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

Genworth’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey reveals that Mississippi seniors pay an average of $3,813 per month for home care. This service offers help with day-to-day tasks, such as personal care, housekeeping and errands. For seniors who need help with light medical tasks, home health care also costs an average of $3,813 in the state.

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

At $4,957 per month, the national average cost of home care is about 30% higher than in Mississippi. Home health care costs are about 35% higher at $5,148 per month. Average prices for home care and home health care services are also higher in Tennessee at $4,576, while in Arkansas, rates average $4,185 and $4,195, respectively. In Alabama, seniors pay the same for home care as their counterparts in Mississippi, while home health care services cost an average of $3,851 per month. Louisiana offers slightly lower costs at $3,623 for home care and $3,718 for home health care.

Cost of Home Care Cost of Home Health Care
Mississippi $3,813 $3,813
National $4,957 $5,148
Alabama $3,813 $3,851
Louisiana $3,623 $3,718
Arkansas $4,185 $4,195
Tennessee $4,576 $4,576

The Cost of Home Care vs. Other Types of Care

In Mississippi, as in the rest of the country, the type of care you need may affect your costs. Both home care and home health care cost an average of $3,813 per month. Another option that could help you stay at home, community-based adult day care, comes in at just $1,408. Seniors who decide to move to an assisted living facility pay an average of $3,500, while care in a nursing home costs about twice as much at $7,118 per month.

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

Mississippi Medicaid offers coverage for medically necessary home health care services for eligible members through the State Plan. This benefit is capped at 36 home health visits per fiscal year.

Long-term home health services may be available through the state’s Elderly and Disabled Waiver. This waiver also offers coverage for other services and supports that can help seniors age in place, including home-delivered meals, in-home respite services and assistance with personal care.

Home Care Waiver Programs in Mississippi

Mississippi’s Elderly and Disabled Waiver makes it possible for adults who need nursing home level care to remain in their homes. The program covers a number of services that could help you age in place, including home care and home health care.

Elderly and Disabled Waiver

The Elderly and Disabled Waiver is designed to help Medicaid members get the care they need at home, rather than in a nursing facility. The waiver offers coverage for several services that could help seniors age in place, including:

  • Case management
  • Extended home health benefits
  • Home-delivered meals
  • Nonmedical in-home respite care
  • Assistance with personal care needs
  • Meal preparation and housekeeping, if medically necessary

For seniors who currently live in a nursing facility, the waiver also offers community transition services. This benefit provides a one-time payment to help seniors move back home to age in place.

This waiver program has both financial and functional eligibility requirements. To receive waiver services, seniors must qualify for Medicaid enrollment and be:

  • Eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or earn no more than 300% of the current SSI benefit rate
  • Certified by a physician as needing a nursing facility level of care
  • Assessed as clinically eligible for the waiver program

To apply for the Elderly and Disabled Waiver, you can contact the Mississippi Division of Medicaid Long Term Care at (800) 421-2408.

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

In Mississippi, seniors may be eligible for Medicaid through the Aged, Blind or Disabled pathway. Seniors who currently receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments are automatically eligible for Mississippi Medicaid.

Income limits for Mississippi Medicaid change each year based on current Social Security Administration guidelines. In 2022, a single senior can earn up to $841 per month ($10,092 per year), while couples may earn up to $1,261 per month ($15,132 per year). The asset limit is $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Mississippi
Income Limits* Asset Limits
Single Person $10,092 $2,000
Two-Person Household $15,132 $3,000

*Per year

The program also has general eligibility requirements. Seniors must live in Mississippi and be either a U.S. citizen or a qualifying noncitizen:

  • U.S. national
  • Permanent resident
  • Legal alien

How to Apply for Medicaid in Mississippi

Seniors can apply for Aged, Blind and Disabled Medicaid by filling out an application form. If you want an application mailed to you, call the Office of Eligibility at (800) 421-2408. Mail or fax the completed application form to your Medicaid regional office.

As part of the application process for Aged, Blind and Disabled Medicaid, the state may require an in-person interview. If necessary, this takes place at your local regional office.

What Information You Will Need

The state requires official verification of an applicant’s income and assets. Depending on your financial situation, the documentation you may need to provide includes:

  • Paycheck stubs or wage printouts
  • Tax returns
  • Bank statements
  • Annuity contracts
  • Property deeds
  • Copies of promissory notes
  • Verification of vehicle ownership

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid

Medicaid is a complex program, and there are many resources that can help you understand your options, complete your application or even appeal a Medicaid denial. In the table below, we’ve collected some helpful resources that offer assistance to Mississippi seniors.

Contact Area Served Services Provided
Mississippi Division of Medicaid Regional Offices (800) 421-2408 Statewide There are 30 regional offices located throughout Mississippi. Seniors can call or visit the office that serves their county if they have questions about applying for Medicaid.
Mississippi Access to Care Network (844) 822-4622 Statewide The Mississippi Access to Care Network helps seniors learn about and apply for long-term care benefits. Seniors can visit their nearest MAC Center for help applying for the Elderly and Disabled Waiver or other Medicaid programs.
Mississippi Center for Legal Services (800) 498-1804 43 Mississippi counties If your Medicaid application is denied, Mississippi Legal Services may be able to help. It provides free legal services to eligible low-income people in central and southern Mississippi.

