Kansas is known for its acres of plains and farmland, and its population of 2.9 million people is not one of the densest in the country, yet Kansas has a high percentage of seniors that call the state home. Approximately 16.3% of the population, or 474,000 people, is aged 65 and older. Kansas has over 300 nursing homes and a number of health care facilities, including the University of Kansas Hospital, which ranks 29th in the nation for geriatric care by U.S. News & World Report.

Frail seniors who need around-the-clock supervision and nursing care can receive that in a nursing home. The Genworth 2020 Cost of Care Survey indicates the average cost for nursing home care in a semiprivate room in Kansas is $6,692 a month. Families who wish to use a private room for their loved ones will pay a little more at $7,092 a month.

This guide provides information about nursing home care and costs throughout the state of Kansas, as well as information about how to use Medicaid to pay for nursing home care for an elderly loved one. It also gives helpful resources for caregivers and elderly seniors in Kansas.

The Cost of Nursing Home Care in Kansas

The national average for nursing home care in a semiprivate room is $7,756 a month, while seniors in Kansas pay a lower average of $6,692 or 13% less. Surrounding states show Kansas to be right in the middle of the region. In Oklahoma, the cost is lower at $5,323, and the same is true for Missouri, which has a median cost of $5,080. However, in Nebraska seniors pay more at $7,194. Colorado is much higher with an average of $8,517.

$6692

Kansas

$7756

The United States

$8517

Colorado

$7194

Nebraska

$5323

Oklahoma

$5080

Missouri

The cost for nursing home care changes based on the city the senior resides in. Lawrence, near the Missouri state line, has the highest average of $7,863, over $1,000 more than the state average. In contrast, Manhattan has the lowest average at $5,735, making it an affordable choice for families seeking nursing home care. In Topeka, seniors pay close to the state average with a cost of $7,612. Toward the middle of the state in Wichita, the average is $6,829. The Kansas City metro area, which also includes parts of Kansas City, Missouri, averages $6,844.

$7863

Lawrence

$7612

Topeka

$6844

Kansas City, MO

$6829

Wichita

$5735

Manhattan

Seniors in Kansas can choose a range of care options in addition to nursing home care. Some may opt for in-home care, while others need home health care. Adult day care and assisted living care are also options. Of these, nursing home care is the most costly. Seniors who choose to age at home may need help with housekeeping and general personal care, which requires home care service. This averages $4,157 a month. Home health care, which averages $4,195 a month in Kansas, includes additional medical care. Assisted living care provides some nursing care and assistance with activities of daily living. This costs an average of $5,090. For adult day care, which provides senior care at a congregate location during daytime hours only, the average is $1,733.

$4147

In-Home Care

$4195

Home Health Care

$1733

Adult Day Care

$5090

Assisted Living Care

$7756

Nursing Home Care

Does Medicaid Cover Nursing Home Care in Kansas?

More than 458,000 people are enrolled in Medicaid/Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in Kansas, an increase of almost 22% since 2013. Seniors living in nursing homes may use their Medicaid policies to help cover the cost of their room and board, as well as some additional services such as laundry or added nursing support. Some medical equipment and supplies may also be covered. Kansas Medicaid also helps to pay for social services and transportation to medical appointments as needed. 

There are more than 300 nursing homes in Kansas, and all accept Medicaid for at least some of the services they provide. KanCare is the state program responsible for managing the Medicaid program, with three private insurance companies under its auspices: Aetna, United Healthcare and Sunflower State Health Plan. Because Medicaid coverage varies by person, caseworkers are available to help seniors choose the nursing home that works best for their specific coverage parameters. 

Kansas Medicaid Eligibility

Financial eligibility requirements depend on income levels as well as the assets that applicants own either as individuals or as couples. A one-person household has an income threshold of $18,075 annually, while a two-person household where both people are applying is allowed $46,338 annually. 

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Kansas

Income Limits* 
Asset Limits
Single Applicant
$18,075
$2,000
Two-Person Household
(Only One Person Applying)
$23,169
$2,000 for applicant 
$137,400 for non-applicant

Two-Person Household
(Both People Applying)

$46,338
$3,000

*per year

To qualify for Medicaid in Kansas, applicants must: 

  • Be a state resident
  • Be 65 years of age or older.
  • Have a disability or a family member in your household with a disability, or
  • Be responsible for a child 18 years of age or younger, or
  • Be blind

A customer service representative with the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services can provide specific information about submitting qualifying documents. Applicants can also fill out the online questionnaire to determine eligibility online.   

