Michigan is one of the most populous states in the nation with nearly 9.9 million residents, and 17.7% of Michiganders — about 1.7 million people — are aged 65 or older. To meet the needs of this large senior population, Michigan is home to many nursing homes and health care facilities. Several of the state’s hospitals, including University of Michigan Hospitals – Michigan Medicine and Beaumont Hospital – Royal Oak, are nationally ranked in geriatrics by U.S. News and World Report.

Nursing homes provide room and board, supervision and round-the-clock access to skilled nursing care. In Michigan, care in a semiprivate room costs an average of $8,973 per month, according to Genworth Financial’s 2020 Cost of Care Survey. For seniors who opt for a private room, the average price tag is slightly higher at $9,733 per month. 

This guide provides an overview of nursing home care in Michigan, including the cost of care, financial assistance options and laws that govern nursing homes, as well as some helpful resources for frail seniors and their caregivers.

The Cost of Nursing Home Care in Michigan

Michigan is a relatively expensive state for nursing home care, according to Genworth Financial’s 2020 Cost of Care Survey. Nationally, the average monthly cost of nursing home care is $7,756, while the Michigan average is nearly 16% higher at $8,973. Care costs are slightly lower in neighboring Wisconsin ($8,684), while in other states that border Michigan, prices are even lower. Ohio’s average cost is about 20% lower than Michigan’s at $7,148 per month. Indiana’s $7,133 per month is about the same as Ohio, while in nearby Illinois, nursing home care costs just $6,235 per month.

$8973

Michigan

$7756

The United States

$8684

Wisconsin

$7148

Ohio

$7133

Indiana

$6235

Illinois

Seniors may face widely different nursing home costs, depending on which Michigan city they reside in. The Kalamazoo area has the state’s highest nursing home prices at $10,159 per month. Care costs are slightly lower in Ann Arbor and Flint, where seniors pay $9,429 and $9,353, respectively. To the west in Grand Rapids, nursing home care costs $9,178. State capital Lansing’s cost is the same as the Michigan average, while in Detroit, nursing home costs are slightly lower at $8,821 monthly. Up in Saginaw, nursing homes charge an average of $8,441 per month. In the southern Michigan city of Battle Creek, seniors pay the state’s lowest monthly prices — a comparatively affordable $7,908.

$10159

Kalamazoo

$9429

Ann Arbor

$9353

Flint

$9178

Grand Rapids

$8973

Lansing

$8821

Detroit

$8441

Saginaw

$7908

Battle Creek

In addition to nursing home care, Michigan’s long-term care options include in-home care, home health care, adult day care and assisted living care. Adult day care, which provides daytime care at a community-based center, has the lowest monthly cost at $2,080 per month. Seniors who choose to receive care in their own homes pay $4,576 per month, on average, and $4,767 monthly if they require in-home medical care. Assisted living care, at $4,200 per month, is less than half the cost of nursing care. This lower price reflects the less extensive care provided in these settings.

$4576

In-Home Care

$4767

Home Health Care

$2080

Adult Day Care

$4200

Assisted Living Facility

$8973

Nursing Home Care

Does Medicaid Cover Nursing Home Care in Michigan?

Yes, there are over 2,766,000 residents of Michigan enrolled in Medicaid and receiving assistance with the cost of accommodations and meals, in addition to rehabilitation therapies and other skilled services. Medicaid beneficiaries also get coverage for medical equipment and assistive devices. 

With over 360 nursing homes throughout the state, there are numerous choices for Medicaid beneficiaries needing a higher level of care than is offered in assisted living communities. Michigan’s Managed Long-Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) can help caregivers and seniors with care coordination and support while staying in a long-term care community, including a nursing home. Seniors may also benefit from HCBS waivers, such as MI Choices Waiver, which provides skilled nursing care in the comfort of their home or in a residential care community.

Medicaid Eligibility in Michigan 

To be considered eligible for Medicaid, individuals must meet the income level requirement and need 24-hour skilled nursing care. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services handles Medicaid screening and application processing. 

Both a single applicant and married couple can earn $2,523 monthly with $2,000 in asset limits. The exception to this is for married couples who are both applying for Medicaid, then the asset limit is $1,000 more.  

