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

If you live in Michigan, you can expect to pay $5,529 per month for in-home assistance according to Genworth Financial’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey. Estimates assume that seniors require 44 hours of weekly assistance. Rates are likely to be the same regardless of whether you require nonmedical chore assistance and help around the house or medical services, including physical therapy and help with medications.

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

Michigan’s home care prices are about 10% higher than the national average and some neighboring states, such as Ohio. Nonmedical home care services in Michigan typically cost $5,529 per month compared to $4,957 nationally. Prices in the state are higher than Indiana and Kentucky, where providers charge $4,767 per month for these services. Wisconsin has the same in-home care costs as Michigan, but home health care costs almost $200 more per month.

Home Care Home Health Care
Michigan $5,529 $5,529
National $4,957 $5,148
Ohio $4,957 $5,053
Indiana $4,767 $4,767
Kentucky $4,767 $4,767
Wisconsin $5,529 $5,720

The Cost of Home Care vs. Other Types of Care

In-home care can be an affordable option, depending on how many hours of assistance you require every day or every week. Nursing homes cost about $3,560 more per month at $9,095. Assisted living facilities are another option to explore if you just require a few hours of daily help. These facilities charge $4,250 per month, about $1,279 less than full-time home care. Adult day health care programs provide daytime supervision and activities for $1,733 per month. You may be able to find a local option that fits your needs.

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

Michigan offers several Medicaid programs and waivers that cover the cost of in-home assistance. Individuals who are eligible for regular Medicaid and require assistance with at least one activity of daily living may be eligible for the state’s Home Help program. This benefits package supports individuals who want to live at home rather than in a nursing home or group residence. It helps with the cost of daily assistance as well as housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation, medication assistance and errands. However, it doesn’t cover home repairs, yard work or heavy cleaning. Beneficiaries can manage their own care and hire a caregiver of their choice. If you’re on Medicaid or think that you may qualify based on your income, contact the adult services unit at the Department of Health and Human Services office in your county. Michigan also offers several home- and community-based services waivers that help with the cost of in-home care.

Home Care Waiver Programs in Michigan

You may qualify for one of the following Medicaid waivers if you require a nursing home level of care and want to remain in the community. The state also looks at your income and assets.

Contact Area Served Services Provided
MI Choice Waiver Program Contact Your AAA Statewide Michigan’s MI Choice Waiver Program has been helping nursing-home-eligible seniors maintain their independence for over 20 years. It covers in-home care, including chore assistance, meal deliveries, medical equipment and emergency response systems. The program also pays for skilled nursing and related supports.
MI Health Link (800) 975-7630 UP and Southern Michigan MI Health Link is an integrated care program available to individuals aged 21 and older who are eligible for Medicaid and Medicare. It covers in-home care and community-based services, as well as regular medical care and prescription medications. The program is available across the Upper Peninsula and in more than 10 counties across southern Michigan. Eligibility is not based on your need for nursing home care.
PACE (517) 241-4293 Varies by Provider The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the elderly is another integrated care delivery system available to residents who are eligible for Medicare and/or Medicaid. It covers all medical services and long-term supports provided by these programs. The goal is to help adults aged 55 or older avoid nursing home placement and remain in the community. Seniors must require institutional care to qualify.
Community Transition Services (833)-686-7700 Statewide This Medicaid Section 1915 waiver provides one-time transition services to help nursing home and long-term care residents establish an independent household and return to the community. It can assist with deposits, utilities, housing arrangements and one-time expenses. Case managers can arrange other community-based services and supports.

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

Medicaid for the Aged Blind and Disabled is one of several health care programs available to low-income residents in Michigan. To qualify, you must be aged 65 or older, blind or disabled. Additionally, your monthly income is limited to $1,133 if you’re applying individually or $1,526 if you’re applying as a couple. The state also considers bank accounts and other resources when evaluating applications.

For regular Medicaid, assets are limited to $2,000 for individuals or $3,000 for couples. There are a few exceptions. For example, the state may also allow seniors to qualify by spending excess money on medical bills and other approved expenses. Medicaid waivers have different income limits.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Michigan
Income Limits* Asset Limits
Single Person $13,596 $2,000
Two-Person Household $18,312 $3,000

*Per year

Michigan considers medical and financial criteria when evaluating Medicaid applications. In most cases, you must prove that you are:

  • Aged 65 or older or blind or disabled
  • Have a financial need for medical coverage
  • A Michigan resident
  • A U.S. citizen or equivalent

How to Apply for Medicaid in Michigan

Applying for Medicaid in Michigan is as simple as completing an online application using the MIBridges application portal. If you’d rather speak to a representative, you can complete your application over the phone by calling the Michigan Health Care Helpline at (855) 789-5610. Additionally, in-person assistance is available locally through the Department of Human Services. Applicants can drop off a paper application form if needed, but online applications are preferred.

What Information You Will Need

Michigan’s Medicaid application asks for a variety of information about you and other members of your household. Be prepared to provide the following items when you apply.

  • Name and address
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Citizenship information
  • Need for benefits
  • Existing health coverage
  • Financial resources
  • Vehicles
  • Real estate
  • Income and employment
  • Government benefits
  • Monthly expenses
  • Tax information
  • Property sales or transfers in the past 5 years

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid

If you need help completing your application or if you aren’t sure how to take the next step, contact the following agencies for assistance.

