With 18.7% of Pennsylvania’s 13-million-plus population composed of people aged 65 and older, more than 2.4 million seniors call the Keystone State home. The overall cost of living is slightly lower than the national average and the lack of state income tax on retirement income can help seniors stretch funds further. The sales tax rate is also lower than average, as are crime rates. Pennsylvania has several high-performing hospitals, including the nationally-ranked Hospitals of Pennsylvania University and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside and Lancaster General Hospital.

Seniors have varied care choices in Pennsylvania, including in-home care and home health care. In-home care refers to non-clinical care provided by an aide, whereas home health care is the provision of medical care from a nurse, rehabilitation therapist or other health care professional. In Pennsylvania, in-home care and home health care cost an average of $4,957 per month.    

This guide provides an overview of in-home care in Pennsylvania. It compares the costs of long-term care and in-home care throughout Pennsylvania and in nearby states. You’ll also find a section on financial assistance, including Medicaid and Medicare, and a list of affordable resources for those aging at home.

The Cost of In-Home Care in Pennsylvania

According to Genworth’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey, in-home care in Pennsylvania costs an average of $4,957 per month. Neighboring Ohio shares the same median cost, and both states are on par with the U.S. average. Individuals receiving in-home care in West Virginia typically pay around $3,527 per month. Average fees increase to $5,148 in Maryland. Rates rise further in New Jersey and New York, where in-home care costs $5,529 and $5,339, respectively.  

$4957

Pennsylvania

$4957

The United States

$4957

Ohio

$3527

West Virginia

$5148

Maryland

$5529

New Jersey

$5339

New York

Throughout Pennsylvania, the costs of in-home care vary widely. Pittsburgh and Lancaster share the same average monthly cost of $5,339, representing the state’s highest rates for in-home care. At $5,329 per month, average rates are similar in Philadelphia. Prices drop slightly in Gettysburg, where seniors can expect to pay $5,291 each month. There are further savings in the state capital of Harrisburg and Scranton, where in-home care costs $4,767 and $4,576 per month respectively. At $3,813 per month, Johnstown has some of the state’s most affordable costs for in-home care.

$5339

Pittsburgh

$5329

Philadelphia

$4767

Harrisburg

$5291

Gettysburg

$4576

Scranton

$5339

Lancaster

$3813

Johnstown

In Pennsylvania, in-home care is more affordable than nursing home care, with average monthly rates of $4,957 and $10,403, respectively. Home health care costs the same as in-home care. At $4,100 per month, assisted living is a little more affordable than in-home care. However, seniors must live in a residential community rather than at home. In common with most states, adult day health care is the most affordable long-term care option in Pennsylvania, with an average cost of $1,625 per month.

$4957

In-Home Care

$4957

Home Health Care

$10403

Nursing Home Care

$4100

Assisted Living

$1625

Adult Day Health Care

Does Medicaid Cover Home Care in Pennsylvania?

Traditional Pennsylvania Medicaid, known as Medical Assistance, doesn’t cover non-medical home care. However, there is a Medicaid waiver program that pays for supportive services to enable older adults to remain at home. This program is known as the Community HealthChoices (CHC) Waiver.

Home Care Waiver Programs in Pennsylvania

Community HealthChoices Waiver

The Community HealthChoices Waiver replaced or absorbed the previous Aging Waiver, Attendant Care Program and Independence Waiver. The managed care program provides supportive services to enable eligible seniors to receive care at home rather than in an institutional setting. Care is personalized to meet individual needs and services may include:

  • Assistance with activities of daily living
  • Help with personal care
  • Home modifications
  • Assistive technology
  • Respite care
  • Nursing
  • Rehabilitation therapies
  • Counseling
  • Nutritional consultation
  • Home-delivered meals
  • Transportation

Seniors can choose their own managed care organization (MCO) for the provision of services and, in some situations, family members may be paid to provide care.

To qualify, individuals must be aged 60 or above and need a nursing home level of care. They must also be permanent residents of Pennsylvania and be either a U.S. citizen or qualifying non-citizen. There are income and asset limits too. An applicant’s annual income mustn’t exceed $30,276. Single seniors are subject to an asset limit of $2,000, while for joint-applicant couples the asset cap is doubled to $4,000. For couples where only one spouse applies for waiver services, the claimant spouse has an asset limit of $2,000 and the non-applicant spouse has an enhanced limit of $137,400.

You can contact the Health Care Coverage Consumer Service Center at 866-550-4355 to apply for waiver services.

