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In-Home Care in Minnesota

he most recent census reveals that Minnesota’s older population has grown significantly from the 12.9% recorded in the 2010 census to 16.3%. This statistic strongly suggests seniors are moving there in greater numbers. The reason may be Minnesota’s reputation as one of the healthiest states in the country, or the numerous high-quality medical facilities, including the internationally renowned Mayo Clinic.

Senior Minnesotans have numerous home care options to ease the day-to-day of older living. Home health care offers basic support delivered by medical professionals, allowing at-risk seniors to avoid institutional facilities. In-home care focuses on non-medical services, such as light housekeeping, shopping and personal care, including assistance with bathing and dressing. The average costs for each service reflect the providers’ skills, with in-home care typically charging $6,673 per month and home health care setting rates at $6,912 per month.

This guide considers average costs for home care and other types of care in Minnesota and the roles Medicaid and Medicare play. It also lists some potentially helpful senior-friendly resources.

The Cost of In-Home Care in Minnesota

In-home care’s national median is $4,957 per month, although this figure hides the wide fee variations often influenced by location. The 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey found Minnesota’s in-home care prices the costliest in the Midwest at $6,673 per month — a monthly increase of $1,716 compared to the national median. Although also above-average, South Dakota’s median fee is a more affordable $5,911, although not as much as North Dakota’s $5,689. Seniors in Iowa and Wisconsin typically pay $5,529 for in-home care, while their peers in Illinois pay $5,339 for similar services.



The United States


North Dakota


South Dakota








In-home care costs vary greatly in Minnesota, from Mankato’s $5,720 per month average to Rochester’s $7,627 monthly fee. In Duluth, it’s not unusual to find in-home care agencies charging about $5,815 per month for their services, while in St. Cloud, the norm is $6,038 per month. Although more affordable than Rochester, agency fees in Minneapolis are still above the state average, at $7,055 per month.







St. Cloud




Although location influences care provider fees, the service level is also a factor in Minnesota. Consider nursing home fees, which average $11,601 per month. These facilities are expensive because care comes from qualified professionals operating at almost the same levels as hospitals. Compare this to an assisted living facility at $4,508 per month, also providing care and accommodation, but with fewer health care professionals and less medical equipment. In-home care and home health care agencies offer similar services as assisted living facilities, but in the senior’s home, so their fees reflect this, at $6,673 and $6,912, respectively. Adult day health care centers offer the most affordable monthly option at $2,167.

In-Home Care


Home Health Care


Nursing Home Care


Assisted Living Facility


Adult Day Health Care


Does Medicaid Cover Home Care in Minnesota?

Medicaid, known in Minnesota as Medical Assistance, can pay for medical and non-medical home care services, although strictly enforced criteria determine who is eligible and the services they can apply for. There are four programs designed to help frail seniors avoid institutional care. The Elderly Waiver is a multi-option program that includes home and residential care services; Personal Care Assistance provides non-medical services; Home Care Services focuses on medical care and Minnesota Senior Health Options blends Medicaid and Medicare to provide a full range of services.

Home Care Waiver Programs in Minnesota

Minnesota’s Medicaid provides several programs for seniors disadvantaged by varying function levels. The programs listed here cover medical and non-medical needs, allow seniors to direct their care, and, in some cases, pay for hospital services.

Elderly Waiver(800) 333-2433The Elderly Waiver's scope is wide, covering costs for adult day care, transportation, home modifications, skilled nursing, personal attendants and residential care services. It can also pay for home health aides, home-delivered meals and family caregiver support. For eligibility, the senior must have income, assets and health care needs that qualify them for Medical Assistance. To apply, seniors can either call Senior LinkAge at (800) 333-2433 or contact their nearest Long-Term Care Consultation provider.
Personal Care AssistanceLocal County or Tribal Nation OfficePersonal Care Assistance is a non-medical program that helps struggling seniors with common activities, such as getting out of bed, dressing, bathing and housekeeping. The applicant's county or tribal health nurse arranges the mobility assessment, which also tests for memory loss conditions, and informs the senior of their options. A personal care assistant (PCA) delivers all the required services. The senior can choose their PCA, which can be a family member if the Department of Human Services approves them. Eligible applicants are seniors assessed as medically in need who qualify for Medical Assistance and can direct their own care.
Minnesota Senior Health Options(800) 333-2433Minnesota Senior Health Options is available to adults aged 65 and over eligible for Medicaid and enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. It combines both programs for a full health care service that plugs care gaps from unreimbursed necessary services by either program. Services may include a home health aide and in-home care worker provision, dental care, transportation, hospital care and doctor visits. Location factors in the number of plans available, so you may wish to contact your nearest county or tribal office for local details.
Home Care ServicesLocal County or Tribal Nation OfficeHome Care Services provides either short-term medical and non-medical services for seniors transitioning to/from nursing homes and long-term services who can receive home care. Successful applicants can get home health aide and personal care attendant services in addition to medical equipment and supplies. To be eligible, the senior must qualify for Medical Assistance, be deemed in need by a physician and be able to receive all care services in their home. Seniors should contact their local county or tribal office to begin the application process.

