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The cost of care varies greatly depending on the type of care, your location and the quality of care you receive. In-home care doesn’t include medical treatment, so it might cost less, while home health care requires the direction of medical staff, such as registered nurses, doctors and nurse practitioners. In-home care focuses on assisting seniors with day-to-day tasks, such as cooking, getting dressed, walking, taking regular medications and transportation.
According to the latest Genworth Cost of Care Study, Kentucky’s in-home care costs about $4,767 per month. The state offers the third-lowest cost of care when compared with its neighbors. Only West Virginia and Tennessee provide cheaper care.
The national median cost for in-home care is $4,957, and home health care costs about $5,148. While Kentucky is below the national average, it’s right about in the middle compared with its neighbors. Home health care costs about $400 per month less than the national average and almost $600 less per month than Illinois. Care in West Virginia is the cheapest at around $3,500 per month, while Indiana, Ohio and Tennessee have similar costs of care.
|Home Health Care
In Kentucky, in-home care and home health care cost is around $4,767 per month. Aging in place is more expensive than if you transition to an assisted living facility or use adult day care services. However, it’s still considerably less costly than nursing home care. For example, adult day care costs $1,690 per month, while an assisted living facility is $3,448 per month. Skilled nursing care in a nursing home may cost around $7,178.
Medicaid covers the cost of medical treatment and can be used to offset the cost of home health care to an extent, but this type of care isn’t covered directly. If you qualify for Medicaid in Kentucky, several waivers are available that can cover the full cost of home health care or in-home care services. The waivers include the Home- and Community-Based Waiver, Homecare Program, Hart-Supported Living Program and Personal Care Attendant Program.
Kentuckians who first qualify for Medicaid can apply for waivers to offset the cost of aging in place. Services you may be eligible for include in-home nursing care, medical treatment, medical transportation and transitioning into an assisted living facility.
|Home- and Community-Based Waiver
|Online or (502) 564-5560
|The Home- and Community-Based Waiver program aims to help adults with disabilities and seniors continue to enjoy their freedom while still accessing the care they need. This waiver covers meal delivery services, adult day health care, home modification services, attendant care, and respite care. It can also be used to hire friends and family members as caregivers.
|The Area Agencies on Aging and Independent Living in Kentucky manage the Homecare Program and offer aid to residents over the age of 60 unable to perform three or more activities considered essential to living or at risk of a long-term care facility admission. Covered services include home repairs, meal preparation, respite programs for family caregivers and daily chore services.
|Hart-Supported Living Program
|The Hart-Supported Living Program provides aid while allowing you more control over the services you receive and who you employ to administer them. People living in assisted living facilities with more than three residents don’t qualify because this waiver is specifically for seniors who want to receive care in their own homes. The waiver is available to those eligible for Medicaid with a disability.
|Personal Care Attendant Program
|The Personal Care Attendant Program assists qualifying adults over 18 years of age who require 14 to 40 hours of attendant care each week. In-home care services include assistance with chores, getting dressed, taking medications, self-care routines and travel. To qualify, you must be able to self-direct your personal care attendant, which means this waiver can’t be used for memory care.
Medicaid is a state and federally funded program for low-income residents who can’t pay for their healthcare services on their own. To qualify, you must meet the state’s income requirements, which are different depending on whether one person from the household is applying ($30,276 annually) or both people are applying ($60,552). It also limits your assets’ values. Single applicant’s asset limit is $2,000 while a couple can have double that amount.
|Two-Person Household with single applicant
|$30,276 for applicant
|$2,000 for applicant, $137,400 for non-applicant
|Two-Person Household with two applicants
You must also meet the following criteria to qualify for Medicaid in Kentucky:
You can apply for Medicaid online or by calling Member Services at (800) 635-2570. If you’d like to apply online, you can do so through the Kentucky Kynect website.