Contact Area Served Services Provided
Michigan Healthcare Helpline (855) 789-5610 Statewide Call the statewide Medicaid Healthcare Helpline for assistance with a new or existing benefits application.
Adult Home Help/Chore Services (800) 979-4662 Statewide For information about Medicaid benefits for in-home care and chore assistance, call the Adult Home Help/Chore Services Division.
Medicaid Customer Help (800) 642-3195 Statewide If you already receive Medicaid, contact the Medicaid Customer Help call center to update your personal information or manage your benefits.
Disability Rights Michigan (517) 487-1755 Statewide DRM is a federally funded organization that protects the rights of disabled individuals when dealing with the state government.

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

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 Michigan

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 Michigan

Michigan provides an array of resources that benefit older adults statewide. You may qualify for property tax breaks, utility bill assistance, home-delivered meals and other supportive services. Contact the following agencies to get started.

Contact Area Served Services Provided
Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan (517) 886-1029 Statewide If you’re interested in receiving in-home assistance, your Area Agency on Aging is designed to be your first point of contact. Michigan has 16 AAAs that serve seniors, disabled adults and family caregivers in designated counties. They also provide information about senior transportation and other resources that are available in your area.
Michigan Association of Senior Centers (248) 505-8228 Statewide Senior centers don’t just provide valuable social and recreational activities for older adults. They also offer an array of social services, including meals, transportation, tax preparation assistance and free health screenings. The Michigan Association of Senior Centers can help you find a location near you.
Services for Seniors Online Statewide Services for Seniors is a free directory published by the Michigan Legislature. It includes information about income tax deductions, property tax exemptions and prescription drug credits. You’ll also find information about medical services, financial assistance programs and community-based resources available to older adults.
Elder Law of Michigan (866) 400-9164 Statewide Elder Law of Michigan is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping seniors with age-related legal issues. Its areas of focus include government benefits and pensions. You can also sign up for ELM’s Senior Connect Line that provides daily or weekly check-in calls and referrals to helpful services.
Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) 211 Statewide The Michigan Energy Assistance Program provides self-sufficiency counseling, weatherization services and emergency bill pay assistance to help low-income families manage their utility expenses. Michigan also offers a Home Heating Credit to offset the cost of wintertime energy bills. Call 211 to locate a MEAP partner in your area.
State Emergency Relief MIBridges Statewide Emergency Relief is a financial assistance program that helps seniors and low-income families with major expenses. Programs are available to help qualifying residents with home repairs, energy efficiency upgrades, weatherization services and other items, such as furnace and water heater replacements. Emergency assistance is also available to households that are unable to afford final expenses.

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

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued vaccine mandates for home health aides and other professionals who provide direct care. As part of this program, providers in Michigan are required to develop a plan for staff vaccinations and ensure that their employees are fully vaccinated by early 2022. However, there are religious and medical exceptions. Home health agencies may have their own policies regarding testing, vaccinations and masking for clients and staff. Contact your Area Agency on Aging or local home care provider for specific information. Although this information is current as of April 2022, regulations are subject to change.

VII. Rules and Regulations for Home Care Providers in Michigan

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs does not regulate home health agencies. However, staff members who provide medical services must be licensed, and providers must be certified by the federal government to accept Medicare or Medicaid.

What Types of Care Can Be Provided? Home care agencies provide medical and nonmedical care to individuals who need help with activities of daily living or are unable to access medical care in an outpatient setting. Some providers focus on nonmedical services, such as cleaning, meal preparation and help with errands. Home health agencies offer intermittent nursing, physical therapy and other skilled services performed by licensed medical professionals.
Are Care Plans Required? Home care agencies must develop a comprehensive service plan for each client. The plan of care must include information about the client’s health and personal care needs and how the agency will meet them. It must describe all required supports as well as the goals of treatment and the timing and duration of these supports. Services must be consistent with a physician’s recommendations.
Can Home Care Providers Assist with Medication Management? Michigan does not require staff members to have a nursing license to place medications in containers, provide medication reminders or assist with the self-administration of oral medications.
Are There Special Requirements for Screening Home Care Aides? Michigan law authorizes state and federal fingerprint-based background checks for all direct care workers employed by home health agencies and other long-term care providers. Students and volunteers may be exempt from these requirements. Certain offenses may bar applicants from employment.
Are Home Care Aides Required to Undergo Special Training? Because Michigan does not regulate home health agencies, training requirements for home health aides are consistent with federal minimums. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requires these professionals to complete at least 75 hours of training, including 16 hours of clinical work experience. Additional certifications and licenses may be required for staff who complete certain tasks.
Does Medicaid Cover Home Care in Michigan Michigan offers several waivers for home- and community-based services that can help with the cost of in-home care and other supports.
How Do I Report Abuse of Myself or a Loved One? Instances of abuse, neglect or exploitation should be reported to Adult Protective Services at (855) 444-3911. Reports can also be made by contacting your local Department of Human Services office. Health care professionals and other members of the community may be required to document abuse due to mandated reporting requirements.

VIII. How to Find a Home Care Provider in Michigan

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.

Download PDF Here

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