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Assisted Living West Virginia

Tucked in the heart of the Appalachians, West Virginia is known for its scenic mountains and wild rivers. The state has also become a popular location for older adults. More than 20% of the state’s nearly 1.8 million residents are aged 65 or older, which is well above the national average. West Virginia claimed 14th place in our 2024 Senior Living Report, including first place for senior living and housing, and it ranked in the top 10 for community involvement. Retirees benefit from a reasonable cost of living that’s 22% lower than the national average due to the low cost of housing and utilities. Assisted living is also more affordable than in other parts of the country. Seniors can expect to pay $4,160 per month, which is $340 lower than the national average.

This guide explores long-term care costs and financial assistance programs in West Virginia, including state regulations and free resources that are available to older adults and their families.

The Cost of Assisted Living in West Virginia

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 West Virginia and its 7 cities.

Assisted living statistics from Genworth Financial’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey show that seniors in West Virginia pay about $4,160 per month. Statewide, prices are about $340 lower than the national average, although rates vary depending on your community and the facility that you select. Assisted living costs just $60 less per month in Pennsylvania, and seniors in Kentucky save about $712 per month based on average rates of $3,448. West Virginia’s prices are lower than many states in the region, including Ohio ($4,635), Maryland ($4,900) and Virginia ($5,250). Seniors in these states pay anywhere from $475 to $1,090 more per month.

The Cost of Assisted Living in West Virginia's Top Cities

Across the state, West Virginia has a wide spectrum of assisted living prices. Charleston is more expensive than average at $5,473, but care in Princeton is much cheaper at $1,250. Lewisburg is among the state's most expensive locations, with prices at $5,985, while Bridgeport has a more moderate cost of $4,542.

West Virginia










Inflation's Impact on the Cost of Assisted Living in West Virginia

Inflation has had a big impact on assisted living in West Virginia. Statewide prices are expected to increase by about 23.5% between 2022 and 2024, outpacing the national norm of about 18%.

West Virginia's 2023 inflation is also high compared to neighboring states. Pennsylvania saw one of the sharpest increases at 19%, but statewide rates are still lower than in West Virginia. Projected costs for 2024 from 2022 in Kentucky increase drastically by about 33.7%, while Ohio's increase was significantly lower at 8.95% as well as Virginia's at 8%. This broad price range highlights the importance of seniors planning ahead.

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

The Costs of Other Types of Senior Living

On average, assisted living costs $5,173 per month in West Virginia. Other senior living options can cost more or less depending on levels of medical care, available amenities and specialized services. Memory care is one of the most expensive options at $5,446, but seniors who don't require daily living assistance can save by choosing independent living for $2,460 per month.

Assisted Living


Memory Care


Independent Living


Does Medicaid Cover Assisted Living in West Virginia?

West Virginia provides limited assistance with activities of daily living through its Medicaid State Plan. These benefits are part of the state’s Personal Care program, which covers the cost of one-on-one assistance provided at home or in another community-based setting, including an assisted living facility or residential care home. However, there are some restrictions. Applicants must be financially eligible for Medicaid based on their income and assets. They must require a nursing home level of care and provide medical verification from a primary care provider. This functional assessment determines how many hours of daily assistance you can receive. Additionally, the Personal Care program cannot duplicate services that assisted living facilities are required to provide. An itemized list of available services may be reviewed when evaluating your application.

What Assisted Living Services Are Covered by Medicaid in West Virginia?

West Virginia’s Medicaid program covers several Home- and Community-Based Services that help seniors and disabled adults maintain their independence and quality of life. The goal of these programs is to promote personal freedom, prevent nursing home placement and give older adults choice over where they live and receive care. The Personal Care Services program covers nurse-supervised supports that help with activities of daily living, including:

  • Eating
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Meal preparation
  • Light housekeeping
  • Grooming
  • Mobility
  • Toileting

The Personal Care program doesn’t cover skilled nursing, wound care or medication administration. To learn more about available benefits, contact the Bureau of Senior Services at (866) 767- 1575, or call the state’s Aging and Disability Resource Center at (866) 987-2372.

How To Know If You’re Eligible for Medicaid in West Virginia

Medicaid Home- and Community-Based Services are available to seniors who have limited assets and require a nursing home level of care. The state sets the monthly income limit at 300% of the federal benefit rate. For 2023, applicants can have up to $2,742 in earned and unearned monthly income. Assets are limited to $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for couples. There are considerable exemptions for spouses who will remain in the community. If only one spouse requires care, the state excludes $148,620 in assets. A home, vehicle and certain valuables are exempt. Your spouse may also qualify for a monthly needs allowance.


Household SizeNumber of ApplicantsIncome Limits Per Year*Asset Limits: Applicant(s)Asset Limits: Non-Applicants
One Person1$32,904$2,000
Two People1$32,904**$2,000$148,620
Two People 2$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.

