TABLE OF CONTENTS
According to the Genworth 2021 Cost of Care Survey, seniors who receive in-home care in Utah pay an average of $5,625 per month. Those who require home health care typically spend about $5,720.
While in-home care helps seniors with daily tasks and may offer assistance around the house, home health care is more medically focused and offers more than just personal care. Services may include post-operative care, medication administration and rehabilitative therapies such as speech and occupational therapy.
Utah seniors pay well above the U.S. average for home care costs. When compared with nearby states, seniors in Nevada pay $5,148 per month for both care types, which is considerably less than those in Utah. Arizona is less expensive, too, with average rates of $5,339 for in-home care and $5,434 for home health care. Wyoming’s costs of $5,529 for both care types are almost on par with Utah’s rates, and it’s the same for Idaho, where seniors pay an average of $5,434 for both care types. In Colorado, seniors spend considerably more for home care — an average of $6,387 per month for both services.
|State||Home Care||Home Health Care|
Compared with other types of long-term care, home care is relatively expensive in Utah. While assisted living provides similar services to home care, it also includes room-and-board charges and averages $3,500 per month. However, home care is cheaper than nursing home care, which costs $7,178 per month. Adult day care, which provides out-of-home care in a nonresidential setting, is the most affordable senior care option at $1,939 per month.
While Utah’s Medicaid program covers some home care services, the state also provides several home- and community-based service waivers to help seniors access a more comprehensive list of long-term care and supports in their own homes and residential care settings. These waivers include the Aging Waiver, the New Choices Waiver and the Community Supports Waiver.
Three waiver programs are available to Utah’s aging population, providing financial assistance that enables them to access home care services so that they can live as independently as possible.
|Waiver||Contact||How it Works|
|Aging Waiver||(801) 538-3910||The Aging Waiver is exclusively available to seniors aged 65 and over who are financially eligible for Medicaid and require a nursing care level. The waiver only serves a limited number of seniors at a single time, so there may be a waitlist when applying.
This waiver provides a variety of in-home care services for seniors who can safely remain in their communities. These services include medication reminders, personal care, chore assistance and case management.
|New Choices Waiver||(800) 662-9651||Seniors who live in a residential long-term care facility may be eligible to participate in the New Choices Waiver, which helps long-term care residents choose a care setting that’s more community-based, including their own homes.
This program may provide various services, including case management, respite care, in-home care, transitional care and personal care.
|Community Supports Waiver||(801) 538-4200||Seniors living with intellectual disabilities can choose to remain in their own homes while receiving Medicaid-covered services under the Community Supports Waiver. This program includes home care services, companion care, living startup costs, non-medical transportation, personal care and necessary home modifications.
There is usually a waitlist to participate in the Community Supports Waiver, and only those who demonstrate functional impairment in three or more daily living tasks may participate. Other eligibility requirements include a condition that has occurred before the age of 18, an ability to live safely in the community and meeting Medicaid income eligibility guidelines.
Utah Medicaid income guidelines require that seniors living alone have a maximum annual income of $13,596 and no more than $2,000 in countable assets. Those in two-person households are limited to $18,312 in income annually and $3,000 in assets.
|Income Limits*||Asset Limits|
In addition to income requirements, seniors wishing to qualify for regular Medicaid in the state must:
What Information You Will Need
Before applying, you should prepare documentation, including:
How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid
Utah provides several resources to help seniors get through the Medicaid application process and its various waivers.
|Contact||Area Served||Services Provided|
|Utah Department of Health Medicaid Office||(866) 435-7414||Entire State||Utah Medicaid representatives can answer questions about the application process and provide help with printing application forms for those who can’t do it themselves.|
|Benefits.gov||(800) 662-9651||Entire State||Benefits.gov is a federally-operated website with concise and up-to-date information about Utah’s Medicaid program, eligibility requirements and how to apply.|
|Take Care Utah||211||Entire State||Take Care Utah offers free insurance counseling for all Utah citizens, including Medicaid applicants and enrollees. Its representatives can assist seniors throughout the entire application process, providing help with eligibility and resource planning.|
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.
