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According to the Genworth 2021 Cost of Care Survey, the average monthly cost of in-home care in Oklahoma is $4,862, and home health care costs the same. Home care provides companionship, supervision, light housekeeping, transportation and help with a senior’s activities of daily living. Home health care is more focused on medical services, such as physical therapy, wound care, medication administration and monitoring of chronic conditions.
Oklahoma’s home care and home health care costs are slightly lower than the national average of $4,957 and $5,148, respectively. Rates are about $300 less in Texas where both services are priced at $4,576. In Arkansas, home care and home health care cost only $4,185 to $4,195. In Kansas, home care prices average $4,576, and home health care costs a little more at $4,671. Missouri is a bit cheaper than Oklahoma; both services there cost $4,767.
|Home Care||Home Health Care|
Seniors might want to consider other kinds of care depending on their personal needs. Nursing home care is ideal for people who need medical services and a very high level of supervision. It costs an average of $5,475, about $600 more than home care. Assisted living provides community-based care for $3,855, approximately $1,000 less than home care. The cheapest choice is adult day care at $1,495.
Oklahoma’s Medicaid program, SoonerCare, covers the cost of home care services as long as that individual meets certain conditions and financial eligibility requirements. The state also offers two Medicaid waivers that provide home and community-based care services: the ADvantage Waiver Program and the Medically Fragile Program. Both programs cover case management, home supervision, personal care and many other supportive services.
ADvantage Waiver Program
The ADvantage Waiver is a program open to frail and elderly adults who don’t have a cognitive impairment or intellectual disability. It provides adult day care, home modifications, personal care, home-delivered meals and in-home respite for family caregivers. It also includes skilled nursing, hospice, therapeutic services and specialized medical equipment and supplies.
To qualify for the ADvantage Waiver, you must be financially eligible for SoonerCare and:
To apply, you’ll need to enroll in SoonerCare if you’re not already a member. Then, fill out the online Application for In-Home Assistance. A nurse and caseworker will contact you once your application has been reviewed. If you’re unable to apply online, call (800) 435-4711 to complete an application over the phone.
Medically Fragile Program
The Medically Fragile Program provides a home and community-based alternative to nursing home placement for people who meet the need for institutional levels of care. It provides self-directed care services, private duty nursing, environmental modifications and advanced restorative assistance. Prescription drugs, therapy services and a personal emergency response system (PERS) are also included.
To be eligible, you must:
Complete and submit the online Long-Term Services and Supports application to apply for the Medically Fragile Program. You can also print and fax the application to (405) 530-7736. Your application will be reviewed, and you’ll receive a follow-up call in five to seven business days.
You will need to meet financial eligibility requirements to qualify for Medicaid (SoonerCare) in Oklahoma. The state’s income limits for regular Medicaid are $1,133 per month, or $13,596 per year, for a single person and $1,526 monthly, and $18,312 yearly, for a two-person household. Oklahoma also has a limit on the value of assets that applicants can own. The limits are $2,000 for a single person and $3,000 for a two-person household.
|Income Limits*||Asset Limits|
You must also:
Seniors who are 65 and up, blind or disabled can apply for SoonerCare through the Department of Human Services. If you are younger than 65, you’ll need to apply through the Oklahoma Health Care Authority online enrollment portal. In both cases, you must create an account to start the application process.
What Information You Will Need
You will need to supply several pieces of information and documentation to apply for SoonerCare. These may include:
How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid
Applying for Medicaid in Oklahoma can feel like a complicated process. Fortunately, if you have questions about SoonerCare or need someone to walk you through the application process, the following resources can help.
|Contact||Area Served||Services Provided|
|SoonerCare Helpline||(800) 987-7767||Entire State||The Oklahoma Health Care Authority maintains a SoonerCare helpline for applicants and members of the program. Call this toll-free number if you have questions about eligibility, the application process or what to expect after you apply.|
|Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma||(580) 226-4863||Entire State||This organization’s website has helpful information about the state’s Medicaid program plus an interactive counseling tool that can answer questions about health insurance 24 hours a day. If your SoonerCare application is denied, a volunteer attorney may be able to help you appeal the decision for free.|
|Senior Health Insurance Counseling Program (SHIP)||(800) 763-2828||Entire State||Provided by the Oklahoma Insurance Department, SHIP is a statewide program that offers counseling about Medicaid, Medicare and other kinds of health insurance for seniors. Counselors provide unbiased, one-on-one advice to help seniors make informed decisions about their 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.
