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According to Genworth’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey, Nebraska seniors pay $5,148 per month for in-home care and $5,339 per month for home health care. In-home care offers nonclinical services such as assistance with daily living tasks, companionship and meal prep. On the other hand, a licensed medical professional provides home health care such as skilled nursing.
Nebraska’s home care costs are lower than its nearby states. South Dakota’s monthly average cost for both care types is $5,911, while Wyoming’s cost for both care types is $5,529. Colorado is the most expensive in the area at $6,387 per month for both care types. Kansas is the least costly in the region, with both services costing $4,576 per month. The national monthly average for both care types is $191 less per month than Nebraska’s average at $4,957 and $5,148, respectively.
|Home Care||Home Health Care|
Nursing home care in Nebraska can reach an average cost of $7,483 per month, making it the most expensive care option for seniors. More affordable options are assisted living costs at $4,076 per month and adult day care options at just $1,842 per month. In comparison, in-home care and home health care are among the most expensive options for senior care in Nebraska, with a monthly price of $5,148 and $5,339, respectively.
Nebraska Medicaid covers in-home care and home health care for seniors 65 years and older or disabled immediately after the application approval. In certain cases, the covered member can designate their own caregivers.
Additionally, Nebraska provides qualifying seniors with the Aged and Disabled Waiver, making them eligible for services to help them receive home care instead of nursing home placement. Medicaid does not consider this waiver an entitlement since it is separate, which means seniors could be placed on a waiting list to receive determined services.
Aged and Disabled Waiver
The Nebraska Aged and Disabled Medicaid waiver helps seniors and disabled persons to continue their independent living conditions in their own homes rather than in a nursing home. This program provides a variety of services that increase the quality of life of those who qualify, including home care, adult day care and assistive technology. While the waiver covers certain home and vehicle modifications, it does not cover the cost of room and board at an assisted living facility.
To qualify for Nebraska’s Aged and Disabled waiver, you must meet certain income and asset limits, as well as certain functionality requirements. The maximum asset limit is $4,000, and the annual income limit is $13,590, which is equivalent to 100% of the federal poverty level. Additionally, you must need care that can be managed at home or elsewhere, excluding a nursing home, as long as certain services are available to you.
If Medicaid has already enrolled you, you can verify your eligibility for this waiver and/or apply online through the ACCESSNebraska website. You can also call the toll-free Medicaid hotline at (855) 632-7633. To apply in person, you can visit one of the DHHS offices located throughout the state. To find the office closest to your location, you can go to the Medicaid website.
To qualify for Nebraska Medicaid, you must fulfill certain income and asset cap requirements. For regular Medicaid eligibility, you must meet an income limit of $13,590 per year if you are single or $18,310 per year if you are married, regardless of whether just you or you and your spouse apply. Additionally, Medicaid also places an asset value cap, with $4,000 for single applicants and $6,000 for married couples.
|Income Limits*||Asset Limits|
Additionally, seniors must also meet the following requirements to qualify for Nebraska Medicaid:
There are several ways to apply for Medicaid in Nebraska. To apply online, you can fill out an application on the ACCESSNebraska online portal. Once you have applied, you will receive a letter with your new ACCESSNebraska PIN to login and create your account. You can also apply by phone by calling the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services at (855) 632-7633 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can also call this number to request a paper application. Return your completed paper application to your local DHHS office, fax it to (402) 742-2351 or send it to the following address:
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
P.O. Box 2992
Omaha, NE 68102
Processing times can take 30 to 45 days, depending on how quickly you provide the information requested.
What Information You Will Need
Nebraska Medicaid verifies all information you provide on your application, so you must provide certain documents when requested. These documents include:
How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid
The Nebraska Medicaid application can be difficult to fill out. Thankfully, Nebraska offers different resources to help you apply for and understand your eligible coverage and how to use your benefits once Medicaid approves your application.
|Contact||Area Served||Services Provided|
|Nebraska SHIP||1(800) 234-7119||Entire State||Nebraska’s state health insurance assistance program is designed to help seniors understand Medicare. Seniors can call the toll free hotline with questions or ask for a one-on-one meeting with a SHIP counselor.|
|Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)||(855) 632-7633||Entire State||The Medicaid Hotline connects Nebraska residents to live representatives who can help them with any questions about applying for Medicaid.|
|Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging (ENOA)||(877) 667-6266||Entire State||Nebraska’s Aged and Disabled Medicaid waiver is available through the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and gives Medicaid members access to additional home care benefits. The ENOA hotline answers any questions about eligibility, enrollment and 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.
