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In-Home Care in Utah

With five national parks that display Utah’s abundant natural beauty and provide outdoor recreation opportunities for active senior citizens, it’s easy to see why Utah is an attractive retirement destination. High-ranking hospitals in Utah include the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City, which has been nationally ranked in two adult health care specialties, as well as Intermountain St. George Regional Hospital in St. George and Cache Valley Hospital in Cache.

Utah is a great location for aging in place thanks to home care options that make it easier for seniors to enjoy a good quality of life at home instead of moving to assisted living facilities or nursing homes. The options include in-home care and home health care. Although these terms sound similar, they involve different types of services. In-home care refers to routine household tasks, basic personal care and other non-clinical care, while home health care covers clinical services provided by professionals such as nurses and physical therapists. The average cost of in-home care in Utah is $5,625 per month.

This guide provides an exploratory introduction to in-home care in Utah and includes cost comparisons and available resources for seniors, who make up 11.4% of the state’s population.

The Cost of In-Home Care in Utah

At an average cost of $5,625 per month, in-home care in Utah is several hundred dollars more expensive than the national average of $4,957, according to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey. In-home costs in Utah are also more expensive than those in the neighboring states of Nevada at $5,148, Idaho at $5,434 and Wyoming at $5,529. The monthly costs of in-home care in Colorado rise to $6,387.

The United States

$4957

Nevada

$5148

Idaho

$5434

Wyoming

$5529

Colorado

$6387

Costs within Utah vary by location. The most expensive areas for in-home care in Utah are Provo and Ogden, where monthly costs average $5,720. Those in the northeastern corner of the state in Logan pay the least amount for in-home care at $4,957 per month, which matches the national average. At a monthly cost of $5,625, residents of the state’s largest metro area, Salt Lake City, pay the same as the overall Utah average, while their counterparts in St. George, which is located in the southwestern corner of the state near the Nevada and Arizona borders, pay an average of $5,148 for in-home care.

Provo

$5720

Ogden

$5720

Logan

$4957

Salt Lake City

$5625

St. George

$5148

Although in-home care in Utah is less expensive than nursing home care, it can come with a higher monthly price tag than other types of assistance. The average cost of a nursing home in Utah is $7,178 per month, which is $1,553 higher than in-home care. Those in assisted living facilities pay an average of $3,500 per month, which is $2,125 less expensive than in-home care. With a monthly cost of $1,939, adult day health care is $3,686 less than in-home care, while those opting for home health care pay an average of $5,720, which is only $95 more per month than in-home care.

In-Home Care

$5625

Home Health Care

$5720

Adult Day Health Care

$1939

Assisted Living

$3500

Nursing Home Care

$7178

Does Medicaid Cover Home Care in Utah?

Home Care Waiver Programs in Utah

Although Medicaid does not directly fund in-home care in Utah, there are two waiver programs in Utah that may help pay some of the costs of in-home care for seniors who choose to age in place. Each waiver has different requirements, including income limits for eligibility. The Aging Waiver covers non-clinical care such as homemaking and personal care. The New Choices Waiver covers residents of long-term care facilities who wish to return to community-based living and includes the costs of specific clinical services.

The Aging Waiver

The Aging Waiver is designed to provide supportive services that help recipients retain a high level of independence and a good quality of life. Covered services include basic household tasks such as light cleaning, laundry, meal preparation, household errands, medication reminders and non-medical transportation. The waiver also helps with emergency response systems and environmental accessibility adaptations. 

Because the Aging Waiver is not an entitlement, services are not guaranteed. The waiver program serves a limited number of individuals, and there is typically a waiting list. Recipients can only use the services that are deemed necessary for their particular situations. Recipients must be aged 65 or over, require a nursing home level of care and be eligible for Medicaid in Utah. Those who aren’t enrolled in Medicaid can apply through the Utah Department of Health

The New Choices Waiver

Utah also has a New Choices Waiver, which is designed to allow current residents of long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities and certain other licensed facilities to return to community-based living situations, including private homes. Unlike the Aging Waiver, the New Choices Waiver covers clinical services such as skilled nursing, rehabilitation services and specialized medical equipment; it may also cover costs of caregiver training, respite care and adult day health care. However, we’ve included it here because it also covers the costs of in-home care services such as homemaking and non-medical transportation. 

Those wishing to participate in the New Choices Waiver program must have been in an institutionalized care setting for a minimum amount of time and their needs must be able to be safely met in the environment they’ve chosen. They must also meet the requirements for standard Medicaid in Utah. If you aren’t already enrolled in Medicaid, you can apply through the Utah Department of Health

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

 

Medicaid applicants have to meet financial eligibility requirements. For single applicants, the annual income limit is $13,596 and the asset limit is $2,000. In a two-person household, where both people apply for Medicaid, the income limit is more at $18,312 with a $4,000 total asset limit. 

 

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Utah

Income limits*Asset limits
Single Person$13,596$2,000
Two-Person Household$18,312$4,000

* per year

Applicants for Medicaid in Utah must also meet the following basic requirements:

  • Be 65 or over
  • Be a U.S. citizen or have legal immigration status
  • Meet income limits 

 

How to Apply for Medicaid in Utah

You can apply for Medicaid in Utah in person, by mail or through the state’s online application portal. Although people typically find the online application option the most convenient, you can download an application from the Utah Department of Health’s website and either fax or mail it to the appropriate department. You can also hand-deliver your application by taking it to your local Department of Workforce Services Office. If you are unsure of where the closest one is located, enter your zip code here to find out. If you’re unable to print the application, call (866) 435-7414 to have one mailed to you.

Toll-Free Fax Number:  (888) 522-9505
P.O. Box 143245
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-3245

What Information You Will Need

You will need to provide information about your income and assets on your Medicaid application. Having documentation close at hand such as pay stubs, tax returns, bank statements and anything else regarding income and assets will aid in filling out the application. You should also be prepared to provide proof of citizenship or legal immigration status.

