In-Home Care in Kentucky
Kentucky is home to more than 750,000 seniors, representing 16.8% of the state’s population. With access to top hospitals, including the Albert B. Chandler Hospital at the University of Kentucky and Baptist Health Lexington, and a median home price under $170,000 as of 2020, Kentucky has much to offer its senior residents, which is why many older adults are flocking to the state for retirement.
For a small state, Kentucky also has abundant options for in-home care and home health care. In-home care consists of nonclinical services such as help with grocery shopping, errands, cooking and other daily living activities. Home health care includes clinical services such as physical and occupational therapy. According to the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, in-home care and home health care cost an average of $4,767 per month in Kentucky.
This guide provides an overview of what to expect when seeking in-home care or home health care in Kentucky, including average costs, Medicare and Medicaid coverage, eligibility requirements and COVID-19 policies for providers. Also covered are state-specific resources for seniors who wish to retain their independence and age in place.
The Cost of In-Home Care in Kentucky
According to the Genworth 2021 Cost of Care Survey, the cost of in-home care in Kentucky averages $4,767 per month. This is less than the national average of $4,957 and comparable to many of the surrounding states. Of Kentucky’s closest neighbors, Illinois has the highest in-home care costs at $5,339 per month, followed by Ohio at $4,957. Indiana’s costs are the same as Kentucky’s at $4,767 per month, while Tennessee, with average monthly costs of $4,576, offers the least-expensive in-home care in the region.
The United States
The cost of care in Kentucky can vary from city to city, sometimes substantially. Louisville, the state’s largest metropolitan area, has costs that sit right at the state median of $4,767. The median costs in Lexington are slightly higher at $4,957 per month. The smaller city of Paducah on the state’s western edge has median in-home care costs of $4,767 per month, while Covington, a large suburb of Cincinnati, OH, is moderately more expensive at $5,148.
Kentucky seniors needing personal or medical assistance have options beyond in-home care. The highest level of care, but also the most expensive, is a nursing home facility, where a semiprivate room costs an average of $7,178 per month in Kentucky. Other options are much less expensive than either skilled nursing care or in-home care. These include an assisted living facility at an average of $3,448 per month and adult day health care at $1,690 per month.
Home Health Care
Nursing home care (semiprivate room)
Assisted Living Facility
Adult day health care
Does Medicaid Cover Home Care in Kentucky?
While Medicaid covers certain in-home medical costs in Kentucky, it does not cover non-medical in-home care. However, the state has several waiver programs to help defray many of the costs associated with aging in place. These programs include the Home and Community Based Waiver, a benefit program for seniors over 65 who need home care; the Homecare Program, for seniors unable to perform certain daily living activities; the Hart-Supported Living Program, which promotes rights and autonomy for Kentucky’s older population; and the Personal Care Attendant Program, which helps subsidize the cost of in-home care.
Home Care Waiver Programs in Kentucky
Kentucky offers four waiver programs to help seniors with various expenses associated with in-home care and aging in place. Each program has different benefits and eligibility requirements.
Available to Kentucky seniors over age 65 who meet certain qualifications, including Medicare eligibility or the need for nursing home care, the Home and Community Based Waiver offers senior support services that include attendant care, adult day health care, home adaptations and modifications, home-delivered meals and respite care.
The Homecare Program is available to Kentucky residents older than 60 who are either unable to perform two daily living activities or three instrumental daily living activities, or are at risk of requiring institutional care. It provides a number of in-home care services including meal delivery, chore services, home repair and personal care.
The Hart-Supported Living Program provides funds to help Kentucky seniors with disabilities live independently and avoid institutional care. The program also promotes rights and autonomy, helps seniors build and retain skills needed for independent living and promotes homeownership among older Kentuckians with disabilities.
The Personal Care Attendant Program subsidizes the cost of in-home care for Kentucky residents with disabilities, helping them avoid needing institutional care. Eligibility requirements include being 18 or older, needing at least 14 but no more than 40 hours of care per week, having a permanent or long-term disability and having the mental acuity to instruct caregivers and prepare necessary financial documents.
How to Know if You’re Eligible for Medicaid in Kentucky
Medicaid applicants in Kentucky must meet certain income and asset limits. A single applicant may not make more than $10,092 per year or have more than $2,000 in assets. A married couple applying together may not make more than $15,132 per year or have more than $3,000 in assets. A married person applying without their spouse may not make more than $10,092 per year or have more than $4,000 in assets.
(Both People Applying)
(One Person Applying)
Kentucky Medicaid applicants must meet these additional requirements as well:
- Be a resident of Kentucky at time of application
- Be a U.S. citizen or legal alien
- Have a low income
- Be in need of health insurance or health care assistance
How to Apply for Medicaid in Kentucky
What Information You Will Need
You will need several pieces of documentation when applying for Medicaid in Kentucky. You should have:
- Multiple forms of ID, such as your driver’s license, passport or Social Security card
- Information about your finances, including tax returns, bank statements and income documents
- Information regarding current insurance or health care coverage
How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid
Because the Medicaid application process can get confusing, you might choose to seek assistance from a nonprofit organization or government resource that can help you determine your eligibility and apply. Kentucky offers several such programs to give you the assistance you need.
The Department for Medicaid Services administers the Kentucky Medicaid program and can help seniors with questions they have about the application process. The DMS team can also help determine eligibility and advise you on the documents you need to apply for benefits.
The Kentucky Legal Aid State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) offers many services to seniors in Kentucky eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, including legal assistance in cases involving denial or termination of Medicaid benefits. This program can help you if you believe your application for Medicaid was wrongly denied.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services website provides information about several topics surrounding Medicaid in the state. It features a section on open enrollment, applying for Medicaid and eligibility information.
