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Assisted Living in Idaho

Idaho is an appealing destination for assisted living residents who are looking for an area with wide-open spaces, a reasonable cost of living and retirement-friendly tax policies. The Gem State is home to 1.9 million residents, including 310,000 senior citizens. Idaho is aging faster than the rest of the nation, and it ranks as one of the nation’s fastest-growing states over the past decade. In our 2024 Senior Living Report, Idaho came in 27th for its quality of life, and it ranked 11th for its affordability. Assisted living is particularly affordable. Facilities in Idaho typically charge $3,838 per month compared to the national average of $4,500, which saves residents almost $8,000 a year.

This guide takes an in-depth look at assisted living in Idaho, including Medicaid benefits, financial assistance programs and licensing regulations. You’ll also find detailed cost comparisons and a directory of free resources to help you learn more about your options.

The Cost of Assisted Living in Idaho

When trying to decide how to pay for assisted living, one of the first questions that comes up is "How much does it cost?" With the impact of inflation, it's more important than ever to have up-to-date information when making a financial plan for senior living. To help shed light on real senior living prices, has compiled proprietary cost data from its network of over 75,000 senior living providers to offer insight into the average cost of assisted living in Idaho and its 16 cities.

The Cost of Assisted Living in Idaho's Top Cities

Assisted living prices vary between Idaho cities. Boise has a monthly rate of $4,180, while it's higher in Idaho Falls at $4,463. Costs are lower in Caldwell, where seniors can expect to pay about $3,863 for assisted living, but they rise again in Lewiston to $4,128 per month.





Idaho Falls






Inflation's Impact on the Cost of Assisted Living in Idaho

Inflation has contributed to rising assisted living costs in Idaho. Between 2022 and 2023, prices rose 14% from $3,864 to $4,388 and are estimated to increase another 17% to $5,122 in 2024. Meanwhile, the U.S. average is anticipated to rise by nearly 8% between 2023 and 2024. In Washington, prices increased by 14% in 2023, while Oregon experienced a 19% jump. Although Montana saw a smaller increase of 4%, Wyoming's monthly rates surged by 27%.

Note that 2024 projections aren't guaranteed, but the upward trend suggests careful planning is necessary to account for rising costs.

Location2022 Cost (Historical)2023 Cost (Current)2024 Cost (Estimated)
U.S. Average$4,070$4,459$4,802

The Costs of Other Types of Senior Living

Senior living costs in Idaho fluctuate based on the level of assistance offered. For example, assisted living is $4,388 per month, while the specialty services at memory care bring prices up to $5,170. Independent living is the most affordable monthly rate at $2,840 because personal or medical care aren't typically required.

Assisted Living


Memory Care


Independent Living


Does Medicaid Cover Assisted Living in Idaho?

Idaho covers assisted living and personal care services as part of its Medicaid program for the aged and disabled. The Personal Care Services Program is part of the state’s Medicaid State Plan, which means that it’s an entitlement available to all seniors who meet financial and medical eligibility requirements. This program is designed to help seniors remain in their own homes or in a residential setting of their choice, including an adult care home or assisted living facility.

What Assisted Living Services Are Covered by Medicaid in Idaho?

PCSP helps beneficiaries with the activities of daily living while increasing their independence and quality of life. It covers the following services:


  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Meal preparation
  • Grocery shopping or errands
  • Medication management
  • Companionship
  • Personal care and hygiene
  • Mobility and transfers 


Similar services are covered by the state’s Aged & Disabled Waiver, which provides an alternative to nursing home care. A waiting listing may apply for these services because this is a section 1915(c) waiver rather than an entitlement program.

Other Medicaid Programs

The state also offers Medicaid Plus Managed Long Term Services and Supports for dually eligible Medicaid-Medicare beneficiaries in certain counties. The Medicaid-Medicare Coordinated Plan covers personal assistance, skilled nursing, dental care and prescriptions. Idaho Medicaid Plus provides primary and emergency medical care, skilled nursing and personal care. Passive enrollment in the Aged & Disabled Waiver is available in select counties through these plans.