The following resources offer free or low-cost programs that help seniors achieve their goal of aging in place for as long as possible.
|Contact||Area Served||Services Provided|
|Nebraska Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC)||(800) 672-8368||Entire State||The Nebraska ADRC provides seniors and their caregivers with information about long-term services and support for older adults, including living arrangements, adult protective services, mental health services, health, assistance with prescription drugs, fall prevention, legislation at the local, state and national levels and more.|
|Legal Aid of Nebraska||(800) 527-7249||Entire State||Legal Aid of Nebraska provides free legal advice and assistance to Nebraska residents 60 years of age and older who can’t afford an attorney through their ElderAccessLine. It helps with various topics, including collections, Medicare and Medicaid, consumer protection, living wills, simple wills, tenant issues and other concerns that could affect senior Nebraskans.|
|Nebraska Attorney General’s Office||(800) 272-6432||Entire State||Seniors can use the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office’s website to file a complaint or report a scam. They can also learn what to do in case of identity theft, as well as access informational brochures detailing some of the most common financial scams affecting Nebraska and how to avoid becoming fraud and scam victims.|
|Nebraska Humane Society||(402) 444-7800||Entire State||The Humane Society provides various free and low-cost services to seniors, including spay/neuter services for their pets, pet cremation, free pet food delivered monthly and weekly delivery of free pet food to financially troubled seniors. Additionally, it runs a pet loss support group that meets once a month for seniors who have lost their pets or companion animals and need help working through the grieving process.|
|Nebraska Meals on Wheels||(402) 463-5900||Entire State||The Nebraska Office on Aging’s Meals on Wheels program delivers hot meals to the homes of seniors aged 60 years and older who are homebound or have difficulty preparing their own meals due to various circumstances, including inadequate kitchens or physical concerns.|
In Nebraska, the COVID-19 vaccine deadline for all home health care workers who work for agencies participating in Medicaid and/or Medicare programs was March 15, 2022. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) emitted this requirement.
While these rules are current as of April 2022, all matters surrounding the COVID-19 can change quickly and often, so it’s a good idea to check with your local Aging and Disability Resource Center to get the most up-to-date information. Additionally, in-home care and home health care agencies may have their own guidelines and policies to mitigate the COVID-19 virus spread, so don’t forget to check with them, too.
In Nebraska, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)regulates home care providers throughout the state. The Medical Assistance Act, Nebraska Revised Statute 68-901 details these regulations, and the DHHS monitors them to ensure seniors and the disabled receive proper care.
|What Types of Care Can Be Provided?||In Nebraska, home care offers non-medical personal care, companion services and household services. Personal care assists with bathing, grooming, getting dressed, toileting and performing other day-to-day activities. Home health care provides care and support, such as skilled nursing, by a licensed medical professional.|
|Are Care Plans Required?||The Nebraska legislation doesn’t require home care providers to create care plans for their clients.|
|Can Home Care Providers Assist with Medication Management?||Home care providers can help with self-administered medications, but not with medicines that require a licensed professional.|
|Are There Special Requirements for Screening Home Care Aides?||Nebraska’s legislation states that all home health agencies must perform and keep records of criminal background and registry checks on each unlicensed direct care staff member. The state also requires COVID-19 vaccination of all home care workers.|
|Are Home Care Aides Required to Undergo Special Training?||Any agency that participates in any Medicare or Medicaid programs must employ home care aides who have completed 75 hours of certain training requirements, which can be a combination of classroom learning and a minimum of 16 hours of supervised practical training. Aides must also receive training in nursing fundamentals and pass a competency evaluation.|
|Does Medicaid Cover Home Care in Nebraska?||Yes, Medicaid covers home care in Nebraska. Additionally, the Aged and Disabled Medicaid waiver covers additional support services designed for seniors aging in place.|
|How Do I Report Abuse of Myself or a Loved One?||If you suspect you or a loved one is experiencing abuse, contact Adult Protective Services at (800) 652-1999.|
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.