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In-Home Care in Washington

Beautiful scenery, mild weather, world-class health care and friendly tax policies are just some of the reasons seniors are drawn to the state of Washington. According to the 2020 U.S. Census, more than 1.23 million people in Washington are aged 65 and older, which is double the number from 1980. This number is expected to grow to 1.86 million seniors by 2040. As the population ages, the need for great health care, such as the University of Washington Medical Center, and quality home care options will also increase.

In Washington, the average cost is $6,547 for in-home care and $6,578 per month for home health care. The light medical services provided by home health care explain the small price difference. These rates account for 40 hours of service per week.

This guide compares the cost of home care in Washington with nearby states, between cities within the state and against other types of senior care available. It also covers the resources that are available to seniors who want to age in place.

The Cost of In-Home Care in Washington

The Genworth Cost of Care Survey for 2021 shows that the average cost of home care in Washington is $6,547, which is about $1,600 more per month than the national average of $4,957. Idaho at $5,434 and Montana at $5,339 per month are both more than $1,000 less expensive per month. At $6,006 per month, Oregon has the closest average to Washington, but it is still about $500 less per month.



The United States








Among the major cities in Washington, there is a range of home care costs from $5,911 per month in Wenatchee to $7,245 per month in Mount Vernon. Olympia, the state capital, which costs $6,673 per month, is closest to the state average. Seattle at $6,769 per month is just slightly more expensive. Spokane in the eastern part of the state has a median price of $6,387. Longview in the south has an average rate of $6,054 per month. Finally, Yakima costs $5,958 per month, which is below the state average.







Mount Vernon








The median price for in-home care in Washington is $6,547 per month. The average rate for home health care is $6,578. The only more expensive type of senior care is a nursing home, which has an average price of $9,249 per month. Adult Day Health Care is the most affordable option for seniors who just need some supervision and care during daytime hours. Assisted living communities in Washington have an average price of $6,000 per month.

In-Home Care


Home Health Care


Adult Day Health Care


Assisted Living


Nursing Home


Does Medicaid Cover Home Care in Washington?

Washington’s Medicaid system, known as Apple Health, can pay for home care services within its managed care program and through a waiver program. If you are covered under Washington Apple Health Classic Medicaid coverage, you may be eligible for Health Home, which provides comprehensive care management, transition planning, individual and family support services, community referrals and health education. A coordinator will create a Health Action Plan that accounts for your health care and long-term support needs. To qualify, you’ll need to be eligible for Medicaid and have a qualifying chronic condition, such as cancer, respiratory disease, dementia and other physical and mental conditions.

Long-term services and supports coordinated by Health Home are delivered within guidelines for the Medicaid Personal Care (MPC) program and Tailored Supports for Older Adults (TSOA) program. Services include everything from homemaking and personal errand running to skilled nursing and therapy.

Home Care Waiver Programs in Washington

New Freedom Waiver

The New Freedom Waiver is a program that lets seniors at home direct their own care and manage their service budget. Each participant is given a spending plan and budget based on their assessed needs and preferences. A care coordinator will decide if you remain eligible for the program on an annual basis. Financial management consultants can help ensure you spend your program dollars wisely. You can use the funds from New Freedom to pay for:


  • Personal Assistance Services: Activities of daily living, health-related tasks, homemaking and transportation.
  • Treatment and Health Maintenance: Specialized therapies, health prevention and therapeutic massage.
  • Participant Directed Goods, Services and Supports: Assistive technology, environmental supports, home-delivered meals, home repairs, durable medical equipment and trained service animals
  • Environment and Vehicle Modifications: Ramps, grab bars, widened doorways, accessible bathrooms, fire safety adaptations and specialized electrical and plumbing systems.
  • Training and Education Services: Caregiver training in areas related to the needs of the beneficiary.


This program is currently limited to seniors living in King and Pierce Counties. You can apply by contacting your local Home & Community Services office. The numbers are 206-341-7750 for King County and 253-476-7200 for Pierce County.

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


To qualify for home care service under Medicaid in Washington, you’ll need to meet the income requirements. As a single applicant, you may not earn more than $10,092 per year and not have more than $2,000 in assets. Couples may not earn more than $15,132 per year and own more than $3,000 in assets. In most cases, your home does not count as an asset.


2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Washington

Income limits*Asset limits
Single Person$10,092$2,000
Two-Person Household$15,132$3,000

*Per Year

If you meet the income requirements, Medicaid also requires you to be:

  • 65 or older or Medicare eligible
  • A U.S. citizen or documented resident
  • A resident of Washington 


How to Apply for Medicaid in Washington

The quickest way to apply for Medicaid in Washington is to use the online application system at or the WAPlanfinder app. Apply over the phone by calling the Washington Healthplanfinder Customer Support Center at 855-923-4633. You can also print and fill out an application then mail it to DSHS or fax it to 888-338-7410. You can also take your filled-out application to your local Community Services Office (CSO).