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

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 Mississippi

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 Mississippi

Many government departments and nonprofit organizations are committed to helping Mississippi seniors age in place. In the chart below, you’ll find an assortment of free resources that could help you live comfortably in your home for as long as possible. These include meal programs, bill payment assistance and home repair grants.

Contact Area Served Services Provided
Area Agencies on Aging Your local AAA Statewide Local Area Agencies on Aging help senior citizens age well. Services may vary between locations but typically include transportation, congregate meals and wellness programs. AAAs also refer seniors to helpful community resources.
Mississippi Department of Human Services Community Services (800) 421-0762 Statewide The Mississippi Department of Human Services administers several Community Services programs. Its Weatherization Assistance Program helps seniors make their homes more energy efficient. Through other programs, it helps eligible low-income households cover home energy and water bills.
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Housing Repair Loans and Grants Your local Rural Development office Eligible rural areas The USDA helps low-income homeowners in rural areas repair their homes. Eligible seniors could receive a grant of up to $10,000 to remove health and safety hazards. These may include sloping floors, missing handrails or damaged stairs.
Mississippi Food Network (601) 353-7286 Statewide The Mississippi Food Network partners with 430 agencies to feed more than 150,000 people each month. Seniors can call MFN if they need emergency food assistance. If you want advice about eating healthier, MFN also offers nutrition education to seniors.
Mississippi Association of Community Action Agencies (601) 882-5980 Statewide Mississippi’s 17 Community Action Agencies (CAAs) work to fight poverty in their service areas. Available programming may vary depending on your location, but could include friendly visiting, transportation, home-delivered meals and free tax preparation.
Mississippi Department of Revenue Senior Property Tax Exemption (601) 923-7700 Statewide Mississippi homeowners aged 65 or older can apply for the Senior Property Tax Exemption. Eligible seniors can receive an exemption of up to $7,500 of their home’s assessed value.
Mississippi Project START (Success Through Assistive Rehabilitative Technology) (601) 853-5249 Statewide This federally funded, statewide program increases access to assistive technology devices. You can visit your local START center to learn about devices that might meet your needs. If you want to try before you buy, START offers short-term device loans.

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

In Mississippi, as in all 50 states, Medicare and Medicaid certified-providers are subject to a federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Employees of home health agencies that participate in Medicare and/or Medicaid programs are required to comply with the COVID-19 vaccination mandate, unless they’ve been granted an exemption. However, Medicaid home care providers aren’t covered by this mandate, per the CMS.

The state of Mississippi doesn’t have a vaccination mandate for home care or home health care workers. These requirements are current as of April 2022. For up-to-date information, contact your local Area Agency on Aging.

Seniors who are concerned about possible COVID-19 exposures can contact home care agencies directly for details about their infection control policies, which may include recommendations for vaccination, personal protective equipment and routine testing.

VII. Rules and Regulations for Home Care Providers in Mississippi

The Mississippi Department of Health is responsible for regulating health facilities throughout the state, which includes home health agencies but not nonmedical home care providers. Home care providers that participate in the Elderly and Disabled Waiver are required to follow the Mississippi Division of Medicaid’s rules for home and community-based services.

What Types of Care Can Be Provided? In Mississippi, home care providers who accept Medicaid may provide personal care services to seniors. This may include help with personal care tasks, such as bathing, dressing and brushing teeth. Other services may include basic housekeeping tasks, meal preparation and running errands.
Are Care Plans Required? Before a senior can receive services from a Medicaid home care agency, they must have a care plan. This plan must be person-centered.
Can Home Care Providers Assist with Medication Management?  Home care providers can remind seniors to take prescribed medications, but neither they nor home health aides are allowed to administer medications. Licensed practical nurses may administer prescribed medications.
Are There Special Requirements for Screening Home Care Aides?  Home care providers who participate in the Elderly and Disabled Waiver program must conduct background checks with fingerprints during the hiring process. All employees must be rescreened every 2 years.
Are Home Care Aides Required to Undergo Special Training? Personal care attendants must be high school graduates (or equivalent) and undergo hands-on new hire training. They also must be certified to perform first aid and CPR.
Does Medicaid Cover Home Care in Mississippi? Mississippi Medicaid covers 36 home health visits per fiscal year through its State Plan. The state’s Elderly and Disabled Waiver offers extended home health benefits, as well as coverage for nonmedical home care services.
How Do I Report Abuse of Myself or a Loved One?  You can call the Mississippi Department of Human Services’ Vulnerable Person Abuse Hotline at (844) 437-6282. You can also file an online report with Adult Protective Services. In an emergency, call 911.

VIII. How to Find a Home Care Provider in Mississippi

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.

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