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

To be eligible for Medical Assistance, applicants must satisfy income and asset requirements. For single claimants, the maximum permitted income is $10,357.20 per year. Applicants from two-person households have an annual income limit of $15,531.60. Asset caps are $2,000 and $3,000 for those from one- and two-person households, respectively.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Pennsylvania

Income Limits*
Asset Limits
Single Person
$10,357.20
$2,000
Two-Person Household
$15,531.60
$3,000

*Per year

Further eligibility requirements apply for Pennsylvania Medicaid. Applicants must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or legal alien
  • Live in Pennsylvania on a permanent basis

How to Apply for Medicaid in Pennsylvania

Seniors can conveniently apply for Pennsylvania Medicaid online via the COMPASS portal. You can also download an application form and return it by post or hand it to your local County Assistance Office (CAO). If you prefer, you can also visit a CAO to complete an in-person application. Alternatively, call the Consumer Service Center for Health Care Coverage at (866) 550-4355 to apply over the telephone.

What Information You Will Need

Medicaid has strict eligibility requirements and applicants must provide detailed information in support of their applications. You’ll need to include information about all income and countable assets. For your convenience, gather pay stubs, tax returns, recent bank statements, benefit award letters, health insurance policies and details of assets to hand. You’ll also need your Social Security number, and may be asked to provide proof of identity, citizenship status and in-state residency.      

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid

If you need assistance completing an application form or wish to check eligibility or claim statuses, Pennsylvania has several resources that can help. You can also obtain information about services and advice related to service provision. Contact these resources for assistance:

Contact
Area Served
Services Provided
(800) 692-7462
Entire State
Individuals can call the COMPASS Helpline for assistance completing applications. Advisors can also answer questions related to eligibility and provide general information about Medicaid. The Helpline is available between 8:30 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. on weekdays. The COMPASS website is also a useful source of information and features an eligibility checking tool.
Location Dependent
Entire State
Seniors may call or visit their local County Assistance Office to connect with knowledgeable caseworkers. Caseworkers provide information on Medicaid, other benefits and long-term living services. They can advise on eligibility and help with applications.
(800) 274-3258
Entire State
The nonprofit Pennsylvania Health Law Project provides assistance, representation and legal counseling to ensure individuals receive all health care benefits they are entitled to. Services include appealing adverse decisions and claim stoppages and helping resolve eligibility issues.

Does Medicare Cover In-Home Care in Pennsylvania?

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 Pennsylvania

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 Pennsylvania

Although aging at home provides diverse benefits for older adults, living alone can present challenges for seniors. Several organizations in Pennsylvania offer free or affordable programs and services to help older adults maintain a good quality of life and overcome challenges associated with aging in place.     

Contact
Area Served
Services Provided
Location Dependent
Entire State
Pennsylvania has a statewide network of Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) that provides services for people aged 60 and above. It offers senior-focused information and signposts to relevant external programs. Services include benefits guidance, tax advice, options counseling, legal, health screenings, home-delivered meals and transportation.
Entire State
Low-income seniors can obtain free weatherization services in Pennsylvania. Services are provided by local partner agencies and include insulation and ventilation, draft reduction and replacement or modification of heating systems. The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) seeks to make homes more energy-efficient which reduces bills and enhances comfort.
(877) 727-7529
Entire State
Pennsylvania’s SeniorLAW Center provides free civil legal advice and representation for those aged 60 and above. Areas include housing, debt, benefits, abuse, wills, powers of attorney, advance health care directives, exploitation and consumer issues. Seniors may make an appointment to visit one of the center’s five offices, located in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Chester, Bucks and Delaware counties. Alternatively, advisors can assist over the phone via the statewide HelpLine, available between 10 a.m. and 12 noon Monday through Thursday.
Entire State
Operated by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging and administered by local AAAs, the Help at Home (OPTIONS) program provides services to support people aged 60 or over who live at home. Services are free or subsidized, depending on an applicant’s income. Statewide services include home-delivered meals, help with personal care, care management and adult day care, while localized services may also include home modifications, assistance with housekeeping tasks, pest control and assistive technology.
(717) 783-1550
Entire State
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging operates two transportation programs for those aged at least 65. The Free Transit Program allows free travel on fixed-route local transport. Seniors can obtain a senior citizen transit identification card from select local transit operators. The Shared-Ride Program provides door-to-door transportation for a reduced fare.
(866) 857-7095
Entire State
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides one-time cash grants to low-income households to assist with energy bills. Grants are sent directly to fuel providers and credited against a person’s bill. Amounts vary depending on individual circumstances. If you find yourself in an unexpected emergency situation you may also qualify for a crisis grant. The crisis program may assist in cases of lack of fuel, disconnection of heating services, equipment breakdown and a notice of termination of utility services.

