The Ohio Department of Aging estimates that the state has a senior population aged 60+ of 2.5 million, as of 2019. That number is expected to grow to 1 out of 3 Ohioans by 2030. In response to the rapid growth of elderly citizens, Ohio has created several plans to assist seniors ranging from a variety of tax-friendly plans to expanding services through 12 regional Agencies on Aging. Seniors who want to age in place can rest easy knowing that Ohio works closely with Medicare and Medicaid to monitor and certify home health agencies. The average cost of a home health aide in Ohio is $4,385 — which is on par with the national average.

Keep reading to learn about average in-home care costs across Ohio, available financial assistance programs and other free or low-cost resources available to seniors.

The Cost of In-Home Care in Ohio

In-Home Care Costs in Nearby States

The Genworth Cost of Care Survey 2019 reports $4,290 as the average cost for in-home care in Ohio. This is even with the national average and slightly less expensive than some nearby states. Michigan and Pennsylvania both average $4,385, which is nearly $100 more than the average monthly cost in Ohio. Indiana, Ohio’s western neighbor averages $44 more for homemaker services, while Kentucky to the south is $477 less per month.

$4290

Ohio

$4290

United States Average

$4385

Michigan

$4334

Indiana

$3813

Kentucky

4385

Pennsylvania

Cost of Other Types of Care in Ohio

The cost of senior assistance services can vary dramatically based on the scope of care required. Adult day care is the most affordable option in Ohio at an average of $1,376. Skilled nursing care is at the opposite end of the spectrum with a monthly cost of $6,996 in Ohio and $7,519 nationally. For seniors who prefer to age in place or those looking for a more home-like environment, there are several options. Homemaker services average $4,290, while both assisted living and home health aides average just slightly more at $4,339 and $4,385, respectively.

$4290

In-home care

$4385

Home health care

$1376

Adult day care

$4339

Assisted living facility

$6996

Nursing home care

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

Comparing Costs Across Ohio

Geographic area can play an important role in determining costs, even within the same state. In Ohio, there’s a $1,335 difference between care costs in the largest cities. In Toledo, the most expensive city for homemaker services, the average is $4,481 per month, which is $2,292 more than the state average, annually. Cleveland, located in northeastern Ohio on the shores of Lake Erie, is also more expensive than average at $4,264. Akron and Columbus are at or near the state average, while Cincinnati is substantially more affordable at $3,146.

$4264

Columbus

$4429

Cleveland

$3146

Cincinnati

$4481

Toledo

$4290

Akron

Financial Assistance for In-Home Care in Ohio

PASSPORT Medicaid Waiver

The PASSPORT Medicaid Waiver program is designed to offer low-income seniors access to a variety of supportive services that help delay or prevent nursing home placements. Home health services and homemaker services are among the covered options, along with access to various therapies, personal care services, home-delivered meals, respite care, and other services tailored to the needs of the individual.

PASSPORT is not an entitlement program, and eligibility does not guarantee an open slot in the program. All participants in PASSPORT also receive a Medicaid benefits card that offers access to covered services such as physician care, prescription medications and hospitalizations.

Who Is Eligible?
To qualify for this waiver, seniors must be at least 60 years old, need assistance with at least one ADL, meet all financial eligibility requirements for Medicaid and have a physician document their care needs and develop a care plan.

How to Apply
To apply for this program, call 1-866-243-5678 to speak with a local Area Agency on Aging. After filling out the application, there is a telephone screening and in-person assessment prior to program approval.

Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)

While currently only available to Cuyahoga County residents, PACE provides a managed care approach to senior support services. As an alternative to nursing home care, supports are offered at a Cleveland area adult day care center and include medical care both specialized and primary, various therapies, medical transportation, mental health services, meals, social services, home health care and personal care. Respite care and hospitalization or skilled nursing care may also be provided, as needed. All services otherwise covered by Medicare or Medicaid are delivered under the PACE umbrella, including services not otherwise available.

Who Is Eligible?
To qualify for PACE, a senior must be at least 55 years old, meet financial eligibility requirements, live in the Cleveland area, meet the criteria for nursing home placement and be able to live safely in the community with PACE supports. Financial eligibility standards are more relaxed than with other waiver programs and those who choose to pay out-of-pocket may also participate. For service with no out-of-pocket costs, seniors must be Medicaid eligible under the institutional financial standards.

How to Apply
To apply for PACE, contact McGregor PACE at 216-791-3580 or visit their website.

Residential State Supplement

For seniors who are Medicaid eligible and not currently enrolled in a waiver program, the Residential State Supplement program may help pay some of the costs associated with support services provided in an adult care facility or room and board costs. These funds may be used to cover costs associated with housing, supervision or personal care for disabled adults and seniors. RSS benefits supplement personal income to a combined total of $1,300. A facility receives $1,100 in total rent that also covers all supervision and personal care services. Seniors may retain up to $200 per month as a personal care allowance.