Seniors who receive SSI or are classified as very low income may receive Aid to the Aged, Blind, and Disabled Cash Assistance to help with daily living expenses, including room and board at an assisted living facility. Eligibility is based on income and resources, and monthly cash benefits depend on the individual’s living arrangements. Income is typically limited to $894, which is equal to the Federal Benefit Rate plus a nominal personal needs allowance. 

Assisted Living Waiver Programs in Idaho

Idaho Home- and Community-Based Services Aged & Disabled Waiver 

Idaho covers many assisted living services through its Aged & Disabled Medicaid Waiver. This program provides an alternative to nursing home care for seniors who meet medical and financial eligibility requirements. Disabled adults and seniors aged 65 or older may qualify for the following services:


  • Adult day health care
  • Residential care
  • Personal care attendants
  • Homemaker services
  • Chore assistance
  • Counseling
  • Accessibility modifications
  • Home-delivered meals
  • Non Medical transportation
  • Medical supplies and equipment
  • Personal emergency response systems 


If you or a loved one currently lives in a nursing home and would like to return to your own home or to a less restrictive setting, such as an assisted living facility, this waiver program can help with the transition. Contact your Area Agency on Aging to learn more about this program and other home- and community-based supports.

How To Know if You’re Eligible for Medicaid in Idaho

Idaho’s Medicaid program and home- and community-based services waivers will cover assisted living if these supports are medically necessary and you meet financial requirements. The state sets the income limit at 300% of the federal benefit rate, with adjustments for a personal needs allowance. For 2023, the income limit is $2,762 per month per applicant. There’s also a $2,000 limit on assets, but you can keep a car and many personal belongings. Your home may also be excluded if your spouse will continue to live there.

Household SizeNumber of ApplicantsIncome Limits Per Year*Asset Limits: Applicant(s)Asset Limits: Non-Applicants
One Person1$33,144$2,000
Two People1$33,144**$2,000$148,620
Two People 2$66,048$3,000***

* Depending on the facility setting, a recipient may not be able to keep income up to this level.

** Income limit is for applicant only.

***This limit is only for couples who are both on Medicaid and live together. If they're on Medicaid, but live separately, such as one getting care at home and the other in a facily setting, the asset limit is $2,000 per spouse.

In addition to meeting these financial requirements, you must prove the following to qualify for Medicaid long-term care.


  • You live in Idaho
  • You are a U.S. citizen or qualifying noncitizen
  • You are aged 65 or older or meet Social Security disability standards


How To Apply for Medicaid in Idaho

The first step toward receiving long-term care benefits is submitting a Medicaid application. If you’re eligible, you’ll be contacted to schedule a personal needs assessment once your application is processed. For your convenience, there are several ways to apply for Medicaid.

Paper applications can be emailed, faxed or mailed to the Department of Health & Welfare using the following information:

Information You Will Need 

  • Personal details
  • Contact information
  • A valid government-issued ID
  • Proof of citizenship or immigration
  • Income information
  • A list of assets
  • Details about health and insurance
  • Monthly expenses

How To Get Help Applying for Medicaid

Applying for Medicaid is a complex process. You can hire an independent Medicaid navigator or long-term care planner. Additionally, you can turn to one of the following departments or helplines for assistance.

ProgramContactServices provided
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare(877) 456-1233For general questions about Medicaid or help with other public benefits, such as food stamps, contact the Department of Health and Welfare customer service line directly, or send an email to
DHW Office Locator211The DHW operates 28 regional offices, including units that focus on nursing home benefits, long-term care and community-based services. Use the state's online locator tool or call 211 to find an office near you.
Medicaid Replacement Cards(866) 686-4752If you have lost or misplaced your Medicaid card, you can contact the DHW at the number listed to request a replacement.
Medicaid Appeals and Fair Hearings(877) 456-1233If you’ve been denied benefits or your coverage has been reduced, you have 30 days to appeal the decision starting on the date printed on the notice. Requests can be made online or by contacting the agency by mail, email or fax.

Does Medicare Cover Assisted Living in Idaho?

The short answer is that no, Medicare does not cover the cost of assisted living in Idaho. Assisted living facilities are considered to be a “residential setting” and not a “clinical setting,” (think nursing homes). While Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of care received in an assisted living community, it does still cover things like approved medications, doctor visits, medical equipment, etc., just like it would if you lived at home.