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Michigan 

Annual Income Limits

Asset Limits

Single Applicant

$30,276

$2,000

Two-Person Household

(Only One Person Applying)

$30,276

$2,000

Two-Person Household (Both People Applying) 

$30,276

$3,000

In addition to income, there are many factors to determine Medicaid eligibility. In some cases, an applicant can “spend down” their income if they meet the other requirements. Other qualifications include:

  • Citizenship status
  • Proof of residence
  • Medically needy
  • Proof of resources (bank statements and Social Security Income)

How to Apply for Medicaid in Michigan

The application process can begin in person at a local MDHHS office or over the phone with a representative. There’s also an online portal, MI Bridges, that accepts Medicaid and Medicare applications. The health care coverage hotline, (855) 276-4627, is available in English and Spanish. Additionally, a PDF of the paper application can be found on the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services website and dropped off at a local MDHHS office. The MDHHS website also includes an information booklet further explaining program policies and the application process. 

Information You Will Need:

  • Copy of birth certificate
  • Proof of citizenship, if not born in the US
  • Income from earned and unearned sources
  • Proof of real properties, including those sold or transferred within two months of the application date
  • Car registration and insurance documents
  • Medicare care and any other insurance cards, such as life insurance
  • VA discharge papers (DD 214), for veteran applicants
  • Any wills and trusts, in addition to other documents that can support the applicant’s claim

Additional Medicaid Support & Resources in Michigan

The following free resources can help seniors find programs and services that work alongside Medicaid. There are also resources, such as Medicaid Planning Assistance, that can help individuals understand how Medicaid works and what it covers, in addition to helping seniors apply for Medicaid.

Resource

Contact

Service

(877) 664-2233

Also known as the No Wrong Door System, the Aging & Disability Resource Collaboration (ADRC) works with the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to give seniors the resources they need regardless of which organization they go to. Seniors and caregivers can contact a representative to get one-on-one advice regarding their long-term care options. 

Online Only

Provided by the American Council on Aging, the Medicaid Planning Assistance website not only helps seniors and their loved ones determine their eligibility, along with learning about different planning strategies, such as how to plan for moving out of state or what to do in the event of a divorce while using Medicaid coverage. The program can assist individuals whether they're looking for a public case manager or for resources to educate themselves.

(866) 762-2237

Benefits.gov is a website offering a variety of tools to help individuals find social services and programs, including health care, with the option to browse by category or agency. Seniors and their caregivers can use the SSA Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool to determine their eligibility for benefits found on the website. 

Does Medicare Cover Nursing Home Care in Michigan?

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 may only cover some medical expenses and doesn’t replace long-term care insurance, but it does cover short-term care, so it’s a good place to start. Fortunately, there are trained volunteers that can help seniors and their loved ones find financial assistance, in addition to helping them apply for and understand Medicare coverage.  

Resource

Contact

Service

(800) 803-7174

The state Medicare program, MMAP helps beneficiaries better understand their coverage options. Seniors and caregivers can find assistance with filing a claim or appealing the denial of a claim. Counselors can explain the basics of each Medicare Part, in addition to determining their eligibility for financial assistance to cover costs for assistive devices and prescription medications.

(800) 633-4227

Medicare is a federal program designed to cover the cost of healthcare for seniors throughout the United States. In addition to offering a 24-hour chat feature, the website provides an outline of the basics and supplemental coverage options, such as MediGap. The website also has information regarding how Medicare covers specific medical conditions, as well as routine check-ups.

(800) 794-6559

Benefits CheckUp is a nationwide benefits resource library that allows users to search by category or eligibility. This allows seniors and loved ones to look for local and state-wide resources based on their ZIP code and find resources they may have otherwise missed. These resources can include tax relief and health care programs to help cover medical expenses.

Other Financial Assistance Options for Nursing Home Care in Michigan

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 Michigan

Exploring long-term care options for a loved one can be a difficult task. Fortunately, there are several nonprofit, statewide agencies that make planning for the future and finding the appropriate long-term care a bit easier. 

Resource

Contact

Service

(517) 886-1029

Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan provide a network of local programs that can improve the lives of seniors and their caregivers. Working with statewide and national agencies, such as the National Council on Aging, the agency can help seniors find services that fit their needs whether they decide to call or drop by any of their 16 offices.