How to Know If You’re Eligible for Medicaid in Minnesota

Minnesota establishes income and asset limits for Medicaid to ensure available funds go to the neediest. Its set income limits are at 133% of the Federal Poverty Level, which, as of 2022, makes the annual limit for a single applicant $13,596 and $18,324 when both spouses in a two-person household apply. Assets are limited to $3,000 per applicant. 

2022 Basic Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Minnesota

Income limits*Asset limits
Single Person$13,596$3,000
Two-Person Household$18,324$6,000**

*Per year
**Plus $200 for each dependent

Medical Assistance applicants must satisfy other eligibility conditions for support consideration. The senior must be:


  • A U.S. citizen or legal noncitizen
  • A Minnesota resident
  • In need of care because of at least one qualifying functional impairment


How to Apply for Medicaid in Minnesota

Regardless of the senior’s contact method, every Minnesota Medical Assistance applicant must complete a paper application form.



What Information You Will Need


  • Birth certificate
  • Social Security card
  • All health insurance policy numbers
  • Proof of income/assets, such as bank account statements, copies of bonds, real property tax statements, etc.
  • Proof of items sold, traded or gifted in the previous 60 months

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid

There are several resources open to seniors who want assistance applying for Medical Assistance. This list includes two sources of free assistance as well as legal support for seniors who can’t resolve Medicaid issues without an attorney’s help.

ProgramContactArea ServedServices provided
Senior LinkAge Line(800) 333-2433StatewideThe Minnesota Board on Aging and the state's Area Agencies on Aging provide the free Senior LinkAge Line phone service. Its advisors can help seniors negotiate confusing aspects of Medical Assistance and refer them to other resources if required.
County or Tribal OfficeMultiple ContactsStatewideThe Department of Human Services manages multiple county and tribal offices across Minnesota. Every office has at least one staff member trained to assist seniors applying for Medical Assistance. Potential applicants can call their local office and make an appointment to speak to a specialist.
LawhelpMN.orgMultiple ContactsStatewideMinnesota Legal Services Coalition, a group that provides free legal aid to Minnesotans on low incomes, indirectly manages Its attorneys and paralegals can help seniors denied Medicaid. The site also has a useful self-help library with a section on benefits and health care.

Does Medicare Cover In-Home Care in Minnesota?

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 Minnesota

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’s Guide to In-Home Care Costs to learn more about these alternative payment options.

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Minnesota

There are many government agencies and nonprofit organizations assisting Minnesotan seniors daily. Those listed here can help reduce energy costs, make homes safer and more fuel-efficient and reduce the senior’s tax burden. There’s also support for unpaid caregivers.

ResourceContactArea ServedService
Home Repair Program(651) 776-4273StatewideRebuilding Together is a nonprofit organization specializing in home repairs for low-income Minnesotans, particularly the aged and disabled. Its volunteers help make homes safer by installing new flooring, windows and siding, as well as repairing or replacing faulty HVAC systems and dangerous roofs. Applicants must own and live in the home needing repairs, have an income at or below 50% of their area's median income and plan to remain in the home for at least five years after volunteers complete the work.
Energy Assistance Program(800) 657-3710StatewideThe Energy Assistance Program can pay up to $2,000 to help eligible households pay their energy bills. There are no restrictions on the fuel type the program will help pay for and there's no requirement to pay the money back. The program bases grants on the household's size, which can pay for existing energy bills and pay the supplier directly. Homeowners and renters can apply and, in an emergency, can request a fuel delivery or heating system repair.
Weatherization Assistance Program(800) 657-3710StatewideThe Weatherization Program helps make homes more energy-efficient and safer for seniors, reducing the fuel needed to heat their homes. An energy auditor will inspect the property of low-income homeowners and renters who qualify to determine the required weatherization work. This work includes insulating the attic and exterior walls, sealing air leaks and repairing or replacing the furnace, boiler and water heater.
Tax Relief Programs for Seniors(800) 652-9094StatewideMinnesota's Department of Revenue provides several tax relief programs for residents aged 65 and older. Seniors and disabled residents who meet the income requirements can claim a deduction that lowers their Minnesota taxable income. There is also a Social Security benefit subtraction for Minnesotans within the program's income limits and a property tax deferral for citizens aged 65 and older with an annual household income below $60,000.
Caregiver Support(800) 333-2433StatewideMinnesota provides several resources to help unpaid caregivers looking after their loved ones. These resources include phone support and referrals, as well as training and consultancies. Its limited respite care services give caregivers time to rest or catch up on personal priorities. Training classes and consultancy meetings are usually face-to-face but can be online if required.

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

How to Find an In-Home Care Provider in Minnesota

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, 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.

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

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.

Home Care in Minnesota

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Home Care in Minnesota



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