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According to the Genworth 2021 Cost of Care Survey, seniors receiving in-home care in New York pay an average of $5,339 per month, while those receiving home health care pay an average of $5,529.
Home care provides seniors with services such as housekeeping, meal preparation, companionship and basic personal care, while home health care goes a step further by providing nursing services, such as medication administration, wound care, health monitoring and rehabilitative therapies.
Both services are more expensive in New York when compared to the national average costs of $4,957 per month for home care and $5,148 for home health care. At $4,957, Pennsylvania seniors pay much less than New Yorkers for both services, whereas New Jersey seniors pay $190 more for home care and $181 more for home health care. Connecticut’s costs are slightly less at $5,243 for home care and $5,339 for home health care, while Massachusetts and Vermont both have higher costs for home care and home health care, which are $5,911 and $5,720 per month, respectively.
|Home Care||Home Health Care|
While staying at home may seem like the most affordable option for seniors in need of long-term care, that’s not always the case. Assisted living offers full-time residential care at an average cost of $4,580 per month, which is nearly $800 less than home care and $1,000 less than home health care, while adult day health care, which isn’t residential but offers similar services in an out-of-home setting, costs an average of just $1,907 per month. On the other hand, nursing home care is far more expensive with an average starting cost of $12,775 per month; however, this level of care is typically reserved for seniors who need round-the-clock medical supervision and care in a hospital-type setting.
While Medicaid doesn’t directly cover home care services in New York, it does have waivers in place to help seniors access necessary services and supports while they continue to live independently. These waivers help the seniors avoid nursing home placement, which can be a considerable expense for the state’s Medicaid program.
There are three waiver programs in New York that help seniors access personal care and medical support while remaining in their own homes.
|Waiver||Contact||How it Works|
|Nursing Home Transition and Diversion (NHTD) Medicaid Waiver Program||Contact the local Department of Social Services office||The NHTD waiver is available to seniors who meet community-based Medicaid eligibility requirements and who’ve been determined to require a nursing level of care by their health care practitioner. It covers in-home services including meal delivery, assistive technology, nurse visits, social transportation and wellness counseling, among others. The program is only open to those who are already enrolled in Medicaid. Seniors should contact their nearest Department of Social Services office to apply.|
|Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program||medi[email protected]||This program helps seniors with chronic illness or physical disabilities to access help with daily tasks and skilled nursing care. The program provides beneficiaries with the freedom to choose their own caregivers while living at home while a nurse assessor oversees their care and case management.|
|Managed Long-Term Care||[email protected]||Managed long-term care helps seniors who want to continue to live in their own homes access services under the management of the state. While enrollment in this plan is often voluntary, those who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, as well as those who reside in NYC, Nassau, Suffolk or Westchester counties, are required to participate if they need long-term care for more than 120 days.|
To qualify for Medicaid coverage in New York, seniors must meet the program’s income and asset limits. For one-person households, income must fall below $18,075 annually and the applicant can’t own more than $16,800 in countable assets. In households with two people, the total income can’t exceed $24,353, while assets are limited to $24,600.
|Income Limits*||Asset Limits|
In addition to financial limitations, the program only accepts seniors who are also:
Seniors interested in applying for Medicaid in New York can do so by completing an online application or contacting the Medicaid Helpline at (800) 541-2831. Seniors can also opt to request Medicaid coverage through their Managed Care Organization, should they have one, or visit their nearest Department of Social Services office.
Before applying, seniors should be prepared to provide:
How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid
In New York, there are a variety of resources available to help seniors understand the application process and their eligibility for Medicaid.
|Contact||Area Served||Services Provided|
|HRA Medicaid Helpline||(888) 692-6116||Entire State||The HRA Medicaid Helpline helps Medicaid applicants understand their eligibility for regular Medicaid and its various waiver programs. It can also help applicants to better understand the application process and offer assistance with claims or appeals.|
|NY State of Health||(855) 355-5777||Entire State||NY State of Health reviews applications from all aged, blind and disabled Medicaid beneficiaries. Seniors who need help understanding the application process or the status of their application can contact this department.|
|The Aces Project||(212) 614-5482||New York City||Established in 1984 as part of the Community Service Society, this nonprofit organization is fueled by volunteers aged 55+ who help seniors understand Medicaid’s eligibility requirements and assist seniors in the application process.|
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.
Seniors in New York can benefit from a variety of programs that are designed to encourage independence and a greater quality of life. The following programs make home living safer or more affordable, and ensure that all seniors have access to basic necessities.
|Contact||Area Served||Services Provided|
|Weatherization Assistance Program||(518) 474-5700||Entire State||The Weatherization Assistance Program helps eligible homeowners and renters make upgrades to their homes that improve energy efficiency, including upgrades to water heaters, windows, doors and plumbing.|
|HomeFix||Online||NYC||HomeFix offers up to $60,000 loans for single-family home repairs that improve safety or sanitation. These government-backed loans boast low-interest rates and monthly payments, particularly for seniors, and are only available to those who meet the program’s low-income requirements.|
|Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)||Contact the local HEAP office||Entire State||HEAP is available to low-income households in New York and provides emergency financial help to cover electric, gas and heat bills. It also offers assistance for those struggling to top up heating fuel or requiring emergency repairs to a boiler or furnace.|
|New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program||(844) 691-7368||Entire State||Seniors who cannot pay rent due to a financial emergency can apply for immediate rental assistance from the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which provides cash for those facing urgent needs.|
|Adult Protective Services||(844) 697-3505||Entire State||Adult Protective Services is committed to ensuring safety and security across New York State. Seniors facing abuse or neglect can contact this department for help.|
New York mandated that all home care and home health care workers be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 by January 27, 2022. Under this ruling, caregivers are required to have both the first and second dose of the vaccine with recommendations for additional boosters, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.
As of April 2022, these guidelines are up to date; however, because they are subject to change on a regular basis, it’s important to check with the local government for the most recent regulations. Additional rules may be established by individual home care agencies, which can be obtained from the agencies themselves.
The New York State Department of Health is responsible for licensing and regulating home care and home health care throughout the state.
|What Types of Care Can Be Provided?||Home care agencies may provide one of two types of care: home care, which includes personal care, housekeeping, companionship and transportation, or home health care, which can include skilled nursing services such as medication administration, therapeutic services, wound care and medical evaluations.|
|Are Care Plans Required?||Every patient receiving home care or home health care must have a plan of care. Based on a professional evaluation of the client’s needs, it must include detailed information about their condition, medication and other treatments. This plan must be reviewed and revised every six months or whenever the client’s needs change.|
|Can Home Care Providers Assist with Medication Management?||Home health care providers may provide help with medication provided this service is detailed in the patient’s care plan.|
|Are There Special Requirements for Screening Home Care Aides?||All staff must undergo a criminal background check and child abuse screening. Those who will have direct contact with patients must also be screened for tuberculosis.|
|Are Home Care Aides Required to Undergo Special Training?||All home care aides must be trained in the agency’s policies and procedures and qualified by New York’s home care services registry. Additional training that addresses the use of protective equipment, preventive practices and high-risk circumstances must also be provided.|
|Does Medicaid Cover Home Care in New York?||New York’s Medicaid program includes three waivers that offer coverage for home care and home health care: the NHTD waiver, the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program and the Managed Long-Term Care program.|
|How Do I Report Abuse of Myself or a Loved One?||Abuse or neglect can be reported to New York’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman by calling (855) 582-6769.|
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.