*** Income is limited to $2,742 per month per spouse.

To qualify for Medicaid long-term care, you must:

  • Be a West Virginia resident
  • Provide proof of citizenship or legal residency
  • Have a disability or be aged 65 or older
  • Have low or very low income 


How To Apply for Medicaid in West Virginia

To see if you’re eligible for benefits, your first step is to submit an application and a Medical Necessity Evaluation Request signed by your primary care physician. The Department of Health and Human Resources provides several application options.

Information You Will Need

The state’s Medicaid application asks for detailed information about you and other members of your household. Make sure that you have the following records on hand.

  • Name
  • Address
  • Social Security number
  • Proof of residency and citizenship
  • Tax filing status and deductions
  • Information about existing insurance coverage
  • Employment information
  • All sources of income
  • Expected annual income
  • Medical or disability information

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid

Applying for Medicaid is a complex process, and if you require long-term care, you must complete additional assessments to verify your medical or functional needs. For questions about your eligibility or help with your application, contact the following agencies for assistance. Counseling may be available through your Area Agency on Aging, local senior centers and other organizations.

ProgramContactServices provided
Bureau of Senior Services(304) 558-3317For help with Medicaid long-term care benefits, including Personal Care and Home- and Community-Based Services, contact the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services. The agency provides a variety of resources to promote healthy, safe and independent aging.
Department of Health and Human Resources(877) 716-1212The Department of Health and Human Resources administers a number of financial assistance programs to residents who need help paying for medical care and other essentials. Medicaid applicants may be screened for food stamps and other DHHR benefits.
Bureau of Medical Services(304) 558-1700The Bureau of Medical Services is responsible for managing the state’s Medicaid program. You can get help with your application or benefits by calling the agency or by visiting the local field office in your county.
Board of Review(304) 352-0805The Board of Review is part of the Office of Inspector General. This expert panel oversees hearings related to Medicaid and other state benefits. If your application has been denied or your benefits have been terminated, you have a right to a fair, timely and impartial hearing.

Does Medicare Cover Assisted Living in West Virginia?

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

Other Financial Assistance Options for Assisted Living in West Virginia

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 West Virginia

There are many resources in West Virginia 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
West Virginia Area Agencies on AgingWest Virginia's Area Agencies on Aging cover four regions and are vital for helping older adults maintain their independence and age in place. Services include the Lighthouse program, which provides personal care, nutrition and mobility support and assistance with light housekeeping chores. West Virginia's AAAs also include help with Medicare planning, respite care and caregiver services.

Cash Assistance Programs

Cash assistance programs in West Virginia 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
West Virginia 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 West Virginia seniors afford the nutritious food they need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
West Virginia Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program304-558-3550West Virginia Department of Agriculture administers this federal funded grant program to provide low-income seniors with access to locally grown fruits, vegetables, honey and herbs; and to increase the domestic consumption of agricultural commodities through farmers markets and roadside stands. This program also aids in the development of new and additional farmers markets and roadside stands. Program period for eligible seniors to sign up is June – October. Farmers trained for this program April – July.
West Virginia Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)304-205-6357​​​The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is administered by DHHR and governed by federal law and regulations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Nutrition Services. SNAP provides monthly benefits to help eligible households buy food.
West Virgnia Meals on WheelsWest Virginia Meals on Wheels helps seniors in their communities by providing nutritious meals and other support services. Deliveries are available to eligible homebound seniors ages 60 and over as well as those unable to prepare their own food. The program also offers balanced meals in congregate settings with peers. Additional services vary by location but may include emergency deliveries during inclement weather, pet food delivery, transportation to medical appointments and hospital readmission programs.

Free Used Medical Equipment

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

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
West Virginia Assistive Technology System800-841-8436Through the West Virginia Assistive Technology System's device reuse program, seniors can receive free gently used medical equipment. Seniors who have a short-term need for medical equipment can borrow devices for up to 30 days.
West Virginia Community Living Services Program (CLSP)304-525-3324Mountain State Centers for Independent Living operates an assistive technology loan program. Seniors can borrow the devices they need for a short time. If seniors need help financing a device, staff can provide referrals and help with applications.
West Virginia Telephonic Communication Device Loan Program304-558-1675The West Virginia Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing distributes free telecommunications equipment. Seniors who have a verified hearing loss can borrow an amplified phone, captioned phone or teletypewriter.

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

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
The West Virginia Homeowner Rescue Program (WVHR)211The West Virginia Homeowner Rescue Program uses funding from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to help seniors and other homeowners in West Virginia cover the cost of critical home repairs that make their homes livable. Homeowners can receive up to $10,000 in funding for work completed by a licensed, insured contractor. To qualify, applicants' income must not exceed 150% of the area median income, and they must have experienced financial hardship related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
West Virginia Housing Rehabilitation Program304-562-5896The city of Hurricane, WV, works with a variety of work camp organizations that provide home rehabilitation services for seniors, disabled individuals and those in financial need. These groups travel to various cities, including Hurricane, and typically spend a week fixing and modifying local homes in need. Groups are made up of youth and adult volunteers. Local residents can contact City Hall to apply for this free service, offered periodically throughout the year.
West Virginia Section 504 Home Repair Program800-295-8228The Section 504 Home Repair program provides loans to help eligible homeowners repair or modify their homes. Senior homeowners (62+) may qualify for grants to eliminate safety hazards around the home.