Does Medicare Cover In-Home Care in Kentucky?
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 Kentucky
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 Kentucky
Aging in place offers a number of benefits over residential centers, but it can also present challenges, particularly when physical limitations make it difficult to carry out certain activities of daily living. Seniors in Kentucky who want to age in place but need a little help can find it through the following free and low-cost resources.
Entire State (broken down by region)
Kentucky has 15 Area Agencies on Aging offices that serve residents 60 and older by providing support and assistance with tasks such as enrolling in Medicare and other government benefit programs. The agencies also link seniors with resources that can help them age in place safely and comfortably.
The Central Kentucky Community Action Transportation Services (CKCATS) serves seniors in Breckinridge, Grayson, Larue, Marion and Nelson counties, providing transportation to medical appointments, grocery stores, senior centers and more.
Louisville Metro Area
The City of Louisville local government offers several programs to help seniors age in place. Its Office of Aging and Disabled Citizens works to uphold the rights of seniors and disabled individuals and to secure funding on their behalf. The Senior Services department offers additional benefits such as nutrition counseling and Meals on Wheels programs.
Offered through the various Area Agencies on Aging located throughout the state, the Nutrition Program for the Elderly offers one nutritious home-delivered or congregate-style meal each day.
This program provides grants to elderly, low-income homeowners in Kentucky to pay for the removal of hazardous conditions from their home or property. It also provides low-cost loans for home repairs or modernization.
COVID-19 Rules for In-Home Care Providers in Kentucky
Kentucky requires all in-home care and home health care workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they qualify for a medical or religious exemption. As of April 2022, Kentucky’s vaccine mandate for home health workers is in effect, though it is subject to change in the future, as has been seen recently with numerous federal and state laws surrounding the virus.
The Kentucky Area Agencies on Aging are good resources for the most up-to-date COVID-19 laws for health care workers. You might also consider reaching out to a representative of the specific in-home care agency you’re considering. They can inform you of their current policies.
In-Home Care Laws and Regulations in Kentucky
The Kentucky Division of Health Care implements and enforces the regulations that apply to personal service agencies, home health services, personal care homes and skilled-nursing facilities in the state.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does in-home care cost in Kentucky?
According to Genworth Financial’s 2019 Cost of Care Survey, in-home care costs an average of $3,813 per month in Kentucky, about $300 less than the national average of $4,290. The cost of in-home care is lower in Kentucky than it is in the nearby states of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Out of the five most populous cities in Kentucky, Owensboro and Covington have the lowest monthly costs, averaging $3,623 and $3,146, respectively.
Does Kentucky Medicaid pay for in-home care?
In Kentucky, the Home and Community Based Services Medicaid Waiver can be used to pay for in-home care. Medicaid pays for these services to ensure that older adults can age in place while maintaining their safety and independence. The Home and Community Based Services Medicaid Waiver can be used by seniors remaining in their own homes, living with family members or living in adult foster homes.
Are there transportation assistance programs in Kentucky?
Transportation assistance programs are available in some regions of Kentucky, including Jefferson, Shelby, Bullitt, Henry, Spencer, Trimble and Oldham Counties. Senior transportation is available to adults who are at least 60 years old and do not qualify for other forms of public transport. Transportation may be available to and from nutrition sites, non-emergent medical appointments and senior centers. In some cases, transportation vouchers are available to reimburse care providers for transporting their clients to non-emergency medical appointments.
What does it mean to age in place?
Seniors who age in place choose to remain in their homes instead of moving to nursing homes, personal care homes or assisted-living facilities. Many seniors choose aging in place because it allows them to maintain important community connections, remain independent for as long as possible and spend as much time as they can in familiar surroundings.
What are “Activities of Daily Living”?
Activities of daily living are the routine activities that people should be able to do each day without assistance. Using the toilet, getting dressed, bathing and eating are some of the most important ADLs. For seniors with mobility problems, balance problems or other health issues, it may be necessary to hire a personal care attendant to assist with some of these activities. For example, an older person with poor balance may have a personal care attendant assist with showering to reduce the risk of falls.
How to Find an In-Home Care Provider in Kentucky
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.
Find Home Care Agencies Near You
To find quality home care providers near you, simply input the zip code or city where you would like to start your search. We have an extensive directory of home care agencies all across the nation that includes in-depth information about each provider and hundreds of thousands of reviews from seniors and their loved ones.
207 E Reynolds Rd, Suite 150, Lexington, KY, 40517
2134 Nicholasville Rd., Suite 19, Lexington, KY, 40503
743 B Allendale Drive , Lexington, KY, 40503
1050 Chinoe Rd., Suite 101, Lexington, KY, 40502
3070 Harrodsburg Road Suite #240, Lexington, KY, 40503
8009 New LaGrange Road, Suite1, Louisville, KY, 40222
3306 Clays Mill Road Suite 104, Lexington, KY, 40503
1890 Star Shoot Parkwy, Suite 170, Lexington, KY, 40509
1795 Alysheba Way Suite 7105, Lexington, KY, 40509
1232 Paris Pike, Georgetown, KY, 40324
2525 Harrodsburg Rd., Suite 120, Lexington, KY, 40504
1795 Alysheba Way, Suite 4107, Lexington, KY, 40509
141 N. Eagle Creek Dr. Suite 103, Lexington, KY, 40509
1022 Highland Park Dr, Lexington, KY, 40505
1113 Hildreth Street, New Albany, IN, 47150
2039 Regency Rd Unit 1, Lexington, KY, 40503
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