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Assisted Living in Ohio

With 11.7 million residents, including 2 million seniors, Ohio is the nation’s seventh most populous state, and the number of seniors is projected to increase by more than 30% in the coming years.

While Ohio lags behind other contenders in our 2024 Senior Living Report, it ranks in the top 20 for senior housing, transportation, affordability and community involvement. The cost of living is 17% lower than the national average, which is ideal for retirees who want to stretch their savings. Ohio is also home to several nationally recognized medical centers, including the Cleveland Clinic. Residents in need of assisted living can choose from 774 licensed facilities. The median cost of care in these facilities is $4,635 per month, which is $135 above the national average.

This guide explores the cost of assisted living and long-term care in Ohio and the state’s major cities, and it takes an in-depth look at financial assistance programs. You’ll also find information about assisted living regulations and state agencies that can help you access and pay for the care you need.

The Cost of Assisted Living in Ohio

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 Ohio and its 106 cities.

The Cost of Assisted Living in Ohio's Top Cities

In Ohio, where the median monthly senior care cost is $4,478, prices vary across cities. Seniors seeking to reside in Dayton should anticipate a cost of $4,241 per month, lower than the state's median. Additionally, Cleveland offers the most affordable average monthly cost at $2,913. Cincinnati also provides a reasonably priced option for budget-aware seniors, with an average cost of $4,038 per month. However, costs rise in Columbus, where the average monthly price is $4,566. 











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

Inflation is projected to raise the cost of assisted living in Ohio from 2022 into 2024. Prices rise from $4,110 to $5,268 through 2024, while the national average is expected to jump 18% to $4,802. Michigan is likely to see significant price hikes, increasing by 24.8% to an average of $4,577. Indiana may have a more modest increase of $4,360 to $4,699 per month, while West Virginia rises nearly $1,000 to an average of $5,183. Kentucky faces the worst effects of inflation, jumping 33.7% from $3,288 to $4,397 per month.

Location2022 Cost (Historical)2023 Cost (Current)2024 Cost (Estimated)
U.S. Average$4,070$4,459 $4,802
West Virginia$4,198$5,173$5,183

The Costs of Other Types of Senior Living

The cost averages for different care types vary based on the level of medical assistance, supervision, amenities provided and accommodations available. Providing intensive care and support, memory care is the most expensive option in Columbus, OH, averaging at $5,352 per month. Assisted living, while offering a lower level of care than memory care, comes in second, averaging $4,478 monthly. For seniors requiring minimal assistance, independent living stands as the most affordable option at $2,861 monthly. Because prices can vary so widely across options and locations, it's essential to do comprehensive research to make an informed decision.

Assisted Living


Memory Care


Independent Living


Does Medicaid Cover Assisted Living in Ohio?

Ohio Medicaid covers assisted living indirectly through a specialized home- and community-based services waiver. Individuals must meet financial requirements to qualify for Medicaid. They must also have significant medical needs that require personal assistance. Other benefits may be available to low-income residents who receive Social Security, including Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance. The Residential State Supplement doesn’t cover personal care, but it helps with the cost of room and board.

What Assisted Living Services Are Covered by Medicaid in Ohio?

Ohio’s Assisted Living Waiver Program covers the cost of personal care services provided in residential facilities. It also provides transitional support for seniors who want to move out of a nursing home and into assisted living. Here are some of the services that the waiver covers:

  • Personal care
  • Nursing
  • Three daily meals
  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Maintenance
  • Transportation
  • Recreational activities

Assisted Living Waiver Programs in Ohio

Assisted Living Waiver Program 

The Assisted Living Waiver Program is available to adults aged 21 or older who need one-on-one assistance with activities of daily living, such as grooming, bathing, dressing or eating. Transitional services can help with assisted living admissions, furnishings and move-in expenses.

Applicants must be financially eligible for Medicaid long-term care, and they must be able to pay a pre-negotiated rate for room and board. Required payments are based on the federal SSI benefit rate minus a $50 personal needs allowance. The residential care facility must participate in this state-sponsored program, and a waiting list may apply.

To see if you qualify, contact your local Area Agency on Aging or PASSPORT Administrative Agency. Staff members will screen you for Medicaid eligibility and arrange a personal needs assessment to determine which services you need. Call the Department of Aging at (800) 266-4346 or the AAA hotline at (866) 243-5678. The state’s long-term care ombudsman can help you locate a facility that participates in the program.

