Nursing Homes in Kentucky
The Bluegrass State is a haven for older adults with its mild Southern climate, senior-friendly tax rates and strong health care system. Kentucky is home to more than 755,000 seniors aged 65 or older who account for approximately 17% of the population. Some studies suggest that about half of these individuals will require skilled nursing care at some point in their lives. Although home care has become a popular alternative in recent decades, skilled nursing is still a vital part of the long-term care industry.
Kentucky is home to licensed nursing facilities that provide intermediate or custodial care as well as skilled nursing facilities that provide subacute medical care, extended support and rehabilitation. These services include physical, occupational and speech therapy. The state has approximately 290 licensed nursing homes with more than 27,000 beds. Seniors in Kentucky pay $7,330 per month for a semiprivate room and $7,939 for private accommodations, and these rates are slightly lower than the national averages.
Families who are considering nursing home placement for a loved one will find more information about average costs in this guide. It also explores Medicaid long-term care benefits, financial assistance programs, licensing requirements and statewide resources that may help with or delay the need for nursing home care.
The Cost of Nursing Home Care in Kentucky
At $7,330 per month, the median nursing home rate in Kentucky is slightly lower than the national average of $7,756 and similar to neighboring states in the Ohio Valley. According to Genworth Financial, Illinois residents pay about $6,235 per month for nursing home care, which represents a monthly savings of over $1,000. In West Virginia, skilled nursing facilities cost $4,000 more per month. However, prices in other states are more moderate. Seniors in Ohio save almost $200 a month compared to those in Kentucky, and Tennessee residents pay over $250 less per month for skilled nursing home care.
The United States
Nursing home prices across the Bluegrass State vary by just over $1,000 per month. The highest average rate of $8,273 per month is found in Bowling Green. Louisville and Lexington are two of the most affordable cities, with average rates of $7,148 and $7,178, respectively. At $7,604, nursing home care in Elizabethtown is more expensive than the state median but falls short of the national average. Owensboro is moderately expensive with an average rate of $7,787, which is higher than the state and national averages.
Kentucky seniors who require nursing home care can expect to pay $7,330 a month for a semiprivate room. Private accommodations cost about $600 more per month. However, there are more affordable alternatives. Seniors who want to remain in the community can turn to home health agencies, which charge $4,052 for homemaker services or $4,147 for home health care services that provide added medical care. Assisted living is competitively priced at $3,699, which is about 65% less than the cost of skilled nursing care, while adult day care programs cost just $1,603 per month, although they provide limited nonmedical support in a group setting.
Home health care
Adult day health care
Nursing home (semiprivate room)
Nursing home (private room)
Does Medicaid Cover Nursing Home Care in Kentucky?
As of July 2021, close to 1.5 million individuals were enrolled in Kentucky’s Medicaid program. Seniors eligible for Medicaid who require nursing home care can expect the program to cover room and board and a variety of services, including housekeeping, medication management, medical equipment and supplies and some physician visits.
The state has 288 nursing homes that offer over 26,000 beds. All of these facilities accept Medicaid. To cover additional costs or for seniors who prefer to remain in their homes as long as possible, Kentucky’s Home and Community Based (HCB) waiver program pays for additional services like home-delivered meals, respite care, attendant care and adult day health. The waiver is available to seniors 65 and older or those with a disability.
Medicaid Eligibility in Kentucky
Seniors who apply for Medicaid in Kentucky must meet specific income requirements to be considered eligible. Any income the applicant receives is counted, including Social Security, retirement benefits, dividend payments, unemployment, disability, alimony, veterans’ benefits and employment wages. The total of all sources must not exceed 300% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). In Kentucky, this is $30,276 per applicant per year. Assets must also not exceed $2,000 per applicant.
When only one spouse is applying for Medicaid benefits, the spouse who remains at home may be entitled to an additional Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance under the spousal impoverishment rule which ensures the non-applicant spouse has enough money to maintain bills.
2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Kentucky
Annual Income Limits
(Only One Person Applying)
$30,276 for applicant
$2,000 for applicant
$137,400 for non-applicant
(Both People Applying)
$30,276 per spouse
Additional Medicaid requirements include:
- Must be a U.S. Citizen, permanent resident or legal alien
- Resident of Kentucky
- In need of health care/ insurance assistance
- Ages 65 and older
- Be responsible for a child 18 years of age or younger
- Have a disability or a family member with a disability
How to Apply for Medicaid in Kentucky
Seniors may apply for Medicaid online at Kynect Benefits or in person at a local Department for Community Based Services (DCBS). Applications may also be taken over the phone through the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) at (855) 306-8959, or seniors may download the appropriate forms, complete them and mail them to Division of Policy and Operations (DMS), 275 E. Main St. 6W-D, Frankfort, KY 40621.
Information You Will Need
- Proof of citizenship
- Government-issued ID
- Social Security number
- Employer and income verification for the past 60 days
- Retirement account information
- Health and life insurance policy numbers
- Bank statements for the past 60 days
- Proof of ownership of property, including deeds and titles
- Copy of birth certificate
- Proof of any property that’s been sold of transfered in the last 60 days
- Any additional documentation that might support an individuals’ claim
Additional Medicaid Support & Resources in Kentucky
Kentucky Medicaid supports helps seniors find out about what type of coverage is available for an individual’s circumstance. Most counselors also can check eligibility on additional or supplemental health coverage to cover more of the costs of care.
Benefits.gov is provided by the federal government as a one-stop site for available government assistance programs. The websites offers basic information on Medicaid, including eligibility, how to apply and contact information. It also offers information on what Medicaid covers.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services operates several hotlines on available services and health information, including information about Medicaid and the available insurance choices throughout the state. It also operates the Kentucky Integrated Health Insurance Premium Payment program (KI-HIPP) that helps pay for supplemental insurance.
