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According to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey for 2021, you can expect to pay an average of $4,576 per month for home care in Texas. This applies to in-home care, which typically includes personal care and companion services, as well as home health care, which consists of medical or rehabilitation services provided by a licensed professional.
When compared to nearby states, Texas is in the middle of the pack when it comes to home care costs. Oklahoma and New Mexico—with average costs of $4,862 and $4,605, respectively—are more expensive. With average costs of $4,185 and $3,623, Arkansas and Louisiana have lower average costs of care than Texas. The national average for home care is $4,957, almost $400 per month higher than the state average.
Texas is also in the middle of the range when comparing its home health care costs against those of nearby states. With average costs of $4,862 and $4,652, respectively, Oklahoma and New Mexico are more expensive than Texas. Louisiana is the least expensive state, with average monthly costs of $3,718 for home health care. Arkansas has average monthly costs of $4,195. The national average of $5,148 is about $550 more per month than the state average.
|Home Care||Home Health Care|
In Texas, nursing home care costs an average of $5,125 per month, making it the most expensive senior care option. Assisted living averages $3,998 per month, while adult day care has average costs of just $769 per month. In-home care and home health care average $4,576 per month, making them some of the most expensive care options for Texas seniors.
It depends. Standard Medicaid pays for home health care directly, but it doesn’t cover non-clinical care. The STAR+PLUS waiver pays for long-term services and supports, including personal care to help you stay in your home instead of moving to an assisted living community or nursing home.
For Medicaid to cover the cost of home health services, your doctor must certify that you have a medical need that can be addressed with each service. You must also be able to show that you can receive the services safely in your home.
The STAR-PLUS waiver gives Texas seniors access to a variety of services and supports, including home modifications and help with basic activities of daily living. If you qualify for STAR+PLUS, you’ll work with a service coordinator to determine which services are a good match for your needs. STAR+PLUS also covers respite care, which gives caregivers a short break to relax and take care of their own needs. If your caregiver needs a short break, you may be able to use the STAR+PLUS waiver to hire someone to help you while they’re gone.
To qualify for STAR+PLUS, you must be approved for Medicaid and meet at least one of the following criteria:
If you’d like to enroll in STAR+PLUS and aren’t already signed up for Medicaid, visit Your Texas Benefits to complete an application. Once enrolled, you’ll have the opportunity to sign up for STAR+PLUS. If you’re approved, you’ll have 15 days to select a health plan and designate someone to serve as your primary care provider. After 15 days, Texas Health and Human Services will assign you to a plan and designate a PCP for you.
To qualify for Medicaid, you must meet certain financial eligibility requirements. For regular Medicaid, the income limit is $10,092 per year for single applicants and $15,132 per year for married couples. Medicaid also has limits on the value of the assets you own. In Texas, the limit is $2,000 for single applicants and $3,000 for married couples.
|Income Limits*||Asset Limits|
You must also meet the following requirements to qualify for Medicaid:
To apply for Medicaid coverage in Texas, visit the Your Texas Benefits website and create an account. Once you register, you’ll be able to log in and complete an application for Medicaid and other benefits. You can also download an application and fill it out by hand. The completed application can be faxed to (877) 447-2839, turned in at your local benefits office or mailed to the following address:
Texas Health and Human Services Commission
PO Box 149024
Austin, Texas 78714-9024
What Information You Will Need
Medicaid verifies all the information provided on each application, so it’s important to gather your financial documents and proof of identity. You may be asked to provide the following:
How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid
The Texas Medicaid application asks detailed questions about your financial situation. It can be a little overwhelming to answer these questions on your own, especially if a caregiver normally helps you manage your finances. Fortunately, Texas has several resources to help seniors apply for coverage and use their Medicaid benefits once they’re approved.
|Contact||Area Served||Services Provided|
|TexasLawHelp.org||Online||Entire State||TexasLawHelp.org provides information and forms to help Texans understand their legal rights. The site has a separate section for Medicaid and Medicare, giving users access to helpful articles on dealing with Medicaid denials, getting mental health services covered by Medicaid and other important topics. TexasLawHelp.org also has a legal help directory organized by county.|
|Texas Health and Human Services||(800) 252-8263||THHS operates the Medicaid Client Hotline, which connects Texas residents with live customer service agents who can answer questions about applying for benefits.|
|Medicaid Managed Care Helpline||(866) 566-8989||Entire State||In Texas, the STAR+PLUS waiver is part of the Medicaid managed care program, which gives Medicaid enrollees access to health benefits provided by approved insurance companies. The Medicaid Managed Care Helpline has live representatives available to answer questions or accept complaints regarding one of these insurers.|
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 Home Care in this guide.