(800) 578-1269

The Michigan Assistive Technology Program gives seniors and their caregivers access to assistive devices, as well as loans and other financial options for assistive or safety equipment. Provided by the Michigan Disability Rights Coalition, seniors can also find help with device training and evaluating their condition.

(800) 642-4838

With a network of clinics and vet centers throughout the state, the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency provides veterans with resources on education, employment and health care. The agency promotes a no-wrong-door policy for benefits and services by offering referrals to other locations and access to federal pensions and aid. Additionally, representatives can help seniors explore their long-term care options, including comparing local nursing homes.

(866) 485-9393

Ombudsmen work with the staff of nursing homes throughout the state to resolve complaints from residents and their loved ones, ranging from lack of quality care to lack of quality meal choices. The volunteer-based program is designed to educate seniors about their rights and ensure the facility is meeting state and federal regulations.

COVID-19 Rules for Nursing Homes in Michigan

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including michigan.gov/coronavirus. 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 Michigan 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

Does the state recommend or require that senior living facilities assist families with setting up virtual visit alternatives?

Not Available*

Are visitors checked for elevated temperatures?

Yes

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

Yes

*Note: This information was not available for this state, contact your local area agency on aging or senior living facility for more information.

Outings & Social Activities

Rules for Michigan 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 Michigan Communities

Are staff members and contractors being screened for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are staff members and contractors being tested for Coronavirus?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are staff members and contractors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?

Yes

Are staff members required to regularly screen residents for coronavirus symptoms?

Yes

Are residents relied on to screen themselves and self-report potential coronavirus symptoms?

No

Are staff members required to take residents’ temperatures?

Yes

Are residents being tested for coronavirus?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Nursing Home Laws and Regulations in Michigan

NURSING HOME LAWS AND REGULATIONS IN MICHIGAN
Licensing Requirements
Michigan requires licensing for all nursing homes, and licenses must be renewed annually. Nursing homes must be relicensed if they change their name, ownership or bed capacity. 
Staffing Requirements
Nursing homes must employ a director of nursing who plans all residents’ nursing care. Michigan law requires all nursing homes to have at least one licensed nurse on staff at all times and to comply with the following patient-to-nursing personnel staffing ratios:8:1 during the morning shift12:1 during the afternoon shift15:1 during the nighttime shiftNursing staff are limited to providing nursing care and services to residents. Except in emergency situations, they aren’t allowed to provide meal preparation or other basic services.
Staff Training Requirements
A nursing home’s director of nursing must be a registered nurse with either experience or training in the field of aging care. The facility is responsible for verifying the licenses of all registered nurses and licensed practical nurses on staff. Unlicensed nursing staff must have appropriate education and training.
Admission Restrictions
Nursing homes aren’t required to admit residents they aren’t equipped to care for, such as people who require special medical treatments or have certain communicable diseases, such as tuberculosis. 
Care Planning Requirements
Nursing home residents have the right to a care plan that aims to maintain their physical abilities and mental well-being. Residents can be involved in the creation of the care plan and have the right to advance notice about any changes to the plan.
Dietary and Nutritional Services Requirements
Nursing homes are required to provide nutritious meals. Residents with special dietary needs have the right to request modifications.
Specialized Rehabilitative Services
Generally, Michigan’s nursing homes aren’t required to provide specialized rehabilitation services, such as physical, occupational and speech therapy. However, if a rehabilitation center is included in a facility’s name, it must offer these services.
Medication and Pharmaceutical Services
Residents’ doctors are responsible for prescribing medical treatments, and nursing staff can administer drugs based on these orders. With approval from the home’s nursing staff, residents can handle their own medications. 
Activities Requirements 
In Michigan, nursing homes aren’t required to provide an activities program. However, residents have the right to pursue activities that interest them, including activities outside the nursing home. During visiting hours, which must last for at least eight hours every day, residents have the right to socialize privately with their guests.
Infection Control Requirements 
Nursing homes are expected to follow infection control practices to protect residents’ health. These practices include cleaning and disinfection of surfaces, proper hand hygiene and appropriate use of personal protective equipment. 
Medicaid Coverage
Michigan Medicaid covers nursing home care for individuals who are deemed medically eligible and meet financial requirements. Through a waiver program, Medicaid also covers nursing facility level care that seniors receive at home.

Nursing Homes Facilities in Michigan (95)