Many organizations offer free or low-cost legal services to West Virginia 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
Legal Aid of West Virginia866-255-4370Legal Aid of West Virginia provides free civil legal services to those aged 60 and over statewide. This agency has licensed legal professionals who specialize in applying for public benefits, understanding assisted living contracts and preparing for future care and medical needs. The agency also serves as the long-term care ombudsman for the Hurricane region and advocates on behalf of those in assisted living facilities.

Social Security Offices

Social Security offices in West Virginia 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
West Virginia 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 West Virginia 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
West Virginia Homestead Exemption800-982-8297This property tax exemption program helps reduce the cost of homeownership for eligible seniors. It exempts the first $20,000 of a home's value from property taxes. If approved, they will see the exemption on their next tax bill.

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. West Virginia retirees could also qualify for emergency funding programs if they're in danger of losing utility services due to unpaid invoices.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
West Virginia Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP)304-205-6357The West Virginia Bureau for Family Assistance administers two programs that support low-income seniors. The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program covers heating and cooling costs via cash benefits or payments sent directly to utility providers. The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program assists those whose water services have been disconnected due to nonpayment. LIHWAP covers the costs of water and sewer charges. Income limits apply to both programs.

Veteran's Services

West Virginia 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
West Virginia VA Benefits and Health CareSenior veterans can access physical and mental health care through West Virginia VA Benefits and Health Care. Outpatient clinics provide medical services, along with vet centers in cities, including Beckley and Charleston, where counseling is available. At multiple benefits' offices in West Virginia, seniors can file claims and get help accessing veterans' benefits.

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in West Virginia

Assisted living residences, residential care communities and residential board and care homes in West Virginia are licensed by the Department of Health and Human Resources Office of Health Facility Licensure and Certification. This agency is responsible for handling licensing applications, performing routine inspections and investigating complaints.

Assisted Living Service Plan RequirementsFacilities must prepare a written service plan for each resident within 7 days of admission. This document is based on a functional needs assessment performed by a licensed healthcare professional within 5 days of admission or up to 60 days before admission. The plan of care must be reviewed annually or following a significant change in health.
Assisted Living Admission RequirementsResidents who require extensive nursing or services that the facility isn't licensed to provide aren't eligible for admission. Individuals who require intensive care may be able to receive some services through a hospice or home health care provider. Facilities are prohibited from admitting individuals who have mental or behavioral disorders if they could pose harm to themselves or others.
Assisted Living Scope of CareFacilities must provide a comprehensive range of services to help residents with daily activities as needed. These services include one-on-one personal assistance, medication management and help with instrumental activities, including housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation and appointment scheduling. Facilities must provide three daily meals as well as social and recreational activities.
Assisted Living Medicaid PolicyWest Virginia’s Medicaid program may cover some Personal Care services provided in assisted living residences. Restrictions may apply.
Assisted Living Facility RequirementsAssisted living residences must provide private or semiprivate bedrooms with sufficient square footage depending on the facility’s classification. There must be at least one bathing area per floor for every 10 residents. Facilities must also provide adequate dining areas and activity space for each resident.
Medication Management RegulationsResidents may self-administer medications if deemed capable by a licensed medical professional. Staff members can provide reminders and help to open containers or read labels if needed. If residents can't complete these activities independently, medications may be administered by licensed health care professionals or unlicensed staff who have completed an approved training course and competency evaluation. Medication records must be reviewed at least once a year.
Staffing RequirementsFacilities must have at least one direct-care staff trained in first aid and CPR available on-site 24 hours a day and a sufficient number of qualified employees to provide adequate care for all residents. During the day, facilities must provide one staff member for every 10 residents or two or more if residents have more substantial needs. Staffing requirements may be reduced at night. A licensed nurse must be available to oversee training and perform certain activities.
Staff Training RequirementsAll new employees must complete a training and orientation program within their first 15 days of employment before providing unsupervised assistance. Facilities must conduct annual in-service training and maintain appropriate records. Administrators must complete 8 hours of continuing education annually.
Background Checks for Assisted LivingBackground checks are required for owners, administrators and all direct-care staff. The Department of Health and Human Resources provides a comprehensive screening system in partnership with other state and federal agencies. Facilities may not employ staff who have a history of abuse, fraud or similar crimes.
Requirements for Reporting AbuseInstances of suspected abuse or neglect should be reported to the Department of Health and Human Resources by calling the Adult Protective Services Abuse and Neglect hotline. Certain individuals, including health care workers, are mandated reporters.

Frequently Asked Questions

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