Indiana has a population of 6,732,219 people, and 16.1% are aged 65 and older. Seniors living in Indiana have a number of options for their care needs. For those who are medically frail, nursing home care is often the care type of choice. Nursing home care provides round-the-clock nursing care to those who need intensive medical care at all times.

This is the most costly form of care for seniors in the state, and Indiana has 533 nursing homes that provide it. According to the 2020 Genworth Financial Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of nursing home care in a semiprivate room in Indiana is $7,133 a month, and this amount increases to $8,486 for a private room.

This guide will help seniors considering nursing home care in Indiana understand their options for paying for care. It also provides a list of free or low-cost resources to help them navigate their care options in the state.

The Cost of Nursing Home Care in Indiana

The cost of long-term care varies from one facility to the next, but in Indiana, the average cost for a semiprivate room in a nursing home is $7,133 a month, according to the 2020 Genworth Cost of Care Survey. In Michigan, seniors pay an average of $8,973. Seniors in Illinois pay a little less at $6,235 a month. Kentucky has a just slightly higher cost for senior care at $7,330, while seniors in Ohio pay a comparable $7,148. In Indiana and many surrounding states, the cost is less than the national average of $7,756 a month.

$7133

Indiana

$7756

The United States

$6235

Illinois

$7148

Ohio

$7330

Kentucky

$8973

Michigan

Even within the state of Indiana, costs vary considerably depending on where a senior lives. In the northern part of the state, the average monthly cost for nursing home care in the Elkhart area is $7,361, which is about $200 higher than the state average of $7,133, while Michigan City has a much higher cost, at $8,060. By contrast, Evansville, in the southern part of the state, averages $7,300 a month for nursing home care. Bloomington, in the central region, has a less-than-average cost of $7,148, which is also the average in Kokomo. Indianapolis is just a little higher than the state average at $7,209. In Lafayette, seniors pay an average of $7,026.

$7133

Indiana

$7026

Lafayette

$7148

Bloomington

$7148

Kokomo

$7209

Indianapolis

$7300

Evansville

$7361

Elkhart

$8060

Michigan City

Nursing home care is just one option for senior care in Indiana. While seniors pay an average of $7,133 a month for nursing home care in a semiprivate room, those who choose an assisted living facility pay less, at $4,382 a month. Homemaker services average $4,385 per month, while home health services, which include some basic medical care, cost $4,576. The most affordable care option is adult day care, which averages $1,733 a month.

$7133

Nursing Home

$1733

Adult Day Care

$4382

Assisted Living

$4385

Home Care

$4576

Home Health Care

Financial Assistance for Nursing Home Care in Indiana

Most people do not pay for skilled nursing care entirely out-of-pocket. Rather, they utilize financial assistance programs to help cover the cost of nursing care. Of public financial assistance programs, Medicaid provides the most comprehensive coverage of nursing home care. But, not all seniors are eligible for Medicaid. And because each state operates its own Medicaid program within federal guidelines, eligibility and benefits vary from state to state. Below, we provide more information on Medicaid in Indiana.

Indiana’s Medicaid Program

Under Indiana’s Medicaid program, elderly adults who are income-qualified can get coverage for nursing home care. The program is broken into two options. Traditional Medicaid is for individuals who qualify for Home and Community-Based Services, including nursing home care. However, many residents who need nursing home care qualify for Hoosier Care Connect, which is available for blind, aged and disabled individuals in the state. In addition to medical coverage, individuals covered by Hoosier Care Connect may receive additional services, such as a 24-hour nurse helpline, medication therapy management and health care coordination. The program also offers the Aged and Disabled Waiver, which allows older individuals to get care at home instead of moving to a nursing facility.

The state of Indiana has 1,655,712 people enrolled in Medicaid and its Children’s Health Insurance Program as of August 2020. The state currently has 533 nursing homes that offer services to seniors.

Medicaid Eligibility in Indiana

To qualify for Medicaid coverage, seniors in Indiana must meet current income guidelines. The state offers Medicaid to any seniors who make at or below 133% of the Federal Poverty Level. As of March 1, 2020, that was $1,064 a month. In addition, single seniors can have a maximum of $2,000 in qualified assets and still receive Medicaid. Applicants must also be residents of the state and American citizens. The application is available online through the Indiana Medicaid website

Alternative Financial Assistance Options

  • Medicare: Medicare will cover the cost of one’s care in a skilled nursing facility for the first 20 days of their stay, and a portion of the costs up until day 100. After 100 days, the individual is responsible for all costs. Seniors must also have a “qualifying hospital stay” of at least 3 days prior to their admission to a nursing home in order to qualify for Medicare coverage.
  • Aid and Attendance: Veterans 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 skilled nursing care.
  • Reverse Mortgages: If you own a home, you may be able to use a reverse mortgage to help pay for nursing care. 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. This type of funding can be especially useful for married couples when only one partner needs nursing care, as the other residents of the home may continue living there. Reverse mortgage loans do need to be repaid with interest, typically within 12 months of receiving the loan.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Seniors who already have long-term care insurance may be covered for skilled nursing care. Most policies cover at least a portion of the cost of nursing home care, but it depends on the specific policy terms. Note that older adults who are already in need of skilled nursing care will not be eligible to sign up for a LTC insurance policy.

