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According to the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, Oregon seniors can expect to pay a monthly average of $6,006 for in-home care and $6,101 for home health services. In-home care providers typically offer assistance with household chores and daily living activities, while home health care professionals provide medical services that only licensed medical professionals can perform. Examples of home health care services include wound care, administration of intravenous medications and speech therapy.
In Oregon, the $6,006 and $6,101 monthly cost of in-home care and home health care is much higher than the national average of $4,957 and $5,148, respectively. However, when compared with nearby states, Oregon is in the middle of the pack. With average monthly costs of $6,547 for in-home care and $6,578 for home health care, Washington is the most expensive, followed by California, which has average monthly expenses of $6,101 for both care types. In Idaho, both care types cost an average of $5,434 per month. Nevada has the lowest costs, averaging $5,148 for care types.
|Home Care||Home Health Care|
Home care is one of Oregon’s most expensive senior care options, but it can help older adults stay in their homes instead of moving to residential facilities. In-home care and home health care are both more affordable than nursing home care, which costs an average of $10,342 per month. Assisted living and adult day care are less expensive than home care, with costs averaging $5,045 per month for assisted living and $2,654 for adult day care.
Oregon Medicaid, known as the Oregon Health Plan, covers home care for eligible enrollees. Some participants receive short-term services to help them recover from an acute illness or injury, while others receive long-term support to assist them with remaining as independent as possible. Services covered by traditional Medicaid are somewhat limited, but Oregon does have three Medicaid waiver programs, expanding access to in-home care and home health care for those who need it.
Oregon’s K Plan covers home- and community-based services, giving eligible enrollees access to care to help them stay in their homes without risking their health and safety. The K Plan covers personal attendant care, behavioral services and supports, respite care, home-delivered meals, home modifications and assistive technology.
To qualify for K Plan services, an applicant must meet the requirements for traditional Medicaid and demonstrate that they need an institutional care level. An applicant requires an institutional care level if an assessment indicates they have a significant impairment in at least one adaptive behavior area. This may include motor skills, learning, cognition or expressive language. To request an assessment, contact your local Seniors & People with Disabilities office.
Oregon Project Independence
Oregon Project Independence is a state-funded program covering the services enrollees need to stay healthy and independent. Participants pay part of each service cost on a sliding scale, which sets fees based on an individual’s income and household size. Depending on an individual’s needs, the program may cover transportation, meal preparation and help with bathing, dressing and other activities.
To qualify for Oregon Project Independence, an applicant must be at least 60 years old, reside in Oregon, need help with daily living activities and be ineligible for full Medicaid coverage. Contact the Aging and Disability Resource Connection at (866) 206-4799 for more information on the eligibility and application requirements.
Medicaid intends its coverage for low-income individuals, so applicants must meet certain financial eligibility requirements to qualify. For 2022, the income limit is $10,092 per year for one person and $15,132 per year for a two-person household. Medicaid also limits countable resources, which are assets that can be sold and used as an income source. In Oregon, the asset limit is $2,000 for one person and $3,000 for a two-person household.
|Income Limits*||Asset Limits|
Applicants must also meet the following Medicaid requirements:
To apply for Oregon Health Plan online, use the Oregon Eligibility (ONE) system. If you prefer to fill out a paper application, call (800) 699-9075 to have one sent to your address. You can also download an Oregon Health Plan application online. Send the completed application to:
OHP Customer Service
P.O. Box 14015
Salem, OR 97309-5032
What Information You Will Need
Medicaid requires certain documents to verify your identity and income. This information includes:
How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid
The Oregon Medicaid application asks many questions about your household composition, income and assets. With so many questions to answer, it can be a little overwhelming to complete the application process on your own. Fortunately, Oregon has several resources to help residents apply for Medicaid.
|Contact||Area Served||Services Provided|
|Oregon Health Plan (OHP)||(800) 699-9075||Entire State||OHP employees are available to answer questions about the state’s Medicaid application. The plan also has a quick start guide with more information on getting and using Medicaid benefits in Oregon.|
|CareOregon||(503) 416-4100||Entire State||CareOregon’s certified OHP application assisters answer questions about the Medicaid application process. The organization also refers members to social service agencies and community programs to help them manage their physical and mental health.|
|Oregon Public Benefits Hotline||(800) 520-5292||Entire State||Legal Aid Services of Oregon operates the Public Benefits Hotline, which gives residents across the state access to legal assistance related to problems with Medicaid and other public programs.|
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.