Ohio Residential State Supplement 

Ohio’s Residential State Supplement provides a monthly income supplement to adults who need help paying for room and board at assisted living facilities, including adult care homes and class II residential facilities. The state sets a monthly allowable fee, which is the maximum amount that facilities can charge. Participants should have at least $200 left as a personal needs allowance once assisted living fees are paid using government benefits and the Residential State Supplement. To qualify for this program, applicants must: 

  • Be aged 18 or older
  • Live in a nursing home or require institutional care
  • Be eligible for regular Medicaid
  • Receive Social Security, SSI or SSDI
  • Have an approximate monthly income of up to $1,300

This program is managed by the Ohio Mental Health & Addiction Services in partnership with the County Department of Job & Family Services offices. Application forms are available online. Once you complete your application, you can email it to or fax it to (614) 485-9747. Case managers, guardians and hospital or nursing home discharge planners can complete an application on your behalf. For questions, call OhioMHAS at (614) 752-9316.

How To Know If You’re Eligible for Medicaid in Ohio

Medicaid eligibility requirements depend on your age, health and disability status. If you require a nursing home level of care or want to apply for home- and community-based services, such as the Assisted Living Waiver Program, you must meet the financial requirements described below.

The majority of your income must go toward the cost of long-term care, excluding a $50 personal needs allowance and possible spousal maintenance needs allowance. While assets are usually capped at $2,000-$3,000, there are exemptions for a home, vehicle and personal belongings.


2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Ohio

Household SizeNumber of ApplicantsIncome Limits Per Year*Asset Limits: Applicant(s)***Asset Limits: Non-Applicants
One Person1$32,904$2,000
Two Person1$32,904$2,000$148,620**
Two Person2$65,808$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.
***If a couple has $200,000 in assets the healthy spouse may keep $100,000. But if the couple has total assets of $297,240 or more, the healthy spouse may retain only $148,620.

How To Apply for Medicaid in Ohio

You can apply for Medicaid online at or If you want to apply in person, you can complete a paper application or contact your County Department of Job and Family Services. A complete directory of locations in all 88 counties is available online.

Alternatively, you may call your Area Agency on Aging or the office of Long-Term Services and Supports at (844) 644-6582 to begin the application process. Agents at the statewide Medicaid consumer hotline are also available to help. Call (800) 324-8680 to get started.

Information You Will Need

Medicaid applications ask a variety of questions about your household. Make sure you have the following information available:


  • Social Security numbers
  • Proof of citizenship
  • A photo ID
  • Employment information
  • Tax return information
  • Proof of income
  • Proof of assets
  • Details about any deductions
  • Health insurance policies
  • Monthly expenses
  • Proof of age and disability


How To Get Help Applying for Medicaid

If you need help applying for Medicaid or aren’t sure where to start, the following agencies can provide assistance. They can also answer questions about notices, renewals and appeals.

ProgramContactServices provided
Ohio Department of Job and Family Services(866) 244-0071If you want to apply for Medicaid long-term care or other financial benefits, contact your County Department of Job and Family Services. These local offices help with a variety of government benefits, and they offer adult protective services in cases of suspected abuse or neglect.
Ohio Department of Medicaid(800) 324-8680Choice Counselors with the Department of Medicaid are available Monday through Saturday to answer questions, check your application status or help you change plans. They can also provide information about medical transportation, notices and ways to appeal decisions through a state hearing.
Ohio Department of Insurance OSHIIP(800) 686-1578The Department of Insurance manages the Senior Health Insurance Information Program. This free service provides one-on-one counseling to more than 435,000 seniors annually. It educates residents about Medicare, long-term care insurance and financial assistance programs, such as Medicaid.

Does Medicare Cover Assisted Living in Ohio?

The short answer is that no, Medicare does not cover the cost of assisted living in Ohio. 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 Ohio.

Other Financial Assistance Options for Assisted Living in Ohio

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 Ohio

There are many resources in Ohio 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
Ohio Area Agencies on AgingOhio's Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) help older adults live independently through a wide range of services that support wellness. They provide assistance with nutritious meals delivered to seniors' homes and work to connect older adults with transportation needs, such as shopping, appointments with health care providers and other errands. Services are also available to help seniors socialize and stay engaged through volunteer opportunities and social events.