Oklahoma has many nonprofit organizations, government agencies and supportive programs aimed at helping seniors who want to age in place at home. Residents may be eligible for home-delivered meals, property tax exemptions, affordable home repairs and more.
|Contact||Area Served||Services Provided|
|Big Five Community Action||(580) 924-5331||Bryan, Carter, Coal, Love and Pontotoc Counties||Community Action Agencies offer free and low-cost chore services to residents 60 and up in five counties. Seniors can get help with activities of daily living and home maintenance, including cleaning, making beds, trash removal and yard work. Other services include affordable door-to-door transportation, emergency bill pay assistance, nutrition programs and family caregiver support.|
|Oklahoma ABLE Tech||(800) 257-1705||Stillwater and surrounding area||This program connects seniors with durable medical equipment donations and assistive technology for mobility, reading, hearing and other needs. Seniors can get hands-on training with a device along with help choosing equipment to meet their needs. The program also supplies low-interest loans for eligible individuals who are interested in purchasing durable equipment.|
|Weatherization Assistance Program||(405) 215-6240||Entire State||The Weatherization Assistance Program pays for insulation, weatherstripping, caulking and other improvements that can make homes more energy efficient. It’s aimed at reducing utility bills for low-income households throughout the state.|
|Property Tax Exemptions||(918) 794-3944||Entire State||There are several property tax exemptions available to Oklahoma homeowners. All primary residences receive a $1,000 exemption on the assessed value, and residents under a certain income are eligible for further discounts. Additionally, property values are frozen for seniors who have income at or below their county’s poverty level. The primary residence of a fully disabled veteran is 100% tax-exempt.|
|OKDHS Aging Services Division||(405) 521-2281||Entire State||The Aging Services Division provides a variety of programs and resources through the state’s 11 Area Agencies on Aging. Services include legal aid, transportation, caregiver respite, in-home care and help making future planning decisions.|
|Home Repair Program||(800) 414-1226||Entire State||Through this program, the USDA provides grants and loans that can be used to make necessary home repairs or modifications. Seniors can receive a maximum of $40,000 in loans and $10,000 in grants. To qualify, residents must have very low income and be unable to obtain a loan or credit elsewhere.|
|Meals on Wheels||(888) 998-6325||Entire State||Meals on Wheels is a program for homebound seniors who aren’t able to prepare food or grocery shop for themselves. It provides nutritious home-delivered meals plus regular safety checks by volunteers who can notify family or medical services in case of an emergency.|
In Oklahoma, all home health care staff employed by agencies that participate in Medicare and/or Medicaid are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless exempt per the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. Home health workers and agencies that don’t participate in Medicare and/or Medicaid are not required to comply with this rule.
The rule is current as of April 2022, but regulations can change often. Additionally, home care agencies may have their own rules regarding COVID-19 vaccinations. Contact your local Area Agency on Aging if you have questions or concerns about vaccination rules and requirements.
The state’s Department of Health regulates home care providers in Oklahoma. Providers are required to comply with regulations on care plans, staff training and screening, medication management and reporting abuse.
|What Types of Care Can Be Provided?||Home care includes personal care and assistance with activities of daily living, such as meal preparation, household chores, mobility and help with bathing, grooming and getting dressed. It doesn’t include skilled nursing or any services that are required to be performed by medical professionals unless skilled care is determined necessary and ordered by a physician.|
|Are Care Plans Required?||For unskilled personal care, providers must create a care plan at the time of the initial assessment. The plan must be reviewed every six months and revised as necessary. For skilled care, a plan must be developed within 10 days and reviewed by the ordering physician. The plan must be evaluated every 62 days to determine appropriate continuation of care.|
|Can Home Care Providers Assist with Medication Management?||Home care providers in Oklahoma are allowed to assist patients with the self-administration of medications.|
|Are There Special Requirements for Screening Home Care Aides?||All home care workers must undergo a criminal background check. Staff who have direct contact with patients must also be screened for tuberculosis.|
|Are Home Care Aides Required to Undergo Special Training?||Home care aides must complete an agency-specific program consisting of at least 77 hours of instruction with 16 hours of practical supervised training. They must obtain a passing score on the Supportive Home Assistant competency exam.|
|Does Medicaid Cover Home Care in Oklahoma?||Medicaid covers home care in Oklahoma via the ADvantage and Medically Fragile waiver programs.|
|How Do I Report Abuse of Myself or a Loved One?||Report suspected or confirmed abuse to Adult Protect Services by calling (800) 522-3511 or by filing an online report at OKHotline.org.|
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.