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Seniors in New Jersey can expect to pay an average of $5,529 per month for in-home care and $5,710 per month for home health care, according to the Genworth 2021 Cost of Care Survey. In-home care refers to nonclinical care, such as light housekeeping or help with activities of daily living, and home health care refers to clinical care provided by a licensed health professional. Physical therapy, administration of intravenous medications and wound care are examples of home health services.
When it comes to the cost of home care, New Jersey is the most expensive state in the region. New York has average monthly costs of $5,339 per month for in-home care and $5,529 for home health care. Delaware has average monthly costs of $5,339 for both in-home care and home health services. Pennsylvania has the lowest costs, averaging $4,957 per month for both types of home care. New Jersey’s average costs are also higher than the national average, which comes in at $4,957 per month for in-home care and $5,148 per month for home health care.
|Home Care||Home Health Care|
When compared to other types of senior care, home care is one of the most affordable. In New Jersey, nursing home care costs an average of $11,254 per month, and assisted living averages $6,495 per month. Adult day health care costs an average of $1,950 per month, making it the most affordable option, but an adult day center may not provide the right level of support for every senior.
In New Jersey, Medicaid covers clinical and nonclinical home care. Many enrollees receive services through NJ FamilyCare’s Aged, Blind and Disabled programs, which cover home care for participants who need help with activities of daily living. New Jersey also has several Medicaid waiver programs, expanding access to in-home personal care.
Medicaid waivers give states some flexibility when determining which services should be covered. New Jersey has three waiver programs that make it easier for Medicaid enrollees to access home care: Community Choice, Managed Long-Term Services and Supports and the Personal Preference Program.
|Program Name||What’s Covered||Eligibility||How to Apply|
|Community Choice||The Community Choice program aims to help seniors remain in their homes instead of moving to residential facilities. It covers several types of in-home care.||– The program is reserved for applicants who are hospitalized or living in nursing homes.
– Applicants are required to meet with a registered nurse or social worker to determine if their needs can be met by the Community Choice program.
– Applicants must meet all other Medicaid eligibility requirements.
|To apply for the Community Choice program, contact the New Jersey Division of Aging Services.|
|Medicaid Managed Long-Term Services and Supports (MLTSS)||The Medicaid MLTSS program allows eligible Medicaid enrollees to receive services through a managed care organization (MCO) or Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) organization in New Jersey. Participants can use the waiver to pay for home-delivered meals and other types of home care.||– Applicants must require a nursing facility level of care or have functional limitations that can be confirmed by a medical professional.
– Applicants must meet all other Medicaid eligibility requirements.
|Current MCO members: Contact your MCO for application instructions.
Non-MCO members: Request an assessment by contacting the Aging and Disability Resource Connection in your area.
|New Jersey Personal Preference Program||New Jersey’s PPP waiver covers several types of personal care, including light housekeeping and help preparing meals. Each participant has a monthly budget and is allowed to choose their own services.||– Applicants must demonstrate an ability to use self-directed services or choose an appropriate representative to oversee their care.
– Applicants must be eligible for NJ FamilyCare.
– Applicants must need personal care services for a minimum of six months.
– Applicants must be approved to receive personal care services.
|Contact your health plan to request an assessment.|
To qualify for Medicaid in New Jersey, you must meet the financial eligibility requirements established for the state’s Aged, Blind and Disabled programs. As of 2022, the income limit is $13,596 per year for a single person and $18,312 per year for a two-person household. Single applicants are limited to $4,000 in countable resources, and married couples are allowed to have $6,000 worth of countable resources.
|Income Limits*||Asset Limits|
You must also meet certain residency and citizenship requirements to qualify for Medicaid coverage. If you apply for NJ FamilyCare, you need to be a New Jersey resident. The program is limited to U.S. citizens and lawful immigrants who meet all other eligibility requirements.
To apply for Medicaid, fill out the application on the NJ FamilyCare website. If you have questions or need help filling out the form, call (800) 701-0710.
What Information You Will Need
The Medicaid application has several questions related to your finances, so take a few minutes to gather tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements and other documents that can help you prove how much you earn or how much your assets are worth. You should also have your driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, Social Security card and/or citizenship papers available to help verify your residency, citizenship and identity.
