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

Financial Assistance for Nursing Home Care in Kansas

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 Kansas.

Kansas’s Medicaid Program

Kansas has 331 nursing homes that provide 24-hour nursing care to frail seniors with medical needs that prevent them from living safely at home. Kansas’s Medicaid program is administered through KanCare, and many seniors use it to pay for some or all of their nursing home costs. Kansas has 416,862 people enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP as of September 2020. In 2015, one out of two seniors in nursing homes in the state was paying for their care with Medicaid. Kansas also offers a waiver program that allows seniors who need nursing home care to receive services at home. Home and Community Based Services covers seniors as well as individuals who are under the age of 65 with disabilities. The Frail Elderly portion of the waiver program will pay for home care, adult day care, assistive technology and other services necessary to allow a senior to age safely at home.

Medicaid Eligibility in Kansas

Anyone who is age 65 and older who needs nursing home care can apply for KanCare. Instead of setting income guidelines for application, KanCare sets up cost-sharing. Income over $62 a month must be paid towards nursing home care if the senior is in a nursing home. For seniors who choose one to use a waiver to receive care at home, any income over $1,157 a month is used to pay care. In addition, seniors have a $2,000 asset limit. To receive KanCare, seniors must be residents of Kansas and citizens over the United States or legal immigrants.

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 Kansas

Families of seniors will find that the state of Kansas has a number of services available to help their elderly loved ones. Some of these services are aimed at providing help finding and living in a nursing home. Others are designed to help seniors live at home longer with care and support in the home. All are provided at little to no cost to seniors who need help.

ResourceContact Service
Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas(800) 860-5260SHICK provides free counseling to seniors in Kansas who are interested in Medicare services. Through the help of trained Medicare counselors, seniors can receive unbiased information about insurance options. In addition to Medicare, SHICK counselors are trained to discuss long-term care needs.
Aging and Disability Resource Centers(855) 200-2372Through a partnership with the state’s Area Agencies on Aging, Aging and Disability Resource Centers provide assistance for elderly Kansas residents learn what their options are for long-term care and support. Personalized options counseling services help seniors get the care they need, inclusion Home and Community Based Services or Post-Money Follows the Person services so they can age at home.
Kansas Legal Services(888) 353-5337Through Kansas Legal Services, seniors can get free or low-cost help with their legal concerns. This includes legal help to assist with income security, health care, long-term care, housing, utilities, and protective services. A free Kansas Elder Law Hotline is available daily from 9:00 to 4:00 to assist with legal concerns.
Senior Care Act Services(855) 200-2372Through the Senior Care Act, older Kansans have access to community-based services, including attendant care, respite care, chore services, adult day care, and homemaker assistance, to help them continue living at home rather than moving into a nursing home setting. This is provided with a sliding scale of fees based on the individual’s income. Sometimes, the full cost of services is covered through the program. Families can learn more about available services by contacting their local Area Agency on Aging.
Kansas Long-Term Care Ombudsman(877) 662-8362The Kansas Long-Term Care Ombudsman handles complaints and concerns about elder abuse and neglect in nursing homes and other are facilities. Families can contact the ombudsman if they suspect abuse or neglect is occurring. They can also contact the ombudsman to learn more about the rights of an elderly individual in a care facility.
Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs Office(800) 513-7731Through the Commission on Veterans Affairs, seniors who are U.S. veterans may be able to receive VA health care benefits and other benefits, including the Aid and Attendance pension. Seniors may find that they qualify to stay in one of the state’s veterans assisted living homes. Families can contact the Commission on Veterans Affairs to ensure that their senior loved ones are receiving all of the benefits they earned through their service.

Nursing Home Laws and Regulations in Kansas

Licensing RequirementsAll adult care homes, including nursing homes, must be licensed. Licensure comes from the Secretary of Aging and Disability Services.
Staffing RequirementsKansas 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 RequirementsSNFs 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 RestrictionsIt 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 RequirementsSNFs 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 RequirementsSafe, 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 ServicesNursing 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 ServicesNursing 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 RequirementsThe 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 RequirementsAll 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 CoverageMedicaid 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.