What Information You Will Need
How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid
If you don’t fill out your application correctly, it could delay your ability to receive benefits. Medicaid applications can be confusing and frustrating to navigate. There are several organizations you can turn to for assistance to process your application quickly.
|Department for Medicaid Services
|You can call the Department for Medicaid Services to determine whether you’re eligible to apply for benefits and assistance filing your application.
|State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)
|The SHIP program helps seniors find the best health care providers and insurance coverage available and offers assistance applying for Medicaid. SHIP also has educational resources and personal counseling. You can contact SHIP online or call the toll-free hotline.
|Eldercare Locator is a federally backed service that provides numerous support services, including housing assistance, transportation, legal advice and counselors that can help seniors enroll in Medicare, Medicaid and prescription drug programs.
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’re trying to maintain your independence but still need long-term care, you can turn to local and regional organizations that offer guidance, educational resources, and counseling services. Many of these services are low-cost or free.
|Nutrition Program for the Elderly
|The Nutrition Program for the Elderly offers freshly prepared meals delivered straight to your home. You can also speak with a nutritionist about your dietary needs to ensure you’re making the right food choices.
|The Council on Aging
|The Council on Aging connects seniors with specialized services, such as health insurance specialists, legal services, in-home care providers and local support groups. The organization also helps family caregivers find support care.
|Technology helps disabled adults live more productive, normal lives. The KATS Network works with seniors to help them access assistive devices, making it easier to live with a disability.
|Kentucky Senior Living Association
|The Kentucky Senior Living Association works with regional and local organizations to connect seniors with support services, education and events.
|Kentucky Department of Insurance
|The Kentucky Department of Insurance allows seniors to find reputable providers and avoid health care scams. It also works on behalf of those who would like to file complaints against their insurance or health care providers.
|Department for Aging and Healthy Living
|The Department of Aging and Independent Living helps many seniors apply for special programs such as the Hart-Supported Living program and other Medicaid-backed services.
While many states are dropping vaccine mandates and public mask requirements, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) required COVID-19 vaccination for all Kentucky health care workers by March 15, 2022, unless exempt for medical reasons or religious beliefs. Individual health care providers may go above and beyond the state’s mandated requirements to protect their patients. Protective measures may include social distancing, masking and PPE and regular COVID-19 testing. These measures help prevent the virus spread among the senior population.
This information is current as of April 2022. As these requirements are constantly changing, it’s important to check with your health care providers and the CDC for updated guidelines.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services controls and regulates rules for how home health providers may conduct business in the state. The state defines home health care as Provider Type 34 services, and these providers must be enrolled to receive Medicaid funding and licensed by the state of Kentucky.
|What Types of Care Can Be Provided?
|Any service that is deemed short-term and supported by a licensed physician may be covered. This can include in-home care, such as assistance with self-care, chores, walking, medication administration and skilled nursing care.
|Are Care Plans Required?
|Services must meet certain standards to qualify for Medicaid funding, so applicants must provide a written care plan that a licensed physician and Medicaid approve. Medicaid and waiver programs only cover care plans considered medically necessary.
|Can Home Care Providers Assist with Medication Management?
|In-home care providers may assist patients with the self-administration of their medications but may not prescribe medicine or provide medical services.
|Are There Special Requirements for Screening Home Care Aides?
|A licensed medical professional, such as a registered nurse, nurse practitioner or doctor, must supervise all medical care. In-home care providers must certify once a year and pass a background check.
|Are Home Care Aides Required to Undergo Special Training?
|Kentucky doesn’t have any defined laws that regulate the type or amount of training required for in-home care services. Home health agencies must maintain medical licenses and regularly recertify them.
|Does Medicaid Cover Home Care in Kentucky?
|Medicaid doesn’t cover home health care directly in Kentucky, but there are four waiver programs Medicaid recipients may qualify for to reduce or cover the expense of care.
|How Do I Report Abuse of Myself or a Loved One?
|You can contact the Adult Protection Branch of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services to report elder abuse and fraud cases. If you have reason to suspect a loved one is being abused, neglected or exploited, call toll-free at (877) 597-2331.
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.