With Medicaid-approved home care services and help from other organizations, many seniors can stay in their communities instead of moving to institutional settings. If you need support, reach out to one of the following resources.
|Contact||Area Served||Services Provided|
|Utility Bill Payment Assistance||Contact your local agency||Entire State||The Oregon Energy Assistance Program (OEAP) and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) help low-income residents pay their utility bills. LIHEAP offers emergency grants and pays for repairs/upgrades intended to increase energy efficiency or eliminate energy-related safety hazards. OEAP helps low-income consumers avoid utility service disconnection for nonpayment.|
|Meals on Wheels People||(503) 736-6325||Washington and Multnomah Counties||Meals on Wheels People has a network of more than 5,500 volunteers who deliver hot meals to seniors in Washington and Multnomah Counties. All volunteers undergo thorough background checks and training before coming into contact with participants. Meals on Wheels People also serves congregate meals at dining centers throughout the target service area.|
|Oregon Department of Revenue||(503) 945-8348||Entire State||The Oregon Department of Revenue (DOR) is responsible for collecting property taxes from state residents. Seniors and younger disabled adults may qualify for the Oregon Senior and Disabled Citizen Property Tax Deferral, allowing eligible homeowners to “borrow” money from DOR to pay their property taxes. DOR places a lien on the property, but it removes the lien once the borrower pays the deferred tax balance.|
|Weatherization Assistance Program||Contact your local agency||Entire State||The Weatherization Assistance Program uses federal funds to help Oregon residents make safety-related home repairs, replace outdated HVAC systems and make improvements designed to increase energy efficiency.|
|Council on Aging of Central Oregon||(541) 640-5423||Crook, Jefferson, North Klamath and Deschutes Counties||The Council on Aging of Central Oregon operates several programs to meet the needs of seniors in Crook, North Klamath, Jefferson and Deschutes Counties. This includes Medicare counseling, the Meals on Wheels program for Central Oregon and support for family caregivers.|
In January 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its final rule regarding COVID-19 vaccination requirements for health care workers. According to this rule, all Oregon home health agencies that accept Medicare and Medicaid required full COVID-19 vaccination of their staff members by February 28, 2022. The mandate doesn’t apply to home care workers working for agencies that don’t accept Medicare or Medicaid.
The vaccine requirements are current as of April 2022, but CMS may issue new guidance at any time. For the most up-to-date requirements, contact a local Area Agency on Aging. It’s also important to note that CMS allows home care agencies to set more stringent rules than the ones imposed by CMS. If you have questions about vaccination or personal protection equipment (PPE) requirements, contact your local agency for more information.
The Oregon Health Authority is responsible for regulating home care agencies in Oregon. It outlines all relevant regulations in Chapter 333 of the Oregon Administrative Rules.
|What Types of Care Can Be Provided?||In-home care providers may offer assistance with bathing, eating, grooming, getting dressed and other activities. Licensed home health workers can provide physical therapy, wound care, occupational therapy, ostomy care and other medical services appropriate to their scope of practice.|
|Are Care Plans Required?||The supervising nurse or physician must complete a care plan. Care plans must include the client’s diagnosis, cognitive status, functional limitations and services needed to promote their health and safety.|
|Can Home Care Providers Assist with Medication Management?||Home care providers can assist with medication management, but only if they work for agencies approved to provide non-injectable medication services. Care providers must also complete medication training before helping a client with medication management.|
|Are There Special Requirements for Screening Home Care Aides?||It depends on the role. In Oregon, many home care aides are certified nursing assistants (CNAs). Every nursing assistant must undergo a criminal background check for certification. Personal care attendants hired by the Oregon Health Systems Division must also undergo background screening.|
|Are Home Care Aides Required to Undergo Special Training?||CNAs must complete at least 155 hours of training. Personal care assistants typically need eight or nine hours of training. Agencies may have their own training requirements for other types of home care workers.|
|Does Medicaid Cover Home Care in Oregon?||Yes. In Oregon, Medicaid enrollees can receive home care under the traditional Medicaid program, the K Plan waiver or the Oregon Project Independence waiver.|
|How Do I Report Abuse of Myself or a Loved One?||Call (855) 503-7233 to report the abuse or neglect of a senior or person with disabilities.|
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.