Cash Assistance Programs

Cash assistance programs in Ohio 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
Ohio Home Relief Grant800-282-0880The Ohio Home Relief Grant provides qualifying seniors with monetary assistance for utilities or rent. It's available via the Community Action Agency, so residents must contact their local office to apply. A convenient locator on the State of Ohio website allows Ohioans to find the CAA closest to them. Supporting documentation, including proof of income, identification and unpaid bills, is required during the application process.
Ohio 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.
Ohio Homeowner Assistance Fund888-362-6432The Homeowner Assistance Fund exists to help homeowners throughout Ohio who've experienced financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 or related economic issues. It provides temporary funding for property taxes, utilities, homeowner association fees and mortgage payments.

Financial Assistance for Senior Care and Senior Living

Whether living in their own home or in a senior living community, Ohio seniors can find financial assistance from numerous local resources. These organizations help residents cover some of the costs associated with in-home or long-term care and connect them with other helpful community-based resources.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Ohio Department of Medicaid800-324-8680MyCare Ohio is a managed care waiver that provides services such as assisted living, community integration, home modifications and personal care aides. All care is provided within a managed care network and accessed as required under the supervision of a case manager

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 Ohio seniors afford the nutritious food they need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Ohio Meals on WheelsOhio Meals on Wheels provides nutritious meals and support services to statewide seniors ages 60 and over. Balanced meals are served in a congregate setting for those who can safely leave their homes, while those who are immobile can receive daily meal delivery with safety checks. Since programs operate independently, some offer meals that meet special dietary needs and cultural or ethnic preferences. Support services vary, but may include emergency meals, pet meal delivery, home repair and hospital discharge programs.
Ohio Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)The Ohio Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program helps low-income seniors obtain healthy food, so they can meet their nutritional needs. To be eligible, seniors must be residents of Ohio and meet income and resource guidelines. Once approved, seniors are provided with an electronic benefits transfer card, which can be used at grocery stores statewide to purchase food items, including breads and cereals, meat and fish, fruits and vegetables and dairy products.

Financial Assistance for Senior Living

Low-income elderly individuals in senior living communities can access financial assistance through local-run programs. These Ohio resources offer advice, guidance and support to help older adults pay for the services offered by long-term care providers.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Ohio Assisted Living Medicaid Waiver Program800-266-4346The Assisted Living Waiver provides personal care for seniors and disabled persons. It also pays for remote support, money management assistance, transportation, specialized medical equipment and meals.

Free Used Medical Equipment

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

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Ohio Central American Medical Outreach, Inc.(CAMO)330-683-5956CAMO's recycling program collects eyeglasses, hearing aids and assistive technology devices and redistributes them to those in need. The organization also redistributes urgent medical equipment such as wheelchairs and walkers.

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 Ohio have different eligibility criteria and often assist retirees by providing grants or loans.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Ohio Section 504 Home Repair Program800-414-1226The Section 504 Home Repair Program helps very low-income seniors in rural areas access up to $10,000 in grants to make necessary home modifications, ensuring their homes are safe, accessible and habitable.

Many organizations offer free or low-cost legal services to Ohio seniors. Older adults can access advice on issues such as estate planning, living wills and power of attorney. Some firms also act as long-term care ombudsmen, advocating for the rights of seniors in senior living communities.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Ohio Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman800-282-1206Regional staff and volunteer ombudsmen are available to assist residents who live in nursing homes or assisted living facilities or need help accessing long-term care. They advocate for residents, investigate complaints and provide informational assistance to help with facility selection and government benefits.
Ohio Pro Seniors513-345-4160Pro Seniors is a statewide nonprofit offering a variety of advocacy services for older adults. Its Legal Helpline assists residents aged 60 and older on issues related to health care, estate planning, government benefits and consumer rights. It offers ombudsman services for long-term care residents, and Senior Medicare Patrol helps beneficiaries detect and report fraud and billing errors.

Senior Engagement

Senior engagement resources and programs in Ohio 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
Ohio Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center800-438-4380Operated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center provides free information about Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. The center compiles authoritative, up-to-date information from various agencies and organizations to help seniors live with the disease.

Medicaid Resources

Navigating the Medicaid system is often difficult and confusing. Several Ohio resources help older adults by providing advice on Medicaid options, waiver programs and eligibility criteria to help seniors receive the right health care benefits.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Ohio PASSPORT WaiverThe PASSPORT Waiver gives seniors the opportunity to choose where and how they receive long-term care by providing services in their communities. Covered services include social work, nonmedical transportation, home-delivered meals and personal care.