How to Apply for Medicaid in Kansas

There are several options to apply for Medicaid in Kansas. Seniors can go online to the KanCare website or call the toll-free number 800-792-4884. They can also submit applications via fax to 844-264-6285. 

Information You Will Need: 

  • Social Security card
  • Copy of birth certificate
  • Proof of income
  • Proof of citizenship (if not born in the U.S.)
  • Copy of property deed/tax statements
  • Life insurance information

Additional Medicaid Support & Resources in Kansas

Seniors and their families can get help applying for Medicaid through several resources listed below.  

Resource
Contact
Service

(800) 432-2484

This program offers information about the state's Medicaid program, including outlining how to apply and what resources are available for those who may need extra assistance with this process. 

(913) 228-2951

Kansas Assistance Network provides hands-on help to those interested in applying for Medicaid. It details the requirements of the Medicaid program and goes over eligibility requirements as well. 

(800) 792-4884

This website provides pertinent information about eligibility requirements for Kansas Medicaid. It gives contact info to learn more about the application process and links to resources for assistance. 

Does Medicare Cover Nursing Home Care in Kansas?

Medicare provides limited coverage for short-term stays in a skilled nursing facility following a hospital stay, but seniors must meet a number of specific requirements. This benefit is available to beneficiaries who have been hospitalized for at least three days, excluding the date of discharge, so it’s most valuable for those who are recovering from an injury, illness or surgery.

Once seniors meet the hospitalization requirement, Medicare will pay for up to 100 days of skilled nursing per benefit period. The first 20 days are covered in full. Starting on day 21, beneficiaries must pay a daily coinsurance rate. After day 100, seniors are responsible for the entire cost.

What Does Medicare Cover?

Medicare covers a number of specific services, including:

  • Meals
  • A semiprivate room
  • Medications
  • Skilled nursing
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Audiologist care
  • Medical supplies
  • Medical social services
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Ambulance transportation

What Isn’t Covered by Medicare?

Medicare does not cover long-term custodial care that addresses seniors’ day-to-day needs. This includes help with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing and using medical equipment.

For more information about Medicare and when it covers Nursing Home Care, read our Guide to Nursing Homes.

Medicare Support and Resources in Kansas

Those in need of nursing home care for their loved ones may be interested in the ways in which Medicare can help to pay for some of the costs. While health insurance is an ideal choice for the interim, there are other resources that may be useful for longer-term solutions. For this reason, it is best to turn to the experts for assistance.

Resource
Contact
Service

(800) 633-4227

Medicare.gov is a good place to start to find out general information about what Medicare covers and what information is required to enroll in the program. This federal website is full of information about state-specific requirements and benefits as well as links to phone numbers and websites to help with the enrollment process. It also has a live chat feature so that those with questions can access help 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

(800) 860-5260

The SHICK program is a free service offered to Kansas seniors, with community volunteers offering information and assistance with answering questions about Medicare and other senior programs. The program also provides key resources to help with Medicare and long-term care decision-making.

(800) 432-3535

This program provides education to seniors and their loved ones on Medicare fraud and abuse so that they can report any issues they may have in this area. Program workers show seniors how to protect themselves in terms of identity and policy information within the Medicare system, and what to do if they suspect something amiss.

Other Financial Assistance Options for Nursing Home Care in Kansas

While Medicaid and Medicare are two of the most common programs used to pay for Nursing Home Care, there are other financial assistance options available, depending on your unique situation.

How to Apply
How It Works

Aid and Attendance

Learn more and apply online at va.gov.

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

Learn more about your options and how to apply at ftc.gov

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. Reverse mortgage loans do need to be repaid with interest, typically within 12 months of receiving the loan.

Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance

Learn more about Long-Term Care Insurance and how to apply for a policy at acl.gov.

Seniors who already have long-term care insurance may be able to use it to pay for skilled nursing care. 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 skilled nursing care will not typically be eligible to sign up for a LTC insurance policy.

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Kansas

Seniors and their family members in need of nursing home care can sometimes find it difficult to navigate the sheer number of options available. Kansas offers several free and subsidized programs that help those in need find the right long-term care solution to make the transition more seamless. 

Resource
Contact
Service

(785) 296-0256

The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) provides comprehensive healthcare services to Kansas seniors. The goal of the program is to provide a single place for seniors to access an interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals to meet their short and long-term needs. 

(800) 525-1782

Kansas Advocates for Better Care (KABC) educates and advocates for Kansas seniors in long-term facilities. This group ensures that the rights of seniors are respected in adult care homes and that residents are being treated with respect. KABC provides information about licensed care homes and on choosing the best option for each individual's needs.

