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According to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey for 2021, in-home care has a median cost of about $6,673 per month while home health care could cost $6,912 per month. Your own costs will depend on the level of care you receive, where you reside within the state and the type of care you need. In-home health services focus on assisting people with their regular routines by providing transportation services and administering prescribed medications. Home health care is required when someone requires medical treatment from a registered nurse or physician.
Compared to its neighbors and the national average, Minnesota is an expensive state for seniors who need long-term care. The national average for home health care is $5,148 per month, and all of Minnesota’s neighbors have a lower median cost of care. Home health care in Iowa, for example, costs nearly $1,400 less per month than it does in Minnesota. Prices in Wisconsin are similar. North and South Dakota are also substantially more affordable than Minnesota with averages of $4,689 and $5,911 respectively.
|Home Care||Home Health Care|
While home care is more expensive than adult day care services ($2,167) or assisted living ($4,508), it offers considerable savings over semiprivate care in a nursing home, which costs $11,601 per month. If you’d prefer to age in place in your home but require a nursing level of care, expect to pay $6,673-$6,912 depending on your individual level of care.
Medicaid can cover the costs of medical treatment associated with home care, but it doesn’t cover it directly. There are several waiver programs available, however, that can make home care more affordable or cover the cost entirely. These waivers include the Essential Community Supports Program, Alternative Care Program, Elderly Waiver and Minnesota Senior Health Options Program.
To qualify for the following Medicaid waiver programs, you must first qualify for Medicaid in Minnesota.
|Contact||Area Served||Services Provided|
|Essential Community Supports||(800) 333-2433||Entire state||The Essential Community Supports program provides up to $466 per month for seniors who don’t yet require the care of a nursing home or assisted living facility. The services covered include adult day programs, in-home care, caregiver training, community living assistance and delivered meals.|
|Alternative Care||(800) 333-2433||Entire state||The Alternative Care program is for seniors who need a nursing level of care but would prefer to receive care in their own homes. It gives you the ability to delay a transition into a community living facility or nursing home and is available if you have a low income but don’t qualify for Medical Assistance.|
|Elderly Waiver||(800) 333-2433||Entire state||The Elderly Waiver offers coverage for seniors who qualify for Medical Assistance and helps reduce the cost of companion services, emergency care, in-home care, home health care, modifications to your home, transportation services, family caregiver support and skilled nursing.|
|Minnesota Senior Health Options||Online||Entire state||Minnesota Senior Health Options is a collaborative effort between the Minnesota Department of Human Services and seven health insurance plans. It aims to allow seniors to access benefits from multiple plans in one place. You’re connected with a personal counselor who works on your behalf to determine what benefits you qualify for and who can help fill out applications.|
To qualify for Medicaid in Minnesota, you must first meet several eligibility requirements. Your income can’t exceed the state’s threshold for Medicaid recipients, and there’s a limit on the value of assets you can hold while you receive assistance with the cost of care. For 2022, your monthly income must be no more than $1,074 individually or $1,453 as a couple. Assets are capped at $3,000 per person.
|Income Limits*||Asset Limits|
You must also meet additional eligibility requirements to qualify for Medicaid.
Minnesota’s Medicaid program is called Medical Assistance and is managed by the Minnesota Department of Human Services. You can apply online by visiting the Medical Assistance website or through Minnesota’s Health Insurance Marketplace at www.mnsure.org.
What Information You Will Need
You should have the following information available when filling out your application.
How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid
Applying for Medicaid can be a confusing and time-consuming process. To ensure that you’ve filled out your application correctly, you can get assistance from these sources.
|Contact||Area Served||Services Provided|
|Minnesota Board on Aging||Online||Entire State||The Minnesota Board on Aging offers support services for seniors across the state, including assistance applying for insurance benefits, Medicare and Medical Assistance. It can also provide assistance if you need memory care services, home care or transition care as you move into an assisted living facility.|
|MNSure||Online or (651) 539-2099||Entire state||MNSure is the Minnesota Health Care Marketplace. You can apply for Medicaid online or call MNSure’s hotline if you have questions or need assistance filling out your application.|
|Minnesota Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care||(800) 657-3591||Entire State||The Ombudsman for Long-Term Care offers advocacy and legal services to seniors in Minnesota while helping connect families across the state with local resources and information. You can contact the office for assistance finding quality nursing care and to determine if you qualify for benefits.|
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 decided to seek care within your own home, there are plenty of resources available that can provide support services, educational resources and assistance.
|Contact||Area Served||Services Provided|
|National Alliance of Caregiving||Online||Entire State||The National Alliance of Caregiving offers support services for family caregivers and can help you find the balance between caring for a loved one and tending to your own personal needs.|
|DARTS||Online or (651) 455-1560||Entire state||DARTS offers respite care, support groups, education and counseling to family members of those who have Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia. In addition to providing valuable information for caregivers, DARTS connects people with local resources and organizations that can help.|
|Senior Corps||Online||Entire State||Senior Corps engages people who are aging in place by providing opportunities to volunteer with their local communities. Volunteers can receive a stipend for their service and are often connected with other seniors in need, foster children with special needs and other local volunteer projects.|
|ProJusticeMN||Online||Entire state||ProJusticeMN works with the Minnesota Bar Association to connect low-income seniors with attorneys who are willing to offer their legal services for free. Whether you need legal help with estate planning or senior advocacy, you can find quality legal services here for free.|
|Senior LinkAge Line||(800) 333-2433||Entire state||Seniors in Minnesota may call the Senior LinkAge hotline to be connected with supportive services that include low-cost transportation and other resources. Those living in the Twin Cities may qualify for public transportation passes for $1 per day.|
Minnesota health care workers and support staff are currently required to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus due to federal and state mandates as of April 2022. These rules may change in the future, so check with your local Area Agency on Aging to find the most current information for your area.
Many in-home health services and home health care providers are taking steps beyond what the mandates require to protect seniors. These measures include using personal protection equipment and masks and maintaining social distancing when possible. Check with your home health agency to see what their policies are and what they’re doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Minnesota Department of Health regulates home care agencies in the state. All home care providers must follow the home care statutes found in Chapter 144A of the Minnesota Health Code.
|What Types of Care Can Be Provided?||In Minnesota, home care agencies can provide companionship and support, but they must offer skilled nursing as their primary form of service. Agencies must renew their medical license annually to provide care.|
|Are Care Plans Required?||Minnesotans have the right to review their treatment plan before agreeing to care, and they can have the treatment plan shared with their primary care physician. The plan must include the cost of care and process for amending the treatment plan if needed.|
|Can Home Care Providers Assist with Medication Management?||Home care providers may help patients manage their daily prescription medications, but only those under the supervision of a nurse or doctor may provide medical care.|
|Are There Special Requirements for Screening Home Care Aides?||Criminal background checks are required in the state of Minnesota, and home care aides need to pass health screenings to ensure they’re not carriers of infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis.|
|Are Home Care Aides Required to Undergo Special Training?||Home care aides must undergo an annual review and recertification to maintain their licenses. They’re also required to receive training each year.|
|Does Medicaid Cover Home Care in Texas?||While Medicaid doesn’t directly cover in-home care and home health care, there are waivers available to cover these expenses. To qualify for a waiver, you must be eligible for Medicaid.|
|How Do I Report Abuse of Myself or a Loved One?||There are several ways to report elder abuse in the state of Minnesota. You can contact the Office of the Ombudsman for Long-Term Care or call the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center at (844) 880-1574.|
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.