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In-Home Care in Hawaii

Seniors looking for a slower pace of life may find that the laidback island living offered in Hawaii is a good choice. Warm temperatures and cooling breezes mean the weather lets seniors enjoy clean air and beautiful vistas throughout the year. With 19% of the state’s 1.4 million residents aged 65 and over, there are also plenty of services to help seniors age independently.

Hawaii has excellent healthcare access with facilities like Queen’s Medical Center providing specialist geriatric care. Seniors also have access to quality home care in the Aloha State. Those looking for non-medical assistance, such as help with activities of daily living, pay an average of $5,720 per month for in-home care. Home health care, which includes medical help such as skilled nursing, costs the same for Hawaiian seniors. 

This guide has further information about the cost of in-home care and other senior living options in Hawaii. We also include details about available financial assistance and low-cost resources for seniors aging in place.

The Cost of In-Home Care in Hawaii

The Genworth 2021 Cost of Care Survey shows that the average cost of in-home care in Hawaii is $5,720 per month. This is $763 higher than the national average of $4,957. Hawaii is still more affordable than most other states with a Pacific coastline. At $5,720, in-home care costs in Alaska are equal to those in Hawaii. In Oregon, the price averages $6,006 per month, while in California prices rise to $6,101. Washington has the least affordable in-home care among Pacific states, with seniors there paying $6,547 per month.

Hawaii

$5720

The United States

$4957

Alaska

$5720

California

$6101

Oregon

$6006

Washington

$6547

The cost of care in Hawaii can vary depending on where you live. Honolulu’s costs average $5,720, equal to the state average. Kahului has more affordable care, with seniors paying $5,291. Other warm beachside locations are less affordable than Hawaii. In Southern California, costs in Los Angeles average $5,911 and seniors in San Diego pay $6,387 monthly.

Honolulu

$5720

Kahului

$5291

Los Angeles, CA

$5911

San Diego, CA

$6387

Older adults in Hawaii have an array of senior care options to choose from to meet their needs and stay within their budgets. At $1,625 per month, adult day health care is an affordable choice that provides care during the day. Assisted living costs are also lower than in-home care at $5,375. Seniors who require medical care in the home pay $5,720 for home health care, the same as in-home care. Due to the high level of assistance provided, nursing home care is the most expensive option at $12,501 per month.

In-Home Care

$5720

Home Health Care

$5720

Adult Day Health Care

$1625

Assisted Living

$5375

Nursing Home Care

$12501

Does Medicaid Cover Home Care in Hawaii?

In Hawaii, Medicaid is known as Med-QUEST. It offers a range of benefits to participants, including long-term care provided in the home. This is known as Medicaid Fee-For-Service. To be eligible for long-term support, applicants must be either disabled or aged 65 and over and meet the financial eligibility criteria. They must also be certified as requiring these services for at least 30 consecutive days.

Med-QUEST covers all kinds of long-term services including nursing home care and some care provided in group living situations. It also provides care in the home, including personal care, home health care, chore services, transport and meal delivery. Every participant receives a custom care plan to ensure they get the services they need.

Consumer direction is part of the program, allowing participants to choose their own care providers. The program also allows family members, including spouses, to be paid for caregiving provided through the program.

How to Know if You’re Eligible for Medicaid in Hawaii

Financial criteria are the primary eligibility consideration for Medicaid applicants, with both asset and income limits applying. In Hawaii, single applicants can have an income of up to $1,303 per month ($15,636 yearly) and assets of up to $2,000. For married applicants, the income limit is $1,755 ($21,060 yearly) and the asset limit is $3,000. If only one spouse is applying, the asset limit drops to $2,000. Some programs may have different limits.

Not all assets are counted when calculating Medicaid eligibility. Personal belongings, funeral trusts and an automobile are among the exempt assets. A person’s primary home is also not counted if they’re still living there, as long as the equity interest is below the state limit. 

Hawaii Medicaid applicants must also meet the following requirements:

How to Apply for Medicaid in Hawaii

Hawaiian residents can apply for Medicaid online at the KOLEA website or over the phone by calling Med-QUEST at 1-800-316-8005. Application forms can also be filled out online, printed and mailed or faxed to a local Med-QUEST Division Eligibility Office.

What Information You Will Need

In order to process your application, Med-QUEST must verify certain information. As part of your application, you may be asked to provide proof of:

  • Identity
  • Social Security Number
  • Age
  • Citizenship or immigration status
  • Income and assets
  • Current health insurance

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid

Hawaiians who need help applying for Medicaid can find assistance through local community partners who are trained to help with enrolments. Med-QUEST also has resources, such as frequently asked questions and customer service officers, that can assist applicants.

ProgramContactAreaServedServices provided
Community PartnersContact local officeEntire stateCommunity partners are available in a number of locations across Hawaii. Staff is available to help people apply for Medicaid or other health insurance options in the marketplace.
Med-QUEST FAQsOnlineEntire stateMed-QUEST’s website has an extensive frequently asked questions section that can answer many questions regarding the application process, plans and benefits.
Med-QUEST Customer Service1-800-316-8005Entire StateMed-QUEST customer services officers can answer eligibility and enrollment questions over the phone or in-person at local offices.

Does Medicare Cover In-Home Care in Hawaii?

In general, Medicare does not cover the cost of non-medical home care. That being said, there are situations in which Medicare provides some coverage for medical home care, referred to as “Home Healthcare.” There are several eligibility restrictions for coverage, including that individuals must be homebound and have a referral from their doctor specifically for home healthcare services.

Below is an overview of some of the skilled medical professionals whose in-home services are typically covered by Medicare – for more in-depth information, refer to our Guide to Home Healthcare.