With the right services and supports, many Texas seniors can maintain their independence and continue living in their homes. These organizations offer free and low-cost resources to help seniors stay as safe and healthy as possible as they age in place.
|Contact||Area Served||Services Provided|
|Aging and Disability Resource Center||855-937-2372||Entire State||The ADRC provides a variety of services aimed at Texas seniors. One of those services is short-term respite care, which is provided through the Texas Lifespan Respite Care Program. ADRC representatives work to connect caregivers with respite services, giving them time off for personal activities. Respite care keeps seniors safe while their caregivers take time to recharge.|
|Texas RioGrande Legal Aid||(956) 996-8752||68 counties in Southwest Texas||TRLA provides legal assistance to Texas residents who can’t afford to pay a private attorney. The Public Benefits Group specializes in helping clients qualify for Medicaid, food assistance and other public benefits, while the Housing Group aims to prevent homelessness by representing low-income tenants and homeowners. TRLA also runs legal clinics to help Texans learn more about their rights as they relate to divorce, estate planning, veterans benefits and housing, among other topics.|
|Texas Comptroller||(800) 252-9121||Entire State||The Texas Comptroller is responsible for collecting taxes from residents throughout the state. Seniors with questions about the state property tax rebate, which is available to adults aged 65 and older, can call the Texas Comptroller for more information. The Comptroller also issues consumer alerts to help Texans avoid scams and other forms of fraud.|
|Meals on Wheels Texas||Online||Entire State||Meals on Wheels Texas serves as the organizational hub for Meals on Wheels providers throughout the state. The nonprofit provides funding for approximately 140 meal programs in Texas and works with state agencies to create policies that can benefit member organizations. Anyone interested in receiving home-delivered meals should contact their local Meals on Wheels group.|
|Weatherization Assistance Program||Online||Entire State||The Weatherization Assistance Program makes it safer for seniors to age in place by covering the cost of energy-related home modifications and repairs. Several activities are eligible for WAP assistance, including home energy audits and the replacement of inefficient HVAC systems. Seniors who want to save money on heating and cooling costs should contact a local provider organization for more information.|
All home health care workers employed by agencies that participate in Medicaid and/or Medicare must be fully vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is based on a rule issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, a federal agency. State officials challenged the legality of the rule, but a district court dismissed the case on January 20, 2022. Texas doesn’t have any vaccination-related mandates for home care or home health care workers employed by agencies that don’t participate in Medicare and Medicaid.
These rules are current as of April 2022, but they change often, so it’s wise to check with your local Area Agency on Aging if you’re concerned about having an aide enter your home. Home care agencies may also have their own policies related to COVID-19, so check with your local agency for a complete list of rules.
|What Types of Care Can Be Provided?||In Texas, home care includes personal care, companion services and household services. Personal care includes help with bathing, grooming, getting dressed, using the bathroom and performing other activities. Home care doesn’t include the type of care that must be performed by a licensed medical professional.|
|Are Care Plans Required?||The Texas Health and Safety Code doesn’t require home care providers to create care plans for their clients.|
|Can Home Care Providers Assist with Medication Management?||Home care providers are allowed to help clients with self-administered medications.|
|Are There Special Requirements for Screening Home Care Aides?||Texas doesn’t have any laws or regulations requiring home care agencies to conduct background checks or require their aides to be vaccinated against specific diseases. Agency owners, administrators and chief financial officers must undergo background checks, however.|
|Are Home Care Aides Required to Undergo Special Training?||Any agency that participates in Medicare must employ home health aides who have completed minimum training requirements. Each aide must complete at least 75 hours of training, which includes at least 16 hours of classroom training and 16 hours of supervised practical training. Aides must receive training on communication skills, recording vital signs, basic infection prevention procedures and other relevant topics.|
|Does Medicaid Cover Home Care in Texas?||Medicaid doesn’t cover home care directly, but the STAR+PLUS waiver covers personal care and other supports designed to help seniors age in place.|
|How Do I Report Abuse of Myself or a Loved One?||Contact Adult Protective Services at (800) 458-9858.|
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.