(866) 534-3463

This program provides nutritional assistance to seniors age 60 and older who qualify as low-income. It provides fresh produce to seniors, as well as herbs and honey at no cost.

COVID-19 Rules for Nursing Homes in Kansas

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including kdads.ks.gov/covid-19. These rules apply to Independent Living Communities and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/8/2022, but since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving pandemic, contact your local senior living facility or Area Agency on Aging for more specific and up-to-date information.

Visitation Policies

Rules for Kansas Communities

Are loved ones allowed to visit to provide emotional support?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are relatives allowed to visit for end-of-life care?

Yes

Are residents required to quarantine after visiting with a loved one?

No

Are visitors required to wear PPE (including masks) in order to visit residents?

Yes

Are non-medical contractors (such as hairdressers and entertainers) allowed in senior living facilities?

Yes

Are visitors checked for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are visitors required to answer questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?

Yes

Outings & Social Activities

Rules for Kansas Communities

Are residents allowed to leave (errands, visiting family, etc.) for non-medical reasons?

Yes

Are residents who leave required to quarantine when they return?

No (Conditions Apply)

Are senior living communities required to cancel all group outings?

No

Are residents allowed to eat meals together in a common area?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are residents allowed to gather in common areas for group activites?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

COVID-19 Safety Measures for Staff and Residents

Rules for Kansas Communities

Are staff members regularly required to do a temperature check?

Yes

Are staff members regularly tested for COVID-19?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are staff members members regularly required to do a health and safety screening, including questions about travel, contact with positive cases, etc?

Yes

Are residents regularly screened for COVID-19 symptoms?

Yes

Are residents regularly checked for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are residents regularly tested for COVID-19?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Nursing Home Laws and Regulations in Kansas

Nursing Home Laws and Regulations in Kansas
Licensing Requirements
All adult care homes, including nursing homes, must be licensed. Licensure comes from the Secretary of Aging and Disability Services.
Staffing Requirements
Kansas Administrative Regulation requires nursing homes to have sufficient staff to provide 2.0 hours of direct care per resident on average. This also requires no less than 1.85 hours in any 24-hour period. Nursing care is given by registered nurses, licensed practical nurses or certified nurse aides. The nursing home must have one nursing staff member for every 30 residents. In addition, a licensed nurse must be on hand at all times, with at least two nursing personnel on duty at all times in the facility.
Staff Training Requirements
SNFs in Kansas must provide training for each staff member, as well as in-service training. Records of that training must be maintained in the personnel records.
Admission Restrictions
It is unlawful for an SNF to admit any resident that has a condition or disease the home is not authorized to treat or care for. All homes must have a written admissions policy. Nursing home residents can only be admitted if they are under the care of a physician who deems they need skilled nursing care.
Care Planning Requirements
SNFs are required to create a personal care plan for every resident they admit. This plan will outline objectives and timetables for:Physical needsPsychosocial needsMental needsThese needs are based on a comprehensive assessment done at the time of admission. Care plans must be in place within seven days of the initial assessment, and they will be created by an interdisciplinary team including a physician, registered nurse and the resident's legal representative and family.
Dietary and Nutritional Services Requirements
Safe, nourishing meals must be provided and must be planned with a licensed dietitian's help. Menus that meet the nutritional needs of all residents, including their unique needs on their care plans, are required. Menus are published at least two weeks before being served, and no less than 20% of the resident’s total calorie intake will be served at one meal.
Specialized Rehabilitative Services
Nursing homes must provide specialized rehabilitation services for residents. If they cannot provide them, then they must arrange for them outside of the facility. This includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, audiology and speech-language pathology.
Medication and Pharmaceutical Services
Nursing homes will arrange for the procurement and administration of drugs and biologicals to care for residents. This requires the supervision of a pharmacist. All prescriptions will be labeled with dosage and medication. Medications must be stored in safe, sanitary conditions at temperatures that do not exceed 85 degrees.
Activities Requirements
The nursing home should provide residents with the opportunity to pursue activities that are of interest to them. The facility must also have a qualified activities director on staff who creates a program of activities to meet the physical, mental and social needs of residents.
Infection Control Requirements
All nursing homes have to have an infection control program in writing that ensures proper care is taken if a resident presents with an infectious disease. This program must follow the current CDC guidelines.
Medicaid Coverage
Medicaid can be used to pay for nursing home care at Medicaid-approved facilities in Kansas. Seniors who meet income and asset qualifications can use their Medicaid benefit to pay for the cost of their care.