COVID-19 Rules for In-Home Care Providers in Pennsylvania

Unless exempt, all workers who provide in-home care in the United States must be vaccinated against Sars-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccine mandates cover both home care aides and home health care workers. Regulations are current as of April 2022, but new rules may be introduced by national or state governments at any time. Your local Area Agency on Aging can provide information about updated requirements. Service providers may implement further requirements for employees, such as more stringent vaccination requirements and stricter use of PPE. Contact your service provider agency if you wish to discuss any concerns or have any questions about agency practices.

In-Home Care Laws and Regulations in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is responsible for regulating home care providers in the state. The DOH conducts on-site compliance checks and interviews with staff and patients to ensure continued compliance. The table below gives an overview of the rules and regulations in the State of Pennsylvania. 

In-Home Care Laws and Regulations in Pennsylvania
Scope of Care
Home care agencies may provide assistance with activities of daily living, personal care, homemaking, companionship, respite, and any other non-skilled services that a patient may need. 
Care Plan Requirements
Prior to administering service, home care agencies must provide patients with information regarding the services they will receive, the identity of the person providing care, all costs and fees associated with care, and the hours when care will be administered. Patients have a right to be involved in the care planning process.
Medication Management Requirements
Home care providers may assist patients with self-administered medications. 
Staff Screening Requirements
All staff must undergo a criminal background check and child abuse screening. Those who will have direct contact with patients must be screened for tuberculosis. 
Staff Training Requirements
Care providers must either have a nursing license or pass a competency exam. Those who do not have a nursing license must also complete the Department of Health nurse aide certification or a training program approved by the state. Administrators should review staff competency at least once per year. 
Medicaid Coverage
The Community HealthChoices and LIFE waiver programs will cover some or all of the cost of in-home care for those who qualify. 
Reporting Abuse
Abuse should be reported to the office of the long-term care ombudsman at 717-783-8975 or LTC-ombudsman@pa.gov. 

How to Find an In-Home Care Provider in Pennsylvania

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.

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.

2017, 2018, 2019

Home Instead – Oakmont, PA

661 Allegheny Ave, Oakmont, PA, 15139

All of the caregivers were good. Pamela, the client care coordinator, was very helpful. She came to the hospital to give the contract and finalize our plan.
All of the caregivers were good. Pamela, the client care coordinator, was very helpful. She came to the hospital to give the contract and finalize our plan.

2017, 2018, 2019

Home Instead – Bethel Park, PA

1500 Oxford Dr, Suite 10, Bethel Park, PA, 15102

I asked every question that I wanted answered. I got excellent answers and excellent service. I highly recommend this agency!
I asked every question that I wanted answered. I got excellent answers and excellent service. I highly recommend this agency!

2018, 2022

Home Instead – Pittsburgh, PA

21 Yost Blvd, Suite 400, Pittsburgh, PA, 15221

We have been using Home Instead for over two years to be able to keep our mother in her home. Their care has been exceptional in making sure our mother is comfortable and having all of her needs met. … (read more)
We have been using Home Instead for over two years to be able to keep our mother in her home. Their care has been exceptional in making sure our mother is comfortable and having all of her needs met. … (read more)

Home Instead – Northwest Pittsburgh, PA

4900 Perry Hwy, Building One, Suite 100, Pittsburgh, PA, 15229

The team that my family encountered at Home Instead was compassionate, empathetic, and kept my father’s dignity as the top priority. I appreciate the service being available to families as an alternat … (read more)
The team that my family encountered at Home Instead was compassionate, empathetic, and kept my father’s dignity as the top priority. I appreciate the service being available to families as an alternat … (read more)

Home Instead – Pleasant Hills, PA

491 E Bruceton Rd, Suite 202, Pleasant Hills, PA, 15236

Caregivers were very professional and attentive to my wife’s needs. Office staff guided me through the process and answered all questions. Highly recommend Home Instead Senior Care.
Caregivers were very professional and attentive to my wife’s needs. Office staff guided me through the process and answered all questions. Highly recommend Home Instead Senior Care.

2022

Right at Home West Pittsburgh

‌1346 Silver Ln ‌Ste 103 ‌, Coraopolis, PA, 15108

They need to send me a caregiver that is more dedicated. I am not completely satisfied. The caregiver is not totally tuned in.
They need to send me a caregiver that is more dedicated. I am not completely satisfied. The caregiver is not totally tuned in.