Social Security Offices

Social Security offices in Ohio 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
Ohio 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 Ohio 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
Ohio Homestead ExemptionThe Homestead Exemption is available to low-income seniors and those with permanent disabilities. It provides property tax credits, allowing homeowners to exempt up to $25,000 of the value of their homes from local tax.
Ohio AARP Tax-Aide Foundation Program888-227-7669Through the Ohio AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program, low- to middle-income taxpayers 50 years and older receive assistance from IRS-certified volunteers in preparing their tax returns. The service is free, and any personal information submitted by seniors is treated with confidentiality. Taxpayers booking an appointment need to ready pertinent documents, including a government-issued photo identification card, IRS-issued correspondence, all documents related to income and records of any federal, state or local income tax payments.

Utility & Energy Bill Assistance

Low-income seniors who are struggling to meet the costs of maintaining their homes can find support from organizations that offer assistance with utility and energy bills. Ohio retirees could also qualify for emergency funding programs if they're in danger of losing utility services due to unpaid invoices.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Ohio Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)800-282-0880The Home Energy Assistance Program is a one-time benefit that helps low-income households cover the cost of their energy bills when they're at risk of disconnection or eviction due to nonpayment.

Veteran's Services

Ohio 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
Ohio VA Benefits and Health CareOhio VA Benefits and Health Care system includes programs dedicated to the wellness of seniors with medical centers in Chillicothe, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Dayton, as well as many outpatient clinics, vet centers and benefits offices throughout the state. There's also a regional loan center in Cleveland that can assist eligible seniors with service-related disabilities get home loans and assistance staying in their homes and modifications to make the home accessible.

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Ohio

Assisted living communities, also called residential care facilities, are licensed by the Bureau of Regulatory Operations, which is part of the Ohio Department of Health. You can learn more about some of these regulations below.

Assisted Living Service Plan RequirementsQualified health care providers must complete a written health assessment within 48 hours of admission. Provisions for skilled care must be made within 14 days of admission. Additionally, individual service plans must be reviewed within one year and 30 days of the previous assessment or following a significant change in health. Physician authorization may be required to determine whether certain services are necessary.
Assisted Living Admission RequirementsResidential care facilities may not admit individuals who require more than 120 days of intermittent skilled nursing annually. Facilities are prohibited from admitting individuals who are permanently bedridden, have advanced pressure ulcers or have complex medical conditions unless they're receiving hospice care.
Assisted Living Scope of CareAssisted living facilities may provide personal care and limited skilled nursing consistent with applicable care standards. Residents may or may not receive meals, depending on their needs. Facilities must encourage residents to participate in social, recreational and leisure activities and provide opportunities that are consistent with residents' interests.
Assisted Living Medicaid PolicyOhio's Medicaid program includes an Assisted Living Waiver that pays for the cost of personal care, meals, housekeeping and related services. This program is available to low-income seniors who have qualifying medical or personal needs. Individuals who receive Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability may receive a Residential State Supplement to help with the cost of room and board.
Assisted Living Facility RequirementsSingle-occupancy apartments must provide at least 120 square feet of living space, excluding closets, and companion suites must have at least 80 square feet of living space per person. Apartments cannot be shared by more than four residents. There must be at least one bathroom for every eight residents. Bathrooms must be equipped with safety features, and apartments must have emergency call systems. Different rules may apply for facilities licensed before 1964.
Medication Management RegulationsAssisted living residents must be able to take their own medications as determined by a health care professional to qualify for admission. Alternatively, medication assistance may be provided by a licensed health care professional, specially trained medication aide, hospice provider or home health care agency.
Staffing RequirementsOhio does not have minimum staffing ratios for assisted living facilities. However, they must employ sufficient staff, including on-site or on-call nurses, to meet residents' needs. Medication management services must be overseen by an on-duty nurse or physician. Facility administrators must be on-site at least 20 hours per week and available at all other times if needed.
Staff Training RequirementsDirect-care staff members must receive in-service orientation related to their job responsibilities and the facility's procedures. Staff must be certified in first aid and complete eight hours of continuing education annually. Certified nursing assistants must complete 75 hours of training consistent with federal requirements. Additional training is required for individuals who work in special care settings. Although Ohio does not license RCF administrators, they must complete at least nine hours of continuing education annually.
Background Checks for Assisted LivingDirect-care workers must pass a comprehensive background check using data from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation. Federal databases are used to review criminal records for individuals who have lived in the state for less than five years. Offenses related to abuse, fraud, theft or drugs prohibit workers from employment.
Requirements for Reporting AbuseThe complaint unit at the Bureau of Regulatory Operations investigates reports of abuse or neglect occurring in the state's assisted living facilities. Residents may call (800) 342-0553 for assistance. Complaints can also be submitted online or by mail.

Frequently Asked Questions

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