How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid
New Jersey’s Medicaid application has several pages. If you need help making sense of it all, use one of the resources below to get more information or direct assistance from trained professionals.
|GetCoveredNJ||Online||GetCoveredNJ has certified navigators available to help you determine if you meet the Medicaid eligibility requirements. If you don’t qualify for Medicaid, you can contact one of these navigators for help comparing the plans available on the state health insurance exchange. GetCoveredNJ has an online search tool to help you find a navigator in your area.|
|NJ FamilyCare||Online||NJ FamilyCare has outreach sites throughout the state to ensure that residents can get assistance with their Medicaid applications. To speak with a health benefits coordinator, use the NJ FamilyCare website to locate an outreach site near you.|
|NJHelps||Online||If you’re not sure that you qualify for Medicaid and don’t want to spend time filling out the application only to get denied, visit the NJHelps website to use the online screening tool. It takes just a few minutes to find out if you might be eligible for Medicaid coverage in New Jersey.|
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.
New Jersey has several programs available to help seniors age in place without compromising their safety and quality of life. Check out the resources below if you need free or reduced-cost assistance.
|Contact||Area Served||Services Provided|
|Legal Services of New Jersey||(732) 572-9100||Entire State||LSNJ operates a legal hotline for low-income consumers who have questions or need referrals to local attorneys. Volunteer attorneys help with a wide range of civil issues, including housing, domestic violence and immigration.|
|Jersey Assistance for Community Caregiving||(877) 222-3737||Entire State||JACC helps New Jersey seniors access home care even if they don’t qualify for Medicaid. The purpose of the program is to help seniors preserve their independence and avoid having to leave their homes. Applicants must be at least 60 years old and meet JACC’s financial eligibility requirements.|
|Weatherization Assistance Program||(609) 984-1947||Entire State||The Weatherization Assistance Program uses federal funds to help eligible residents reduce their heating and cooling costs. Grant funds are typically used to replace outdated appliances with energy-efficient models, add insulation to pipes and windows, remove hazardous HVAC equipment and make other energy-related adjustments.|
|Universal Service Fund||(866) 240-1347||Entire State||For eligible participants, the Universal Service Fund offers a monthly credit on a natural gas or electric bill, making utilities more affordable. These credits are available to low-income and moderate-income consumers living in New Jersey.|
|New Jersey Division of Taxation||(609) 292-6400||Entire State||The New Jersey Division of Taxation has two programs to make it easier for seniors to afford their property taxes. Homeowners may qualify for the Senior Freeze program, which provides reimbursements for property tax increases, if they’re at least 65 and meet the financial eligibility requirements. Many seniors are also eligible for a $250 property tax deduction. Like the Senior Freeze program, the deduction is available to New Jersey residents who are at least 65 years old, own their homes and meet the financial eligibility requirements.|
In New Jersey, all Medicare and Medicaid providers, including home health agencies and PACE organizations, must follow the vaccine requirements issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Under this rule, all staff members must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with the exception of employees who have valid exemptions. Personal care aides and other home health workers don’t have to be vaccinated against COVID-19 if they don’t work for a Medicare or Medicaid provider.
These requirements are current as of April 2022, but CMS or another government agency may issue updated guidance at any time, so seniors should check with a local Area Agency on Aging for the most up-to-date information. Home care agencies may also implement additional rules related to vaccinations or the use of personal protective equipment. Check with your care provider to determine if any of these rules apply.
|What Types of Care Can Be Provided?||Home health aides are permitted to assist seniors with activities of daily living, including grooming, eating, bathing and toileting. They may also provide homemaker services as requested by the client.|
|Are Care Plans Required?||New Jersey requires a registered nurse to prepare a care plan for each client who needs in-home care. A certified home health aide must review each client’s plan before providing any services.|
|Can Home Care Providers Assist with Medication Management?||Yes. In New Jersey, certified home health aides are allowed to administer medications if they’ve been directed to do so by a registered nurse. The nurse must provide instructions for administration and educate the aide on any potential side effects. A home health aide must report to the registered nurse immediately if the medication wasn’t administered correctly, the client refused to take the medication or the client experienced an adverse effect of the medication.|
|Are There Special Requirements for Screening Home Care Aides?||Home health aides must be certified by the New Jersey Board of Nursing. To be certified, an applicant must complete a Criminal History Certification of Authorization and pass a competency evaluation examination.|
|Are Home Care Aides Required to Undergo Special Training?||Yes. Applicants must complete at least 76 hours of training. Approved training programs must cover the roles and responsibilities of unlicensed personnel in the health care field, effective communication, client safety and the anatomy and physiology of the major systems of the human body.|
|Does Medicaid Cover Home Care in New Jersey?||Yes. Medicaid for the Aged, Blind and Disabled covers home health services. New Jersey also has three Medicaid waiver programs, giving eligible enrollees access to light housekeeping, meal preparation and other personal care services.|
|How Do I Report Abuse of Myself or a Loved One?||To report abuse, file a complaint with the Division of Consumer Affairs Certified Homemaker-Home Health Unit. Download the complaint form from the Division of Consumer Affairs website and return it to the following address:
Division of Consumer Affairs
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.