Minnesota’s Medicaid program, Medical Assistance (MA), offers an Elderly Waiver that can be used to pay for home health care services for seniors aged 65 and older who require nursing home-level care and fall under the income cap of  $1,506 per month for singles and $2,029 for couples. 

Individuals with income above the cap can still apply to be considered for financial assistance through the “Medically Needy” program, also known as the “Spend-Down” program. The program allows individuals to become eligible for Medicaid once their income has been spent down to $1,133 per month for singles and $1,527 for couples after deducting applicable medical and care expenses.

Average costs of home health care in Minnesota

According to Genworth’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey, home health care in Minnesota costs an average of $6,912 per month. Costs are a bit higher in Minneapolis and Duluth, which average $7,055 and $7,436 per month, respectively. Assisted living costs are below the statewide average in St. Cloud, which averages $6,231 per month. Rochester and Mankato share the same monthly average of $7,627.

Additional financial resources for seniors in Minnesota

Seniors who make too much to qualify for Medicaid may be eligible for additional financial resources. These include the following:

Minnesota’s Consumer Support Grant: This monthly cash grant allows recipients to pay for home health care services, home modifications, meal delivery and other services to help them remain in their homes as they age. 

Alternative Care Program: This program allows seniors who require nursing home-level care to remain in their homes and pay for the health care services they need. 

Essential Community Supports Program: Seniors who do not require nursing-home-level care but could still benefit from assistance with activities of daily living can apply for this program and receive up to $466 a month for essential services.