Home Instead – Uniontown, PA

659 Pittsburgh Rd, Uniontown, PA, 15401

They are kind and helpful. Their help is always on time and my caregiver is very happy to do anything to help me. The agency is there for all people anytime we call. Thank you, Rita Wengerd
They are kind and helpful. Their help is always on time and my caregiver is very happy to do anything to help me. The agency is there for all people anytime we call. Thank you, Rita Wengerd

Right at Home North Pittsburgh

100 Perry Highway Suite #109, Suite 109, Harmony, PA, 16037

My mother resides in a suite in our home, and has been receiving daily care by 3 lovely aides: Diane, Linda, and Chris. Each of them is professional, caring, and brings a smile daily to our home. … (read more)
My mother resides in a suite in our home, and has been receiving daily care by 3 lovely aides: Diane, Linda, and Chris. Each of them is professional, caring, and brings a smile daily to our home. … (read more)

Always Best Care of Fox Chapel

226 Grant Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15209

We have Always Best Care of Pittsburgh. They help my mom with whatever she needs, like a run to the store, making food, laundry, and that sort of thing. I haven’t had any trouble with the agency. We’v … (read more)
We have Always Best Care of Pittsburgh. They help my mom with whatever she needs, like a run to the store, making food, laundry, and that sort of thing. I haven’t had any trouble with the agency. We’v … (read more)

Senior Helpers of New Kensington, PA

356 Freeport St., Suite 100, New Kensington, PA, 15068

My father is using Senior Helpers. Eating is becoming an issue. His caregiver is an excellent cook, and she’s very good at keeping track of him and working with him. I don’t have any complaints about … (read more)
My father is using Senior Helpers. Eating is becoming an issue. His caregiver is an excellent cook, and she’s very good at keeping track of him and working with him. I don’t have any complaints about … (read more)

Home Stay Comfort Care

322 Northshore Dr, Suite 279, Pittsburgh, PA, 15212

Provided daytime care for elderly parent. Caring and flexible. Genuinely honest and open communication. Rarely a problem with scheduling. Clear and easy billing
Provided daytime care for elderly parent. Caring and flexible. Genuinely honest and open communication. Rarely a problem with scheduling. Clear and easy billing

Right at Home South Hills & Washington County, PA

3637 Washington Rd., Suite 4, Mcmurray, PA, 15317

I’ve been pleased with Right at Home. Most of the caregivers had been fine; I had a little trouble with one, but it wasn’t serious. It was just for companionship, and I chose them because they wer … (read more)
I’ve been pleased with Right at Home. Most of the caregivers had been fine; I had a little trouble with one, but it wasn’t serious. It was just for companionship, and I chose them because they wer … (read more)

Right at Home Greensburg

4099 William Penn Hwy Ste #808, Monroeville, PA, 15146


Home Instead – Washington, PA

1500 W Chestnut St, Suite 650, Washington, PA, 15301


Right at Home Greater Pittsburgh

1514 Electric Ave, East Pittsburgh, PA, 15112


Senior Helpers of Southwest Pittsburgh

100 Broughton Road , Bethel Park, PA, 15102

More than 90% of seniors want to be able to age in their own homes with dignity but getting the right type of care can seem daunting. At Senior Helpers of Southwest Pittsburgh, we believe that getting … (read more)
More than 90% of seniors want to be able to age in their own homes with dignity but getting the right type of care can seem daunting. At Senior Helpers of Southwest Pittsburgh, we believe that getting … (read more)

Mercy Living Home & Staffing

1109 Towervue Drive , Pittsburgh, PA, 15227

When the time comes that extra care is required, whether due to age or health condition, many people prefer the familiarity and comfort of their own home. At Mercy Living Home & Staffing, we believe t … (read more)
When the time comes that extra care is required, whether due to age or health condition, many people prefer the familiarity and comfort of their own home. At Mercy Living Home & Staffing, we believe t … (read more)

MBfaithful home care

1222 Hope Hollow Rd , Carnegie, PA, 15106

MB Faithful Home Care LLC is a distinguished provider of dignified and personalized care for families in Pennsylvania. We champion your well-being and peace of mind with a sense of professional pride … (read more)
MB Faithful Home Care LLC is a distinguished provider of dignified and personalized care for families in Pennsylvania. We champion your well-being and peace of mind with a sense of professional pride … (read more)

BrightStar Care NW Pittsburgh

400 Mount Lebanon Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA, 15234

They could find someone who is consistent. I haven’t gotten my total hours since I’ve used BrightStar.
They could find someone who is consistent. I haven’t gotten my total hours since I’ve used BrightStar.

BrightStar Care North Hills / Pittsburgh

5000 McKnight Rd Suite 200, Pittsburgh, PA, 15237

The caregivers have helped the most by providing attentive support. I enjoy the professionalism and the employees that we have had working for us. Even in the case where we had an employee that wasn … (read more)
The caregivers have helped the most by providing attentive support. I enjoy the professionalism and the employees that we have had working for us. Even in the case where we had an employee that wasn … (read more)

Home Care Services in Pennsylvania (1142)