For more information about when Medicare can be used to pay for senior living in a nursing home, and for Medicare-related resources, see our guide to Nursing Homes in Idaho.

Other Financial Assistance Options for Assisted Living in Idaho

Seniors who are not eligible (due to location, financial situation, or other factors) for other types of financial assistance, do still have some options. See the table below for an overview of some of the most common ways to make Assisted Living affordable.

NameHow To ApplyHow It Works
Aid and AttendanceLearn more and apply online at who receive a VA pension may also be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit, a monthly cash allowance that veterans receive in addition to their standard pension amount. The benefit is intended for veterans in need of long-term care services and may be used towards paying for Assisted Living.
Reverse MortgagesLearn more about your options and how to apply at ftc.govIf you own a home, you may be able to use a reverse mortgage to help pay for Assisted Living. Reverse mortgages are loans that one can take out against the value of their home, essentially converting some of the home's equity into cash. Reverse mortgage loans do need to be repaid with interest, typically within 12 months of receiving the loan.
Long-Term Care (LTC) InsuranceLearn more about Long-Term Care Insurance and how to apply for a policy at who already have long-term care insurance may be able to use it to pay for Assisted Living. Most policies cover at least a portion of the cost, but it depends on the specific policy terms. Note that older adults who are already in need of Assisted Living will not typically be eligible to sign up for a LTC insurance policy.

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Idaho

There are many resources in Idaho that assist seniors in their retirement. has compiled information on local organizations, programs and agencies and categorized them into care types for easy reference.

Area Agency on Aging

Retirees can find support and advice on various senior-related issues from their local Area Agency on Aging. The agency provides advice on topics such as financial assistance programs, in-home care and long-term care planning. It also connects seniors and caregivers with community-based resources.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Idaho Area Agencies on AgingIdaho's senior population can seek answers, advice and support services from six Area Agencies on Aging located throughout the state. These agencies are intended as the first point of contact for seniors (60+), caregivers and family members who need help navigating the various federal, state and local services available. These services include transportation, home-delivered meals, wellness clinics and recreational opportunities. In Idaho, the six AAAs are also the designated Aging and Disability Resource Centers.

Cash Assistance Programs

Cash assistance programs in Idaho provide financial support to help low-income retirees remain in their own homes for as long as possible. Seniors and caregivers can apply for tax rebates and reductions, discounts on vital services and help covering the cost of heating and cooling their home.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Idaho Lifeline Program800-234-9473The LifeLine Program offers a discount on landline or mobile telephone service, ensuring that participants can stay in contact with loved ones.

Food Assistance Programs

Local organizations help ensure elderly citizens have a balanced diet and receive essential vitamins and minerals to remain healthy. Through nutrition programs, congregate meals, home-delivered meals and food pantries, these programs help Idaho seniors afford the nutritious food they need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Idaho commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)208-336-9643Idaho Commodity Supplemental Food Program is an initiative providing nutrition assistance to low-income seniors aged 60 and older. The program aims to improve the overall health and dietary intake of vulnerable seniors and reduce the risk of malnutrition. Through CSFP, seniors receive monthly food packages containing nutritious staples, including canned fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products and proteins, ensuring recipients have access to well-balanced meals. Shelf-stable items such as ready-to-eat cereals, rice, pasta and peanut butter may also be included.
Idaho Congregate MealsIdaho congregate meals are available at senior centers throughout the state, providing food-insecure seniors with access to regular meals. Seniors can visit these sites to enjoy a hot, nutritious meal with other residents. Each senior center follows a different schedule, so interested Idaho residents should contact their local center to learn when meals are available. Many of these programs also offer delivered meals for homebound seniors who can't easily visit a congregate setting.
Idaho Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)208-375-7382In coordination with the United States Department of Agriculture, Idaho's Emergency Food Assistance Program provides food for low-income seniors and others in the state who meet certain annual and monthly income limits. Food is delivered at a local level through Emergency Feeding Organizations at food banks, soup kitchens and pantries. To be eligible for the program, applicants must have an income that is 250% or less than the federal poverty line. Each local agency may have its own documentation requirements.
Idaho Meals on WheelsIdaho Meals on Wheels is a volunteer-supported organization that provides home-delivered meals to seniors throughout the state. Volunteers deliver hot, nutritious meals to homebound seniors Monday through Friday, with additional frozen meals available for the weekend. Homebound seniors ages 60 and older can apply for meals through their local Meals on Wheels organization or Senior Services Agency.
Idaho Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)877-456-1233Idaho Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program helps Idaho seniors and low-income families obtain healthy food. Formerly known as food stamps, this program provides seniors with an electronic benefits transfer card loaded with money from their SNAP account to purchase eligible food items, including bread and cereals, fruits and vegetables, meat, fish and poultry and dairy products. Eligibility for SNAP is based on residency, income and assets. Immediate food assistance is available within 7 days for those who are eligible.

