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

Financial Assistance for Nursing Home Care in Michigan

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 Michigan.

Michigan’s Medicaid Program

As of July 2020, about 2.4 million Michiganders participated in the state’s Medicaid program. In the 2017 fiscal year, the most recent year for which data is available, 5% of Michigan Medicaid recipients participated in long-term services and supports programs. Of those enrollees, 21% lived in nursing homes, while the rest received care in other settings, such as at home or in an assisted living facility. 

Michigan Medicaid may cover long-term care in a nursing facility when it’s medically necessary. This determination is made by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) based on an in-depth assessment of a person’s health conditions and their ability to perform daily tasks. Seniors who are determined to need nursing home care can choose to receive services at home through the MI Choice waiver program. For those who receive care in a nursing facility, there are plenty of options: As of 2017, there were hundreds of licensed nursing homes in Michigan with a total of 46,319 beds.

Medicaid Eligibility in Michigan

Seniors may be eligible for Medicaid-funded nursing home care if they’re U.S. citizens and meet the program’s financial requirements. Seniors must have less than $2,000 in countable assets. An income limit also applies and is determined based on a senior’s medical expenses. Seniors are usually expected to contribute to their care costs, but they’re allowed to retain a portion of their income for personal needs.

Seniors who are interested in Medicaid can visit their local MDHHS office for an application form, or they can download a form from the agency’s website. Completed forms can be submitted in-person or by mail.

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 Michigan

Seniors in Michigan have access to many free and low-cost resources that can help them pay for nursing home care. There are also many resources that can support seniors who prefer to remain in their homes and delay nursing home care. A selection of the most helpful resources is listed below.

ResourceContact Service
Michigan Medicaid/Medicare Assistance Program(800) 803-7174The Michigan Medicaid/Medicare Assistance program (MMAP) is a free statewide service that helps seniors make health insurance decisions. A local MMAP volunteer can help seniors and their families navigate Medicaid and Medicare, as well as other types of insurance, such as retiree health coverage and long-term care insurance. Volunteers can explain seniors’ options, explain eligibility rules and help with paperwork for enrollment and claims. 
Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan(517) 886-1029Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) are nonprofit agencies that aim to support older adults’ independence. There are 16 AAAs in Michigan, and seniors or their caregivers can contact their local AAA for information about local home and community-based services. These resources may include caregiver training, respite care, chore services, meal deliveries, accessibility modifications and other services that can help frail seniors live safely and comfortably in their own homes. 
Michigan Association of Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Programs (MAF/SCP)(313) 637-1036A federally funded program, Senior Companions pairs volunteers aged 55 and older with frail seniors. The volunteers provide friendship and companionship to their older clients. They also provide assistance with daily tasks and offer respite to family caregivers. Senior Companions is available in most Michigan counties. The contact information for Wayne County, the state’s most populous county, is listed to the left. Caregivers in other parts of Michigan can visit the MAF/SCP website to find contact information for their county’s program.
Michigan Assistive Technology Program(800) 578-1269Operated by the Michigan Disability Rights Coalition, this program provides information about devices that can help frail seniors with daily tasks. Caregivers can view demonstrations of devices that may benefit their senior loved one, such as reading machines, amplified phones and talking clocks. Before buying a device, they can try equipment for free through MATP’s loan program. The organization can help caregivers find potential funding sources for devices, including public and private programs.
Easterseals Michigan(248) 475-6400Easterseals Michigan is a nonprofit organization that offers support for seniors who live at home. It provides training for family caregivers in several Michigan counties, including Allegan, Ionia, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newago and Lake. An occupational therapist teaches caregivers how to effectively assist with daily tasks and keep their senior loved one safe in the home. In Kent County, occupational therapists can also provide an assessment of the home’s safety.
Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency(800) 642-4838The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency is a statewide resource for veterans and their family members. Caregivers can contact the agency to ensure their loved one is receiving all benefits they’re entitled to as a result of their military service. These benefits may include the Aid and Attendance pension benefit or medical care at VA facilities. Seniors may also qualify for entry to one of the state’s Homes for Veterans, which provide reduced-cost nursing home care.

Nursing Home Laws and Regulations in Michigan

Licensing RequirementsMichigan 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 RequirementsNursing 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 RequirementsA 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 RestrictionsNursing 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 RequirementsNursing 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 RequirementsNursing homes are required to provide nutritious meals. Residents with special dietary needs have the right to request modifications.
Specialized Rehabilitative ServicesGenerally, 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 ServicesResidents’ 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 CoverageMichigan 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 (88)