  • Physical Therapists: Physical therapy is used to help patients recover from injuries (broken bones, knee injuries, etc.), treat ongoing conditions such as arthritis, and assist in recovery from surgeries and procedures such as a knee or hip replacement.
  • Visiting Nurses: Licensed nurses can provide a number of medical services for those who don’t need to stay in the hospital, but do need regular medical services such as wound care, changing feeding tubes, etc.
  • Occupational Therapists: Occupational therapists help seniors regain or maintain the ability to accomplish normal, daily tasks, such as bathing, dressing, eating, and other daily activities.
  • Speech Therapists: Speech therapists help seniors who are struggling to adequately communicate due to a stroke, dementia, or any other cause regain the ability to functionally communicate using a variety of means. Additionally, speech therapists help to keep seniors independent by modifying diets, teaching special techniques to swallow safely, and retraining associated muscles.

As mentioned above, in-home care is distinctly different from home healthcare. But, there can be some overlap in services between the two types of care. So, while Medicare doesn’t cover non-medical in-home care, there are in-home care services that may be covered in special circumstances when they’re provided in conjunction with home healthcare (such as an occupational therapist helping with eating or dressing)

Other Financial Assistance Options for In-Home Care in Hawaii

While the above programs help many people finance in-home care, they will not cover all costs for everyone. There are other ways to pay for in-home care, including out-of-pocket arrangements with siblings, annuities, reverse mortgages, private insurance and more. Read Caring.com’s Guide to In-Home Care Costs to learn more about these alternative payment options.

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Hawaii

Seniors in Hawaii have access to a wide array of services that can assist them to age in place. Both government and community organizations have programs available that provide transport, meals, home care, legal advice and more to older adults. 

ResourceContactAreaServedService
Adult Protective and Community Services(855) 643-1643Entire stateAdult Protective and Community Services is a division of the Department of Human Services. It has a range of services available to help delay entry into nursing homes. This includes chore services, companionship, respite services and transportation assistance.
Area Agencies on AgingLocal officesEntire stateArea Agencies on Aging (AAA) are located in each of Hawaii’s counties. These agencies provide services to local communities, including respite care, transportation, case management and congregate meals. Local AAA chapters also administer the Kupuna Care program, which provides personal care and other non-medical home services to people who aren’t eligible for Medicaid.
Meals on Wheels(808) 988-6747Hawaii Kai to Ewa, Pearl City to Waipahu, Kaneohe, Kailua, and WaimanaloHawai’i Meals on Wheels provides hot, nutritious meals and regular personal contact to older adults. Meals are prepared under the supervision of a licensed dietitian and some special diets can be accommodated, such as diabetic or low sodium diets.
Legal Aid Society of Hawai’i1-800-499-4302Entire stateThe Legal Aid Society of Hawai’i provides free legal assistance in civil matters to low-income individuals. It has a Kupuna Legal Aid Services project that offers advice specifically to those aged 60 and over. As well as helping seniors who have been a victim of crime, the service helps older adults with wills, powers of attorney and advanced health care directives.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance ProgramLocal officesEntire stateLIHEAP helps low-income households pay for heating and cooling through payments towards electric or gas bills. Payments are only available once per year and are provided through either the Energy Crisis Intervention or Energy Credit programs.

In-Home Care Laws and Regulations in Hawaii

Hawaii’s Department of Health, Office of Care Assurance is responsible for the licensing and regulation of home health agencies statewide. Since many home health agencies also provide home care, or homemaker, services, state guidelines for home health agencies often apply to in-home care services as well.

TopicRule
Scope of CareIn-home caregivers/homemakers can provide routine housecleaning and laundry service and shop for household supplies. Homemakers can also run errands and pick up medications, prepare meals, escort clients to medical, nutritional and social appointments, and offer medication reminders. In-home caregivers cannot administer medications or manage finances on behalf of a client.
Care Plan RequirementsClients of a licensed home care agency must have a service plan in place developed in consultation with the client and a supervisor employed by the agency, and that plan must be reviewed at least once annually.
Medication Management RequirementsHomemakers can provide clients with medication reminders, pick up medication from the pharmacy and read prescription labels for clients.
Staff Screening RequirementsDirect care staff must have tuberculosis clearance before commencing work with clients. Staff must also complete a background check, and be free of charges such as theft, assault, fraud and neglect of a child or vulnerable adult.
Staff Training RequirementsAgency administrators must ensure caregivers work within their scope of duties and in compliance with state licensing requirements. Caregivers who provide personal care services must be trained as a personal care aide.
Medicaid CoverageHawaii's Med-QUEST Medicaid managed care plan covers the cost of in-home care for eligible Med-QUEST members.
Reporting AbuseAnyone who suspects an Hawaiian elder is being neglected, abused or exploited should file a report with the Department of Human Services, Adult Protective Services. There are five APS offices throughout the state. Situations involving an immediate threat to safety should be reported to local law enforcement.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Find an In-Home Care Provider in Hawaii

Whether you are looking for yourself or a loved one, finding a quality home care provider can be a stressful process. When you hire an in-home care aide you’re placing a lot of trust in the hands of the person by inviting them into your home, so you’ll want to be diligent in your search. At Caring.com, we’re here to help – 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 provide the best care possible.

Download
Finding a Home Care Provider Checklist
Finding a Home Care Provider Checklist

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Caring.com

Caring.com is a leading online destination for caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones. We offer thousands of original articles, helpful tools, advice from more than 50 leading experts, a community of caregivers, and a comprehensive directory of caregiving services.

 

The material on this site is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal, financial, professional, or medical advice or diagnosis or treatment. By using our website, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

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