Free Used Medical Equipment

Due to the high cost of purchasing new medical equipment, several organizations in Idaho collect lightly used medical devices such as wheelchairs, ramps and walkers and distribute them to local seniors and residents in need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Idaho Idaho Assistive Technology Project (IATP)800-432-8324IATP facilitates the Idaho AT4ALL Exchange, which allows people to buy and sell used equipment. The program lists some available equipment for free. The organization also loans equipment and has financial loans available to help people finance DME purchases.
Idaho Living Independence Network Connection (LINC)208-336-3335LINC mainly offers equipment loans for a wide range of products, including wheelchairs, walkers and bath seats. It may also provide a free option for some people and can help individuals access loans and financing.

Health Insurance & Prescription Drug Coverage for Seniors

Idaho seniors who meet certain income criteria can apply to local resources to help them pay for prescription drugs. Eligible residents can also receive assistance through health insurance and other programs to access free or discounted medical services.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Idaho Senior Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA)800-247-4422SHIBA is a free program managed by the Idaho Department of Insurance that provides seniors in Sandpoint with information and advice on various health insurance options. Those old enough to apply for Medicare can get detailed information from the advisors, who can also suggest suitable private health insurance to cover any shortfalls in their state health insurance plans. As the advisors are unbiased, seniors needn't worry about being sold policies. The advisors can also support those denied Medicare by helping them draft and submit their appeals.

Home Repair and Modifications

Seniors and those with disabilities can access a variety of local resources to help them pay for home repairs and modifications. Programs in Idaho have different eligibility criteria and often assist retirees by providing grants or loans.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Idaho Rural Development State Office800-292-8293The Section 504 Repair Program provides single-family housing repair and loans and grants. It's offered in rural Idaho by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Low-interest loans of up to $40,000 are available, but people aged 62 and over may qualify for a grant of up to $10,000. Recipients can combine grants and loans to provide $50,000 in funding.
Idaho Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)877-375-7382WAP is another program offered by local CAPs. Qualified homeowners and renters can get a range of repairs and improvements to enhance the energy efficiency of their home, including insulation installation, heating system testing and minor repairs.

Senior Engagement

Senior engagement resources and programs in Idaho help older adults remain active and ensure they contribute to the community. Resources include wellness programs, volunteer opportunities, support groups and organizations that help residents connect with the community to live fulfilling lives.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Idaho Commission on Aging877-471-2777The Idaho Commission on Aging administers a wide range of programs to promote healthy, safe aging. These include senior nutrition services, congregate meals, transportation, case management, legal advice and relief services for unpaid caregivers. Adult Protective Services are available to those who have experienced abuse or neglect, and Senior Medicare Patrol helps beneficiaries combat fraud and billing errors. Many of these programs are administered by the state's Aging and Disability Resource Centers and Area Agencies on Aging.
Idaho Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)208-454-8555The Senior Community Service Employment Program connects low-income adults 55 and older with training and employment opportunities should they wish to reenter the workforce. The program connects them to the training they need to gain real-world work skills.

Social Security Offices

Social Security offices in Idaho help seniors and disabled people access the benefits they're entitled to. Older adults can contact their local office for information about receiving retirement benefits, disability allowance and Supplemental Security Income.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Idaho Social SecuritySocial Security is a source of income available to retirees and people who can no longer work because of a disability. The money for Social Security comes from a payroll tax levied on employers, employees and self-employed individuals. When you retire, you'll receive monthly payments based on how much you earned when you were working.