Who Is Eligible?
Any Ohio resident aged 18 or older receiving Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, or Supplemental Security Disability Insurance benefits currently in a nursing home or with care needs consistent with nursing home placement may apply. Applicants must be planning to move into an eligible facility and must be enrolled or eligible for standard Medicaid.

How to Apply
For questions regarding enrollment, call 614-752-9316. Applications are available online and can be submitted via fax at 614-485-9747 or by emailing RSS@mha.ohio.gov.

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 Ohio

Seniors who wish to age at home or in a residential community have several resources available to help. Some services available at low or no-cost might include home-delivered meals, transportation, homemaking, and care management.

ContactArea ServedServices Provided
Elderly Services Program800-252-0155Butler, Clinton, Hamilton or Warren CountiesThe ESP offers care management, adult day care, transportation, home modification and other services designed to allow seniors to age in place. Those eligible for services through another payer are ineligible to participate in ESP.
Clermont Senior Services513-724-1255Clermont CountyClermont Senior Services offers a wide variety of assistance programs including access to affordable housing, home repair services, home care, meal delivery and other supports for seniors who wish to live independently. Some services may have a share of the cost assessment based on income.
Franklin County Senior Operations800-589-7277Franklin CountyHomemaker services, meal delivery, installation of personal emergency response systems, durable medical equipment and adult day services are some of the supports available through Franklin County Senior Operations. Services are provided on a sliding scale and income verification may be required.
National Family Caregiver Support ProgramLocal area agency on agingEntire StateIn addition to services provided directly to seniors, the National Family Caregiver Support Program may also offer help locating training and support groups, along with financial assistance for respite care, chores or home repairs.
The Golden Buckeye Program800-422-1976.Entire StateThe Golden Buckeye Program works in partnership with retailers and service providers throughout the state to offer discounts to seniors and other qualified members. Membership also includes enrollment in Ohio’s Best Rx prescription discount program.
Long-Term Care Ombudsman800-282-1206Entire StateSeniors with questions about care or family members concerned about care providers can contact the Long-Term Care Ombudsman’s office as the first point of contact. Volunteers and paid staff can help locate services and explain benefits.
ComCareLocal area agency on agingEntire SThistateSeniors aged 60+ may qualify for assistance with supervision or limited personal care services through ComCare. This program offers an initial assessment to develop a care plan and creates a financial plan to determine service costs, if any, to seniors.

In-Home Care Laws and Regulations in Ohio

The Ohio Department of Health works with CMS to certify home health agencies that accept Medicare or Medicaid reimbursements. Home health and home care agencies are not licensed or registered in the state of Ohio. Certified providers must pass random on-site surveys conducted by the Bureau of Survey and Certification. Below is a table with a brief overview of the rules and regulations that govern home care agencies in Ohio.

Scope of CareAgencies providing home care that does not include medical care, may assist with activities of daily living, homemaking, transportation, companionship and other non-skilled services needed by the patient.
Care Plan RequirementsN/A
Medication Management RequirementsPatients eligible to self-administer medications may receive assistance from a care aide that includes opening packaging, reading information or providing reminders.
Staff Screening RequirementsAny staff member that provides direct care must complete a criminal background check. An employer must first check six listed free databases for the employer and may refuse employment based on information gathered.
Staff Training RequirementsN/A
Medicaid CoverageCMS-certified home health agencies may receive some or all of the cost of services through the PASSPORT Medicaid waiver.
Reporting AbuseFor seniors living at home, report all suspected abuse to Adult Protective Services at 1-855-644-6277. For those living in a nursing home or assisted living facility, contact the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman at 1-800-282-1206.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does in-home care cost in Ohio?

According to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey 2019, in-home care costs an average of $4,290 per month in Ohio. This level of care does not include skilled nursing care. Home health services average slightly more at $4,385 and may include nursing care and other health services in addition to homemaking and personal care.

Does Ohio Medicaid pay for in-home care?

The PASSPORT Medicaid waiver may pay for some or all of the in-home support services needed by a senior to continue living safely at home. Financial and other eligibility restrictions apply. Seniors interested in this waiver must first obtain a letter from a physician detailing their need for assistive services and stating that with these services it will be safe for them to remain in the community.

Are there programs to cover home modifications in Ohio?

Ohio has a variety of senior service programs that may pay some or all the costs of home modifications. These programs are offered at the county level. For more information about availability, interested seniors should contact their local area agency on aging.

What does it mean to age in place?

Aging in place refers to seniors who choose to continue living in their own homes rather than transitioning to a retirement community, assisted living facility or nursing home.

What is the difference between in-home care and home health care?

In-home care covers a wide range of tasks that take no special training. For some seniors, home care might include yard work, housekeeping, laundry services, meal preparation, assistance getting dressed or simply offering companionship and supervision. Home health care may also include skilled nursing, wound care, rehabilitation therapy and other skilled healthcare services.

Home Care Services in Ohio (980)