Almost 900,000 seniors over the age of 65 enjoy life in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and increasing numbers are following the trend toward aging in place and choosing to remain in their own homes. Those who need daily assistance can expect to pay $5,529 per month for in-home care, which is substantially higher than the national average. Minnesota’s outstanding natural beauty, boundless opportunities for outdoor recreation and the numerous aging-related programs and resources funded by the Department of Human Services help make the state attractive to seniors. Minnesota’s rigorous regulation and monitoring of home care providers also gives seniors peace of mind about the quality of services available here.

This guide offers helpful information about home care costs and options to pay for care services, along with free and inexpensive aging-in-place resources available to Minnesota seniors.

The Cost of In-Home Care in Minnesota

In-Home Care Costs in Nearby States

The Genworth Cost of Care Survey 2019 shows that home care in Minnesota costs an average of $5,529 per month, which is $1,239 higher than the $4,290 national median. At $5,339, the monthly cost in adjacent South Dakota is somewhat lower, while the average in North Dakota drops even further to $5,148. Neighboring Iowa and Wisconsin share a significantly less expensive average cost of $4,767 per month.

$5529

Minnesota

$4290

United States Average

$5339

South Dakota

$5148

North Dakota

$4767

Iowa

$4767

Wisconsin

Cost of Other Types of Care in Minnesota

Care costs in Minnesota vary significantly and are largely influenced by the setting and level of care a senior requires. The monthly cost of nonmedical in-home care and home health care services average $5,529 and $5,815, respectively, a difference of only $286 per month. Assisted living facilities charge $3,800 per month, on average, while adult day care costs roughly half that amount, at just $1,820. The skilled care provided in nursing homes is by far the most expensive type of care in Minnesota, at an average monthly cost of $10,076.

$5529

In-Home Care

$5815

Home Health Care

$1820

Adult Day Care

$3800

Assisted Living Facility

$10076

Nursing Home Care

The Cost of In-Home Care in Minnesota’s Top Cities

Comparing Costs Across Minnesota

Monthly in-home care costs in Minnesota’s cities span a range of about $830. At $5,815, the average rate is highest in Minneapolis, the largest metropolitan area. The lowest cost per month is found in Duluth, where in-home care averages $4,986. The average price in Rochester matches the statewide median of $5,529. Costs drop roughly $150 and $190 per month, respectively, in St. Cloud and Mankato, where the averages are $5,386 and $5,339.

$5815

Minneapolis

$5529

Rochester

$4986

Duluth

$5386

St. Cloud

$5339

Mankato

Financial Assistance for In-Home Care in Minnesota

Medical Assistance Elderly Waiver

Minnesota’s state Medicaid plan, Medical Assistance, offers the Elderly Waiver, which provides vital supports and services to help eligible seniors remain at home and avoid nursing home admission. The program offers a wide range of covered benefits based on a senior’s assessed needs, which may include case management, companionship services, home-delivered meals, homemaker and chore services, help with personal care and transportation. Personal emergency response systems, durable medical equipment, skilled nursing services and home and vehicle modifications are also covered. Participants have the option of directing their own care and hiring relatives as caregivers, including their adult children.

Who Is Eligible?
Minnesota residents aged 65 or older who need a nursing home level of care and meet the financial criteria to qualify for MA coverage may be eligible for the EW program. Applicants are treated as individuals, even if married, and may have an income of up to 300% of the Federal Benefit Rate and no more than $3,000 in countable assets.

How to Apply
To learn more or apply, interested seniors may contact the Long-Term Care Consultation office in their county or call the Senior LinkAge Line at 800-333-2433.

Minnesota Consumer Support Grant

The Minnesota Consumer Support Grant offers MA-eligible seniors an opportunity to convert in-home care services provided through a state-managed agency into a cash grant. Participants may then use these funds to pay a caregiver of their choosing, including a spouse, adult child or another family member. Grant funds may also pay for a variety of related expenses, such as home or vehicle modifications, home health care, nursing services, companion services, respite care, transportation, durable medical equipment and assistive technologies.

Who Is Eligible?
To qualify for the grant, applicants must be aged 65 or older and live in their own home, or in the home of a relative, in a Minnesota county where the program is offered. They must also meet MA eligibility guidelines, and qualify for in-home care services through a Medicaid program or waiver.

How to Apply
To learn if the CSG program is available in their county and begin the application process, senior Minnesotans should contact their local Department of Human Services office.

Alternative Care Program

The state’s Alternative Care program offers financial assistance so seniors may remain in their own homes rather than move to a nursing facility. Enrollees receive case management and may hire family members as their caregivers. Other services and supports vary by county, and according to the assessed needs of each applicant. The program may cover home health, skilled nursing and nonmedical transportation services, along with the cost of home accessibility and safety improvements, durable medical equipment, medical supplies and additional benefits.

Who Is Eligible?
Applicants must be Minnesota residents aged 65 or older and be assessed as needing the level of care provided in a nursing facility. They must not be financially eligible for MA coverage and have no other way to pay for in-home assistance. There are no set financial limits to qualify for the AC program, but applicants may only have sufficient income and assets to pay for 135 days of nursing home care. Participants may receive services at no charge or pay up to 30% of the cost depending on their income.

How to Apply
Seniors may apply for the AC program through their local Long-Term Care Consultation office, or by calling 800-333-2433 toll-free from anywhere in the state.