Tax Assistance

Seniors can apply for tax assistance from several Idaho resources. Elderly residents and those with disabilities could be eligible for tax exemptions on medical expenses, reductions on property tax and other tax assistance programs.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Idaho State Tax Commission208-334‑7736Idaho's Property Tax Reduction program is also known as the Circuit Breaker program. It reduces property taxes for eligible homeowners by up to $1,500, depending on income. Idaho also has a property tax deferral program, allowing people to defer taxes on property and up to one acre of land. The participant must pay these taxes when the property ownership changes or it no longer qualifies for deferral.

Veteran's Services

Idaho retirees who have served in the U.S. military can find support from local veteran services. These offices and organizations help vets access the benefits they're eligible for and provide advice and information on a variety of issues.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Idaho Veteran ServicesIdaho Veteran Services offers specialized health care and social assistance for seniors aged 65 and over. Senior veterans in Idaho can receive quality care through outpatient locations and clinics in Kootenai, Mountain Home and Salmon, as well as at a full-service medical center in Boise. The agency offers funding for in-home care, support with daily living activities, visiting nurses and skilled nursing and memory care placement.

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Idaho

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is responsible for licensing residential assisted living facilities and ensuring that they follow state regulations for health, safety, staffing and resident care. You can learn more about these requirements below.

Assisted Living Service Plan RequirementsResidential assisted living facilities must complete a comprehensive assessment before admitting each resident. Findings must be used to create a personalized plan of care within 14 days of admission. Care plans are reassessed annually or following a change in health. A registered nurse is required to visit the facility at least once every 90 days to complete quarterly health assessments.
Assisted Living Admission RequirementsFacilities must develop written policies and procedures regarding admissions, transfers and discharge. They are prohibited from admitting residents who are violent, unable to self-evacuate or require ongoing skilled nursing or other services the facility isn't licensed to provide.
Assisted Living Scope of CareResidential assisted living facilities provide room, board, personal care and assistance with daily activities in a homelike environment that promotes residents' dignity and independence. These services include supervision, housekeeping, laundry and medication assistance if needed. Administrators must develop policies to encourage socialization and on- and off-site recreation.
Assisted Living Medicaid PolicyMedicaid covers personal care and other assisted living services in Idaho. These benefits are available to individuals who meet medical and financial criteria as a way to delay the need for nursing home placement.
Assisted Living Facility RequirementsIdaho has specific standards for common areas and resident accommodations. Facilities must provide at least 30 square feet of communal living areas, dining rooms and activity spaces for each licensed bed or unit. Private sleeping areas are required to include at least 100 square feet of floor space. Designated rooms may be shared by up to two or four residents depending on the facility's age. There are additional requirements for closets, windows, exterior access and security and emergency call systems.
Medication Management RegulationsIf residents require assistance with prescription or over-the-counter medications, activities must be carried out by a licensed nurse or an unlicensed worker who has completed an approved training course. Facilities and staff must comply with applicable regulations established by the Idaho Board of Nursing.
Staffing RequirementsWritten staffing policies are required based on the facility's configuration and the number of residents. Facilities must maintain sufficient staff to meet residents' needs and provide care that's consistent in their negotiated service agreements. Attendants are required to be awake and available 24 hours a day in each building or unit, and at least one direct-care worker who is certified in CPR and first aid must be on-site at all times. Some services must be performed by a licensed nurse.
Staff Training RequirementsFacilities must develop written policies for staff training and keep appropriate records in personnel files. Staff members are required to complete at least 16 hours of orientation in their first 30 days of employment before providing unsupervised assistance. Staff also complete at least 8 hours of continued training annually. Additional training is required for staff who serve individuals with specific conditions, such as dementia or traumatic brain injuries.
Background Checks for Assisted LivingIdaho requires a criminal history and background check for all direct-care workers and contractors. New employees must self-disclose any convictions, and facilities must check a number of databases, including the state's nurse aide registry.
Requirements for Reporting AbuseFacilities must have written policies and procedures for preventing and reporting abuse, and administrators are required to investigate reports within 30 days. Reports of abuse, neglect or exploitation should be made to Adult Protective Services. The Idaho Commission on Aging provides an online system for mandated reporters. All other parties should contact their Area Agency on Aging for assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Assisted Living Facilities in Idaho

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