What Information You Will Need

To complete an application for Washington Medicaid, you will need to provide:

  • Social security numbers
  • Immigration status
  • Birthdates
  • Income information
  • Asset information, such as bank statements, trusts, deeds and retirement accounts

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid

If you’re unable to apply for Medicaid on your own for any reason, the following organizations may be able to help. Assistance is available in a variety of languages and mediums. 

ProgramContactAreaServedServices provided
Customer Connect877-501-2233Entire StateThe Customer Connect program offers assistance with Medicaid applications at Community Services Offices and over the phone. Agents can help you find out which Medicaid programs you might be eligible for and the best way to sign up for those services. The program is run by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services.
Benefits.govOnline OnlyEntire CountryUse to determine if you are eligible for Medicaid or any other state or federally funded programs that can help pay for home care. The site includes a calculator that families can use to see if they are eligible for benefits based on their income.
Aging & Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs)360-725-3548Entire StateADRCs throughout the state of Washington help disabled seniors living at home access the services they need to age in place, including Medicaid coverage. Agents can evaluate your situation and help you apply for the programs that cover the in-home services you need.

Does Medicare Cover In-Home Care in Washington?

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 Washington

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 Washington

The following free and low-cost resources can make it easier and more affordable to age in place at home. Services are provided by public and private organizations.

Washington Association of Area Agencies on Aging (W4A)360-485-9761Entire StateW4A is a statewide membership organization that is made up of the 13 Area Agencies on Aging that serve seniors in communities throughout the state. These agencies provide caregiver support, care management, elder abuse prevention, legal services, nutrition and transportation. AAAs also operate senior centers and Community Living Connections, which are centers that help families access home care services and information about aging in place in their community.
Volunteer Services206-328-5696Entire StateCatholic Community Services is a nonprofit organization that offers volunteer services to help seniors who are living at home and need assistance. Services include housework, laundry, local transportation, yard care, shopping and minor home repairs. A volunteer coordinator will visit your home and evaluate your specific needs. They will then match you with a trained volunteer based on their availability and skills.
Property Tax ExemptionCounty Assessors and TreasurersEntire StateWashington's property tax exemption program for seniors may reduce the amount you owe for excess and regular levies. The program can also freeze the value of your home for tax purposes, saving you money in the long term. To qualify for this exemption, you must be at least 61 years of age and occupy the home receiving the exemption for at least six months out of the year. You must also not earn more than 65% of your county's median income or $40,000, whichever is greater. The state also offers a property tax deferral program.
Weatherization ProgramsList of Weatherization AgenciesEntire StateThe Washington State Department of Commerce contracts with local agencies in your community to help weatherize your property, saving you money on your heating and cooling bills. The program coordinates funds from LIHEAP and the weatherization program created by the U.S. Department of Energy. Service includes everything from insulation installation to door and window repair. The Department of Commerce also runs the Home Rehabilitation Loan Program.
AARP Washington866-227-7457Entire StateOne of the main goals of the Washington chapter of the AARP is to give families in the state the information and resources they need to age in place gracefully at home. The organization hosts online and in-person support groups, educational seminars and guides. Many of these resources are free, but you can also sign-up for a low-cost membership to take advantage of discounts and rewards in your community.

In-Home Care Laws and Regulations in Washington

The Washington State Department of Health is responsible for licensing home care agencies that provide nonmedical services to seniors. The DOH also conducts on-site, unannounced surveys periodically to ensure licensed agencies are operating according to state rules and requirements. The following table provides an overview of the rules and regulations governing Washington home care agencies.

Scope of CareHome care agencies in Washington may provide various nonmedical services to clients. These include assistance with personal hygiene, dressing, toileting, ambulation, transferring and eating. Home care aides may also perform household chores and essential shopping tasks, prepare meals, accompany clients to medical appointments and provide respite support to family caregivers.
Care Plan RequirementsA credentialed agency employee must develop a written care plan to be approved by the client, based on an on-site assessment and discussion. The plan must include the client's nutritional needs/food allergies, functional limitations and the specific nonmedical services an HCA will provide and how often. The plan must be updated after any change in the client's condition or needs and every 12 months at minimum.
Medication Management RequirementsHome care aides may provide reminders about taking medication, and may even hand a medication to a client, as long as the senior is fully aware of what they are doing.
Staff Screening RequirementsIndividuals who are already certified as home care aides must have a fingerprint background check completed by the DSHS when applying for work with a home care agency.
Staff Training RequirementsBefore individuals can begin work as home care aides, they must complete a 75-hour DSHS-approved training program and pass the HCA certification exam. Twelve hours of continuing education must be completed annually for a worker to maintain their certification.
Medicaid CoverageWashington Medicaid offers several programs that may help pay for in-home care. Eligible seniors may qualify for assistance through the Medicaid Personal Care, Community First Choice Option and Medicaid Alternative Care entitlement programs. Other alternatives are the Community Options Program Entry System and New Freedom waiver programs.
Reporting AbuseSuspected neglect, exploitation or abuse of a vulnerable Washington resident aged 60 or older may be reported to Adult Protective Services online via the agency's central intake form or by calling 877-734-6277.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Find an In-Home Care Provider in Washington

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.

Directory of Home Care Facilities in Washington

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Home Care in Washington

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Adams County 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 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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