Essential Community Supports Program

Essential Community Supports is a state-run program that provides necessary services to help seniors continue living independently in their own homes. Program benefits may include care coordination, homemaker services, caregiver training, assistance with day-to-day living tasks and home-delivered meals. The exact services provided are determined on a case-by-case basis by a long-term care consultant.

Who Is Eligible
Applicants must be Minnesota residents aged 65 or older, need help with at one or more offered service and meet the program’s financial criteria. They cannot be eligible for MA coverage or require a nursing facility level of care to qualify for the ECS program.

How to Apply
Interested individuals may call the Senior LinkAge Line at 800-333-2433 to learn more about the program or begin the application process.

More Ways to Pay for In-Home Care

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 In-Home Care Resources in Minnesota

There are a number of free and low-cost resources that Minnesota seniors can take advantage of to help retain their independence and age in place. These include nutritious delivered meals, classes to help self-manage chronic conditions and stay healthy, legal advice and help finding in-home care, among others.

ContactServices Provided
Home-Delivered MealsCall the Senior LinkAge Line at 800-333-2433 to sign upThe senior nutrition program provides free home-delivered meals to seniors aged 60 and older.
Minnesota HomeCare Association866-607-0607The MHCA represents home care providers across the state and promotes high standards of care and professionalism. The association’s website also offers information for seniors and their families.
Healthy Aging ClassesCall the Senior LinkAge Line at 800-333-2433 to learn about classes in your areaVarious healthy aging classes are offered in communities across Minnesota to help those aged 60 and older manage chronic conditions, prevent falls and improve their overall quality of life.
Legal AssistanceCall 800-333-2433 for information about local legal resourcesThe Minnesota Board on Aging supports a statewide network of providers who offer free or low-cost legal advice and assistance to seniors.
Caregiver Consultant ServicesCall 800-333-2433 to speak with a consultantTrained professional caregiver consultants are available through the Board on Aging to provide family caregivers of seniors with information, personalized assistance developing a caregiving plan and access to needed resources.

In-Home Care Laws and Regulations in Minnesota

Home care providers in Minnesota are regulated through the Home Care and Assisted Living Program (HCALP), operated by the Health Regulation Division of the Minnesota Department of Health. The HCALP oversees the licensing and registration of basic providers that offer nonmedical services, conducts on-site surveys to ensure compliance with state regulations and investigates complaints. This table offers an overview of the rules and regulations that apply to home care providers in Minnesota.

Scope of CareProviders licensed to offer basic, nonmedical in-home care may deliver a range of services to clients. The scope of care may include assisting with activities of daily living, including completing personal care tasks such as bathing, toileting, grooming, dressing, ambulation and eating. Staff may also prepare meals and prescribed modified diets, complete housekeeping and laundry chores and shop for the household.
Care Plan RequirementsWithin 30 days of initiating service, basic home care providers must conduct an assessment of a new client’s needs and preferences and develop a care plan that details the specific services and personnel to meet these needs. This plan must be agreed upon and signed by the provider and the client or their representative. Ongoing evaluations of the client’s condition and needs must be performed every 90 days, and their care plan updated accordingly.
Medication Management RequirementsProviders with basic licenses may not offer medication management services to clients. A provider’s direct care staff may offer visual or verbal clues to assist clients in taking medications or supply food or liquids to accompany medications.
Staff Screening RequirementsHome care providers must have background checks and tuberculosis screenings conducted as part of their hiring process.
Staff Training RequirementsStaff of nonmedical providers delivering direct care services to clients must undergo a training and competency assessment, and pass a skills test related to their duties. Each staff member also must complete eight hours of relevant training every 12 months.
Medicaid CoverageThe Minnesota Medicaid program, Medical Assistance, covers the cost of various in-home services through its Elderly Waiver. This is not a Medicaid entitlement program, so participation is capped, and there may be a waiting list to receive covered services.
Reporting AbuseConcerned individuals may report suspected mistreatment of a vulnerable senior to the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center by calling 844-880-1574. Reports are confidential and can be made 24/7.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Minnesota Medicaid Pay for In-Home Care?

Minnesota’s state Medicaid plan only pays for care in a nursing facility. MA does offer an Elderly Waiver that covers the cost of a number of in-home supports and services for state residents aged 65 and older who meet the program’s functional and financial criteria.

Are There Programs to Cover Home Modifications in Minnesota?

Minnesota Medicaid’s Elderly Waiver helps cover the cost of home modifications to improve accessibility and safety. Assistance is also available through state-run programs, including Alternative Care, Essential Community Supports and the Minnesota Consumer Support Grant. Each program has specific eligibility criteria that applicants must meet.

How Much Does In-Home Care Cost in Minnesota?

Nonmedical home care costs an average of $5,529 per month in Minnesota, according to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey 2019. This is over $1,200 above the national monthly median but $286 below the state’s average cost for home health care services, which include skilled nursing care.

Does Medicare Pay for In-Home Care?

Medicare does not pay for full-time in-home care. It does cover specific in-home services for beneficiaries recovering from surgeries, hospital stays, illnesses and injuries who are under a physician’s care. These include short-term skilled nursing care, home health aide services and occupational and physical therapy sessions.

What Are Activities of Daily Living?

Activities of daily living, which are commonly referred to as ADLs, are the basic self-care tasks a person normally completes each day. These six tasks include bathing, dressing, grooming, ambulation, elimination and eating. ADLs differ from instrumental activities of daily living, which involve more complex skills.

Home Care Services in Minnesota (163)