Utah’s seniors can access a variety of free and low-cost resources that help them access more affordable services at home, enhance their quality of life or ensure their safety.
|Contact||Area Served||Services Provided|
|Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)||(801) 526-9240||Entire State||WAP helps homeowners with limited incomes access energy upgrades that ensure financial savings and energy efficiency. This program includes insulation and appliance upgrades and repairs or replacements for doors and windows.|
|Home Energy Assistance Target (HEAT) Program||(866) 205-4357||Entire State||HEAT ensures that all Utah residents have access to safe, reliable water and energy services. The program provides heating benefits from October to March, cooling benefits from April to September and year-round water assistance. Seniors in need can apply online, visit their nearest HEAT office or call (866) 205-4357.|
|Utah Rent Relief||Contact Your Local Agency||Entire State||Utah Rent Relief is a state-funded Emergency Rental Assistance program for seniors and low-income households across the state. To qualify for help, you must have a combined household income at or below 80% of the area’s median income and reside in the home with the lease in your name. You can access funds to cover your current month’s rent plus an additional three months of prospective rent, past-due rent, security deposits or utility and energy bills.|
|Timpanogos Legal Center||(801) 649-8895||Provo/Salt Lake City Area||The Timpanogos Legal Center offers free elder law services at its free walk-in clinics, which it provides every Tuesday evening. Services are only available to those whose incomes are below 200% of federal poverty guidelines.|
|Adult Protective Services||(800) 371-7897||Entire State||Utah’s Adult Protective Services department is committed to preventing sexual, physical and verbal abuse against seniors, as well as senior exploitation, caregiver neglect and self-neglect. It provides education for seniors, caregivers and family members, and its representatives accept and investigate any reports of abusive or neglectful activity.|
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requires full COVID-19 vaccination for all Utah health care workers and home care workers per its mandate issued January 28, 2022. It required workers to have received two vaccine doses no later than March 15, 2022.
As of April 2022, the rules mentioned above are current. However, the CMS’s recommendations continue to evolve as this pandemic runs its course. That said, it’s best to stay up-to-date with current guidelines by checking with local government health agencies. Additionally, some home care agencies may have their own guidelines in place that go above and beyond government regulations. You can obtain these guidelines by contacting agencies directly.
The Utah Department of Health governs and regulates the state’s home care agencies and home health care agencies.
|What Types of Care Can Be Provided?||Home care aides can assist seniors with housekeeping, personal grooming and dressing, meal preparation and eating and toileting and general hygiene, including dental care. They are also authorized to provide or schedule transportation and social activities. Home health aides with nursing certifications may perform additional services, including simple diagnostic activities, nail care, escort services to and from medical appointments and recording clinical notes.|
|Are Care Plans Required?||A licensed health care professional must establish care plans for all home health care patients. The care plan must include the patient’s name, diagnoses, treatment goals, service plan, required medical equipment and medications, diet and necessary safety measures.|
|Can Home Care Providers Assist with Medication Management?||Home care providers are allowed to provide medication reminders and help with self-administration.|
|Are There Special Requirements for Screening Home Care Aides?||All home care aides must be at least 18 years of age and undergo a criminal background check.|
|Are Home Care Aides Required to Undergo Special Training?||Utah requires all home care workers to attend regular training in reporting requirements for abuse, neglect and exploitation. Any home care aide must also register with the Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing.|
|Does Medicaid Cover Home Care in New York?||Utah’s Medicaid program covers home care services under three waivers: the Aging Waiver, the New Choices Waiver and the Community Supports Waiver.|
|How Do I Report Abuse of Myself or a Loved One?||The Long-Term Care Ombudsman handles complaints about abuse and neglect for seniors receiving home care.|
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.