to receive home health care and in-home services wish to avoid being cut off from the community and want more freedom over their lives.
Medicaid is a program run jointly by the federal government and individual states to provide aid for those who can’t afford their medical care. Idaho’s program covers the medical costs associated with home health care, but it doesn’t pay for companion care, personal care and other essential services. The good news is Idaho has two waivers available that can pay for some or all of your expenses if you require home care.
The Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS) program helps residents who wish to receive skilled nursing services in their own homes, while the Medicare Medicaid Coordinated Plan allows those who qualify to combine their benefits into one easy-to-use benefit system.
If you qualify for Medicaid, you can apply for an HCBS waiver, which may cover physical rehabilitation service costs, home health care services, adult day care, respite care and case management. To qualify, you must be over age 65, prove that you require a nursing level of care and meet Medicaid’s income requirements.
For more information or to fill out an application, you can call (877) 456-1233.
Medicare Medicaid Coordinated Plan
If you’re eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, you can enroll in this program to manage your benefits and health care in one place. The plan covers emergency care, routine medical care, home health care, companion care, prescription medication, dental and vision. If you qualify for this waiver, it also covers your Medicare premiums. You can choose from two different health plans, which private insurance companies in Idaho administer.
To enroll, you can call Blue Cross of Idaho at (888) 495-2583 or Molina Healthcare of Idaho at (866) 403-8293.
To qualify for Medicaid, you must prove that you’re unable to pay for insurance coverage on your own by showing your income is under the Medicaid threshold and that you don’t have any sellable assets. In Idaho, a single applicant’s income limit is $30,516 per year, and their asset limit is $2,000. Married couples who are both applying must earn no more than $61,032 per year and have less than $3,000 in assets. If only one spouse is applying, their income limit is $30,516 per year. The applicant’s asset limit is $2,000, while the non-applicant’s limit is $137,400.
|Income Limits*||Asset Limits|
|Two-Person Household with Single Applicant||$30,516 for applicant||$2,000 for applicant and $137,400 for non-applicant|
|Two-Person Household with Both Applying||$61,032||$3,000|
You must also meet the following criteria:
You can apply for Medicaid online by visiting the Idaho Medicaid website or calling (877) 456-1233. To make it easier to fill out your application, you should prepare the documents that Medicaid will request during the application process.
What Information You Will Need
To qualify for Medicaid, you must present:
How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid
If you don’t fill out your application accurately or forget to include an important document, it could make it more difficult to receive your benefits. The process can be time-consuming and frustrating, so there are organizations you can reach out to for assistance.
|Contact||Area Served||Services Provided|
|State Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA)||(800) 247-4422||Entire State||SHIBA is Idaho’s state health insurance assistance program. Whether you need assistance finding insurance, enrolling in Medicaid or determining if you qualify for Medicaid, you can contact SHIBA to connect with a volunteer who will review your benefits and help you file the needed paperwork.|
|Long-Term Care Ombudsman||(208) 334-3833||Entire State||An Ombudsman is a volunteer advocate who offers counseling and assistance for a wide range of needs. Whether you’d like to know more about your rights, file a complaint or need help filing for Medicaid, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman office may be able to help.|
|idalink||Online||Entire State||idalink is a website that connects seniors with local and state organizations that offer financial assistance, food programs and help obtaining health coverage.|
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.
If you’ve chosen to age in place, you should take full advantage of the programs available to keep you active and involved in your community. These organizations offer educational materials, support, events and material aid to seniors across the state.
|Contact||Area Served||Services Provided|
|Aging and Disability Resource Center||(208) 334-3833||Entire State||Your local Aging and Disability Resource Center can connect you with community activities and events, meal programs and other resources that can help improve your quality of life.|
|Idaho Legal Aid Services||(208) 746-7541||Entire State||Idaho Legal Aid Services is a nonprofit organization that counsels seniors looking for legal assistance, food aid, housing aid and educational materials. Caregivers can also reach out to connect with support groups, counseling and respite services.|
|Family Caregiver Navigator||Online||Entire State||The Family Caregiver Navigator is a website set up for unpaid family caregivers and provides special services to those who are caring for someone with a disability. After taking an online survey, it will connect you to organizations that can provide the services you need.|
|Grants for Seniors||Online||Entire State||Grants for Seniors is a nonprofit program that offers financial aid to low-income seniors to help pay for food, housing, transportation and home health care services. The amount of aid you can receive varies based on your circumstances.|
|Idaho Areas on Aging||Local Agency||Entire State||The Idaho Areas on Agency program connects seniors through local offices with other support organizations that can provide low-cost transportation, meal delivery services, counseling services and legal assistance.|
Idaho currently requires health care workers to take precautions against the spread of COVID-19. All health care workers must complete their full vaccination by March 15, 2022, and follow appropriate testing protocols and quarantine measures. Individual home care agencies may take extra steps to protect you while receiving care. These additional precautions may include the use of masks and other personal protection equipment (PPE), social distancing when appropriate and testing for the virus regularly. Be sure to ask what your home health care agency is doing to protect you and your loved ones.
This information is current as of April 2022. However, these regulations may change as the pandemic continues, so it’s important to check with your state’s health department for current information.
The Board of Health and Welfare enforces rules for how home health care agencies must conduct themselves, including how they treat employees and patients. Home care agencies must comply with federal and state regulations concerning hiring and training practices, the delivery of care and communication with doctors, patients and their families.
|What Types of Care Can Be Provided?||Home care may include companion care, personal care, administration of routine medications, assistance with grooming and self-care routines and skilled nursing care. Only a licensed medical professional can regulate and provide medical treatment.|
|Are Care Plans Required?||An agency must write a care plan reviewing the patient’s medical history, diagnoses and physical needs. It must note how to address those concerns and who to contact if a patient needs medical care. Agencies must communicate any changes to the treatment plan orally and in writing.|
|Can Home Care Providers Assist with Medication Management?||In-home care workers may assist patients with managing their medications but may not change doses or prescribe new medications.|
|Are There Special Requirements for Screening Home Care Aides?||All employees working with a home care agency must pass a background check to ensure they don’t have any violent crime, sexual abuse or fraud convictions.|
|Are Home Care Aides Required to Undergo Special Training?||Registered nurses and nurse practitioners must be licensed and recertify regularly. Non-medical personnel don’t need to be certified but must receive regular ongoing training.|
|Does Medicaid Cover Home Care in Idaho?||Medicaid doesn’t cover home care directly, but you may qualify for an HCBS waiver or coverage through the Medicare Medicaid Coordination Plan.|
|How Do I Report Abuse of Myself or a Loved One?||If you suspect that someone is the victim of elder abuse or to report a violation of your own rights, contact the Long-Term Care Ombudsman at (208) 334-3833.|
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.