The Northern Kentucky Council on Aging serves as the advisory board for programs and services for seniors. For individuals, the council offers insurance counseling, including information on Medicaid, Medicare and supplemental insurance.
Does Medicare Cover Nursing Home Care in Kentucky?
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:
- A semiprivate room
- 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 Kentucky
Seniors in need of nursing home care may be considering the different financial options for paying for services. Medicaid can cover some of the cost of care and private insurance may offers some relief, but Medicare may help fill in the gaps. These programs can help answer questions about Medicare, including how to apply and the available plan options.
Kentucky State Health Insurance provides an insurance agent or a Commonwealth of Kentucky kynector can help seniors apply for and qualify for Medicare. Trained representatives also give information on additional state benefits and answer questions concerning applications.
Medicare.gov is the official federal website for Medicare coverage. The site provides virtual chat services that make it possible to speak to a live agent 24/7, seven days a week. Search for plan basics by state or browse the database for information on claims and billing, complaints, general health and health conditions, assistance with Medicare options and information on supplemental insurance.
Seniors can go to the Social Security website, visit their local Social Security office, or call 1-800-772-1213 for help finding out how Medicare can help them pay for the costs associated with Nursing Home care and for help applying.
Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Kentucky
Kentucky offers low-cost and free resources for all aspects of life as an adult living in a nursing home or other residential care facility. There services can address needs like transportation, counseling and companionship to those who need it most.
The Kentucky Department for Aging and Independent Living oversees the delivery and administration of a variety of statewide programs for seniors. These include caregiver support services, disease management, diabetes prevention and control and disability determination.
There are 15 Area Agencies on Aging in Kentucky that address the needs and concerns of seniors in throughout the state. Seniors may sign up through their local agency to receive services like home delivered meals, homemaker assistance, transportation and companionship.
The ombudsman program serves as an advocate to seniors living in residential care communities by listening to and responding to complaints of abuse, fraud and neglect. The ombudsman also regulates nursing homes and nursing homes to ensure the facilities provide a high-quality level of care to their residents.
The Kentucky Senior Living Association supports individuals and organizations who operate residential care facilities and provides support to seniors and their families and caregivers. The association also offers publications that address a variety of senior needs and regular conferences are held to raise money to improve the quality of life for seniors.
The Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs operates regional veterans’ benefits offices throughout the state. It helps men and women who’ve served in the military locate available benefits and compensation that they’ve earned. Benefits include counseling, healthcare, housing, financial assistance, transition assistance and retirement.
COVID-19 Rules for Nursing Homes in Kentucky
The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including chfs.ky.gov. 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.
Are loved ones allowed to visit to provide emotional support?
Are relatives allowed to visit for end-of-life care?
Are residents required to quarantine after visiting with a loved one?
Are visitors required to wear PPE (including masks) in order to visit residents?
Are non-medical contractors (such as hairdressers and entertainers) allowed in senior living facilities?
Are visitors checked for elevated temperatures?
Are visitors required to answer questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?
Outings & Social Activities
Are residents allowed to leave (errands, visiting family, etc.) for non-medical reasons?
Are residents who leave required to quarantine when they return?
Are senior living communities required to cancel all group outings?
Are residents allowed to eat meals together in a common area?
Are residents allowed to gather in common areas for group activites?
COVID-19 Safety Measures for Staff and Residents
Are staff members regularly required to do a temperature check?
Are staff members regularly tested for COVID-19?
Are staff members members regularly required to do a health and safety screening, including questions about travel, contact with positive cases, etc?
Are residents regularly screened for COVID-19 symptoms?
Are residents regularly checked for elevated temperatures?
Are residents regularly tested for COVID-19?
*Note: This information was not available for this state, contact your local area agency on aging or senior living facility for more information.
Nursing Home Laws and Regulations in Kentucky
Nursing Homes Facilities in Kentucky (49)
- Ashland, KY (5)
- Bardstown, KY (4)
- Berea, KY (2)
- Bowling Green, KY (6)
- Calvert City, KY (2)
- Campbellsville, KY (2)
- Clinton, KY (2)
- Corbin, KY (4)
- Covington, KY (3)
- Cynthiana, KY (4)
- Danville, KY (3)
- Dawson Springs, KY (2)
- Elizabethtown, KY (5)
- Elsmere, KY (2)
- Erlanger, KY (2)
- Florence, KY (3)
- Fort Thomas, KY (2)
- Frankfort, KY (3)
- Georgetown, KY (2)
- Glasgow, KY (7)
- Greenville, KY (3)
- Hardinsburg, KY (2)
- Harrodsburg, KY (3)
- Hazard, KY (2)
- Henderson, KY (2)
- Hopkinsville, KY (3)
- Kuttawa, KY (2)
- Lebanon, KY (2)
- Leitchfield, KY (2)
- Lewisport, KY (2)
- Lexington, KY (16)
- Louisville, KY (51)
- Madisonville, KY (5)
- Mayfield, KY (3)
- Morehead, KY (2)
- Morganfield, KY (2)
- Mount Vernon, KY (2)
- Owensboro, KY (7)
- Paducah, KY (7)
- Pikeville, KY (2)
- Pineville, KY (2)
- Prestonsburg, KY (3)
- Radcliff, KY (2)
- Richmond, KY (2)
- Shelbyville, KY (4)
- Somerset, KY (4)
- Vanceburg, KY (2)
- Versailles, KY (2)
- Winchester, KY (3)