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Indiana

There are free and low-cost resources in Indiana to help seniors delay nursing home placement and also to transition to skilled nursing care when necessary. Below are some of these resources: 

ResourceContact Service
Indiana Long-Term Care Ombudsman(800) 622-4484The Indiana Long-Term Care Ombudsman program advocates for residents who are in long-term care facilities. If a resident’s rights have been ignored, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman steps in to ensure their needs are met. Family members, friends and residents can contact the office to get help if they feel rights have been violated.
Dementia Friend Indiana(317) 254-5465Dementia Friends Indiana strives to improve the lives of state residents struggling with dementia. This organization provides resources to families impacted by dementia. It also helps reduce stigma and increase education about the disease in the state.
Options Counseling and Medicaid Services(317) 803-6131Options Counseling is a service offered through CICOA. This service gives seniors free Medicaid counseling to help them understand their payment options for nursing home care or other care choices. It helps seniors and their families know if they’re eligible for Medicaid subsidized care.
Indiana State Health Insurance Assistance Information(800) 452-4800Indiana SHIP provides unbiased health insurance assistance for seniors and others who receive Medicare. This program is designed to help people maximize their use of Medicare and Medicaid, both of which can be confusing. Counseling and services through SHIP are offered at no charge to those who need them.
Indiana Area Agencies on Aging(800) 986-3505Indiana’s Area Agencies on Aging provide a number of services for older adults in the state. In addition to information about financial assistance or referrals to programs, AAAs can offer case management for seniors who are in need of long-term care. They also provide a contact for people who suspect Medicare fraud or abuse. Indiana has 15 AAAs that service various areas of the state.

Nursing Home Laws and Regulations in Indiana

Licensing RequirementsSNFs, also called Comprehensive Care Facilities in Indiana, are licensed through the Comprehensive Care Facility Licensing and Certification Program. The Program surveys facilities to ensure they’re following current laws, and it also investigates complaints.
Staffing RequirementsIndiana nursing homes must have sufficient nursing staff to provide for the mental, physical and psychosocial well-being of residents. This includes at least one awake staff person with current CPR and first aid certification for every 50 residents at all times. Staffing requirements also include a licensed nurse, and each resident should receive 0.5 licensed nurse hours daily. The facility must also have an RN on staff eight hours a day.
Staff Training RequirementsCertified Nursing Aides must be trained and certified to work in nursing homes. This requires a 105-hour training program and state certification.
Admission RestrictionsSNFs must only admit residents they can care for with their current services. If the resident’s medical or psychosocial needs are outside of what the facility can provide, it should not admit the resident. When admitting a new resident, the SNF must provide information about the Indiana Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and how the resident or resident’s family can contact it.
Care Planning RequirementsNursing home staff must create personal care plans for each resident under the direction of the resident’s physician and the facility’s staff. In addition, it must consult and coordinate that care plan with at least one individual that the resident chooses, such as a family member.
Dietary and Nutritional Services RequirementsSNFs in Indiana must plan and serve three meals a day that include the daily nutritional requirements for residents. A registered dietitian must approve the menu. If a resident requires a modified diet, the attending physician must prescribe it. All food-handling and serving areas must meet state and local food-handling standards.
Specialized Rehabilitative ServicesIf a community cannot provide specialized rehabilitative services, it must arrange for them outside of the facility. This can include providing access to occupational, speech, hearing or physical therapies.
Medication and Pharmaceutical ServicesFacilities that control and administer medication must consult with a pharmacist before doing so. SNFs also must train their staff on medication competence. All medications, including over-the-counter medications, must be labeled with appropriate instructions and expiration date.
Activities RequirementsIndiana nursing homes are required to have activities programs for their residents and to provide transportation to community-based activities. All nursing homes must employ an activities director.
Infection Control RequirementsNursing homes must maintain infection control practices as outlined by the CDC. This includes identifying and controlling known infections and providing a sanitary community for residents.
Medicaid CoverageIncome-qualified seniors can use Medicaid benefits to cover some or all of their nursing home costs, provided the facility is approved to receive Medicaid payments.

Nursing Homes Facilities in Indiana (100)