Seniors living in Tennessee who are eligible for either Medicaid or Medicare and require home medical care approved by a physician may qualify for home health care financial assistance. While Tennessee Medicaid, TennCare, does not directly fund home health care, it pays for certain medical treatments prescribed by a doctor. Medicare also covers home medical care for specific conditions provided by a registered home health agency in Tennessee.

How to Obtain Medicaid Financial Assistance for Home Health Care In Tennessee

Seniors can access home health care funding through the TennCare CHOICES program. This program provides funding for long-term care including in home, assisted living facilities and nursing homes. To qualify, seniors must qualify for Medicaid and require the level of care provided by a nursing home. You can apply for Medicaid through the local Area Agency on Aging and Disability office. 

The entry requirements for Medicaid in Tennessee are an income equal to or less than $2,742 per month (2023) and countable assets that don’t exceed $2,000. This asset limit excludes the senior’s home, car, furniture and personal effects. TennCare permits seniors earning more than the income level cap to open an irrevocable qualified income trust to house income exceeding the cap. Seniors can use this trust for medical expenses.

The TennCare CHOICES program has three groups:

  • Group 1: People who need nursing home care
  • Group 2: Seniors over 65 who qualify for nursing home care, but choose to receive care at home
  • Group 3: Seniors over 65 who don’t qualify for nursing home care, but need care services to prevent or defer the need for nursing home care.

TennCare funds the cost of medically required care for homebound seniors requested by a physician or nurse practitioner. This form of care relates to the treatment of specific conditions and not the full cost of home health care. 

Other Ways to Fund‌ Home Health Care In Tennessee

Medicare pays the cost of medically required care requested by a physician. Services include nursing care and physical, occupational and speech therapy. Medicare does not cover all the costs of home health care, only for specific treatments.

Another option is the Program for All-Inclusive Care (PACE) available to seniors living in Hamilton County around Chattanooga and who qualify for Medicaid and Medicare. This program covers medical care and aspects of personal care. Seniors who served in the armed forces may be eligible for VA Aid and Attendance Benefits, which they may use to fund home health care.

Cost of Home Health Care In Tennessee

The average cost of home health care in Tennessee is $4,576, according to the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey. This figure is $572 less than the national average cost of care at $5,148. These costs vary across the state. Residents of Nashville can expect to pay an average monthly cost of $4,767, while in the Chattanooga area, the average cost of home health care is $4,744 per month. In Memphis, the cost is $4,242 and in Knoxville, $4,715.

  • Tennessee: $4,576
  • National: $5,148
  • Nashville:$4,767
  • Chattanooga: $4,744
  • Memphis: $4,242
  • Knoxville: $4,715