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid

Reach out to the following resources if you have trouble filling out your application, have general questions about Medicaid, have been denied or want to file an appeal:

ProgramContactAreaServedServices provided
Utah Department of Health MedicaidSalt Lake City Area:

(801) 538-6155 Toll-Free: (800) 662-9651
Entire StateUtah Department of Health staff is available by phone on weekdays from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. with the exception of Thursday, when staff is available to take calls from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. This office is closed during state and federal holidays.
Utah Department of Health Hearings UnitEntire State (800) 662-9651Entire StateIf you feel that your application for Medicaid has been unfairly denied, you can request a hearing from the Utah Department of Health Hearings Unit.
Utah Attorney General Medicaid Fraud Unit(801) 281-1259Entire StateContact the Utah Attorney General Medicaid Fraud Unit if you suspect that a care provider or health care professional is committing Medicaid fraud. Examples of fraud include being billed for services that were not performed, billing for services at a higher rate than usual and abuse and/or neglect by caregivers.

Does Medicare Cover In-Home Care in Utah?

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 Utah

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 Utah

There are many advantages of aging in place, including remaining connected with family and friends and living in a familiar household and neighborhood. However, there are also certain challenges involved with this option, including difficulties with transportation, routine household chores and navigating Medicare and Medicaid. The following list provides resources for seniors and their families designed to help with these challenges. 

ResourceContactAreaServedService
Utah Department of Human Services Aging and Adult Services(801) 538-3910Entire StateUtah residents aged 60 and over, their families and their caregivers have access to a wide range of programs and services through the Utah Division of Aging and Adult Services. This agency administers and oversees Utah's 12 local Area Agencies on Aging, which provide local services such as senior centers, slip and fall prevention workshops, congregate meals and assistance identifying and applying for relevant local, state and federal benefits.
Utah Department of Veterans and Military Affairs(801) 326-2372Entire StateUtah residents with honorable or general discharges from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, their dependents and qualifying survivors can access assistance applying for state and federal veterans' benefits from the Utah Department of Veterans and Military Affairs. Claims representatives are available during business hours on weekdays excluding state and federal holidays. The department also hosts several Benefit and Information Fairs throughout the state, workshops and other events designed to provide as much information as possible to veterans and their families.
Utah Legal ServicesOutside Salt Lake Country: (800) 662-4245 Inside Salt Lake County:
 (801) 328-8891
Entire StateWith offices in Salt Lake City, Ogden, Provo and St. George, Utah Legal Services provides low-income Utah residents with legal assistance for non-criminal cases. The organization has specialized units designed to serve the needs of special needs groups such as senior citizens.
Home Energy Assistance Target (HEAT) Program(866) 205-4357Entire StateThe HEAT program helps low-income Utah residents pay for utility costs. Contact the department by phone to find your local HEAT office and set up an appointment.
Medicare Assistance (SHIP)(800) 541-7735Entire StateThose who are eligible for Medicare and their families and caregivers can receive in-depth assistance and counseling while navigating the often complex process of applying for Medicare and choosing supplementary plans. This service is available at your local Area Agency on Aging.

In-Home Care Laws and Regulations in Utah

Personal care agencies in Utah are licensed, inspected and regulated by the Department of Health’s Bureau of Licensing and Certification. The table below provides an overview of the rules governing PCAs in Utah.

TopicRule
Scope of CarePersonal care agencies in Utah may provide various nonmedical in-home care services to seniors. Personal care aides employed by an agency may assist seniors with bathing, toileting, personal grooming, dressing, oral hygiene/denture care and eating. PCAs may also prepare meals, take and record a senior's temperature or weight, administer emergency first aid and provide transportation. PCAs must be supervised by a licensed nurse or certified nursing aide with a minimum of two years experience.
Care Plan RequirementsAn agency must assess each prospective client to confirm that the individual's care needs can be met, and then draft a service agreement detailing the services to be provided by a personal care aide and the charges for these services.
Medication Management RequirementsPersonal care aides can provide assistance to seniors with the self-administration of medications. This assistance can include providing reminders to take medications and opening mediset containers for a client. Medication must be placed in the container by a registered nurse who has completed a functional assessment and reviewed a senior's medication orders.
Staff Screening RequirementsAll PCA employees who work directly with clients must be tested for tuberculosis within two weeks of being hired, in accordance with the state's communicable disease rules.
Staff Training RequirementsPersonal care agencies are required to provide an orientation for all employees, which covers their job description and duties; confidentiality, ethics and client rights and the reporting requirements for suspected exploitation, abuse and neglect. Personal care aides must attend six hours of in-service training annually and be trained in first aid. A supervisor must evaluate each aide's job performance every six months.
Medicaid CoverageUtah's state Medicaid Plan covers up to 60 hours of in-home personal care services per month for low-income Medicaid-eligible seniors who meet specific functional criteria. The state also covers the cost of home care services through the Aging Waiver and New Choices Waiver programs, which provide similar services but have different eligibility requirements.
Reporting AbuseConcerned individuals can report unexplained injuries or suspected abuse or neglect of a vulnerable senior by calling Utah DHS Adult Protective Services at 1-800-371-7897. The helpline is operated Monday – Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Alternatively, an abuse report form can be completed and submitted online, 24/7.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Find an In-Home Care Provider in Utah

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.

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

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Caring.com

Caring.com is a leading online destination for caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones. We offer thousands of original articles, helpful tools, advice from more than 50 leading experts, a community of caregivers, and a comprehensive directory of caregiving services.

 

The material on this site is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal, financial, professional, or medical advice or diagnosis or treatment. By using our website, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

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