In 2019, Nevada had nearly 3.1 million residents; 16.1% of these residents were 65 and older, making older adults one of the state’s largest demographics. To meet the needs of older residents, Nevada has 31 hospitals and 66 certified nursing facilities. Two of the state’s hospitals, Carson Tahoe Health in Carson City and Renown South Meadows Medical Center in Reno, are high-performing in multiple specialties, giving seniors access to high-quality care.

Nursing homes, also called skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), give residents 24/7 access to skilled nursing care. According to Genworth Financial’s 2020 Cost of Care Survey, a semiprivate room in a Nevada nursing home costs an average of $9,262 per month. The cost of a private room is slightly higher, averaging $10,585 per month.

The following guide provides an overview of the cost of care in Nevada, along with information on financial assistance options and a summary of relevant laws designed to protect nursing home residents. It also includes a directory of resources for seniors and their caregivers.

The Cost of Nursing Home Care in Nevada

According to the Genworth Financial 2020 Cost of Care Survey, Nevada is on the expensive side when it comes to the cost of nursing home care. Although the national average for care in a semiprivate room is $7,756 per month, the average for a semiprivate room in Nevada is $9,262 per month, a difference of more than $1,500. Oregon is the most expensive state in the region, with average monthly costs of $10,114 for a semiprivate room. Care in California costs a few dollars less per month than care in Nevada, with a semiprivate room costing an average of $9,247 per month. Idaho and Utah have lower costs than Nevada, averaging $8,669 per month and $6,388 per month, respectively.

$9262

Nevada

$7756

The United States

$10114

Oregon

$9247

California

$8669

Idaho

$6388

Utah

The cost of nursing home care depends on several factors, including the local cost of living and the number of facilities available. As a result, costs vary significantly from one Nevada city to another. The Carson City area has the highest monthly costs, averaging $9,612 for a semiprivate room. In Las Vegas and Henderson, a semiprivate room costs an average of $9,155 per month. Costs are slightly lower in Reno at $9,095 per month and in Elko, which is near the Nevada-Idaho border, at $8,836 per month.

$9612

Carson City

$9155

Las Vegas

$9155

Henderson

$9095

Reno

$8836

Elko

The type of care selected also influences a senior’s average monthly costs. In addition to nursing home care, Nevada seniors have the option of choosing home health services, attending an adult day care program or moving into assisted living. Adult day care, which is typically provided at a community center, costs the least, averaging $1,571 per month in Nevada. Home-based care costs more, with in-home care averaging $4,576 per month and home health care averaging $4,767 per month. Assisted living is the most expensive remaining option, averaging $3,595 per month.

$4576

In-Home Care

$4767

Home Health Care

$1571

Adult Day Care

$3595

Assisted Living Facility

$9262

Nursing Home Care

Financial Assistance for Nursing Home Care in Nevada

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 Nevada.

Nevada’s Medicaid Program

Approximately 17% of Nevada’s population, around 630,000 people, receive health services through Medicaid. This includes 58% of Nevada’s nursing home residents. Additionally, more than one-third of Medicaid funds spent on long-term care go toward services provided in nursing homes. With 66 certified nursing facilities in the state, Nevada residents have plenty of options when it comes to long-term care. 

Nevada Medicaid has a waiver program to ensure that seniors get the care they need. This program, known as the Waiver for the Frail Elderly, pays for adult residential care, case management, adult companion services and augmented personal care for Medicaid recipients living in residential facilities. Nevada Medicaid also has waiver programs available to help Medicaid enrollees with physical and intellectual disabilities get help paying for skilled nursing, adult day care and other needed services. With these waiver programs, it’s possible to combine services to ensure seniors can maintain their dignity and independence.

Medicaid Eligibility in Nevada

Nevada seniors may qualify for Medicaid if they’re at least 65 years old, qualify as low income or very low income and meet certain requirements regarding their residency and citizenship. Medicaid is available to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, U.S. nationals and legal aliens who meet all other eligibility requirements. The annual income limit depends on an applicant’s household size.

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 Nevada

Several free and low-cost resources are available to help Nevada seniors pay for nursing home care or learn more about their long-term care options. Support is also available for seniors who want to stay in their homes and need a little help to maintain their independence. Some of the most helpful resources are listed below.

ResourceContact Service
Nevada Long-Term Care Ombudsman(888) 282-1155The Nevada Long-Term Care Ombudsman program improves the quality of care provided in nursing homes and other residential facilities. When someone files a complaint about a nursing home, the LTC ombudsman investigates and attempts to resolve the complaint to the satisfaction of the resident. Staff also conduct unannounced nursing home inspections, ensuring that Nevada nursing homes follow all relevant laws and regulations.
State Health Insurance Assistance Program(800) 307-4444SHIP staff members provide counseling and referrals to Medicare beneficiaries throughout the state of Nevada. Seniors who have questions about their Medicare coverage or need help purchasing supplemental plans can contact SHIP for more information about available benefits. Staff members can also help with Medicare and Medigap appeals.
Nevada Department of Veterans Services(702) 830-2000The Nevada Department of Veterans Services has Veteran Service Officers (VSOs) available to answer questions about benefits and services provided by the agency. Older veterans with questions about how their benefits work with long-term care should contact a VSO for more information.
Senior Medicare Patrol(888) 838-7305Senior Medicare Patrol exists to help Medicare beneficiaries protect their personal information and address potential fraud. Beneficiaries and their caregivers can contact SMP with questions about billing statements or to learn more about the best ways to prevent Medicare fraud. SMP educates seniors on fraud and waste in the Medicare program and refers suspected cases of fraud to the appropriate federal agency for investigation.
Personal Assistance Services(775) 687-4210Personal Assistance Services provides home-based services for seniors who are still living in their own homes. The agency offers case management to determine each senior’s needs and to identify sources of funding. It also provides attendant care to older adults who need help with basic activities of daily living and covers homemaker services to help seniors with housekeeping, laundry, grocery shopping and meal preparation. 

Nursing Home Laws and Regulations in Nevada

Licensing RequirementsAccording to the Nevada Administrative Code, every skilled nursing facility must obtain a license to operate. To qualify for a license, the facility must demonstrate that it complies with all relevant laws and safety standards.
Staffing RequirementsA licensed administrator must oversee the operation of every skilled nursing facility. Nevada doesn’t have minimum staffing ratios, but every skilled nursing facility must have adequate staffing to ensure the safety of each resident and to help residents maintain their health and independence. At facilities with more than 20 residents, at least one caregiver must be awake and on duty at all times.
Staff Training RequirementsEvery caregiver must receive at least four hours of training within 60 days of starting employment. The training must be relevant to the skilled nursing facility’s resident population. All caregivers must also receive eight hours of continuing education each year. Administrators must complete CPR and first-aid training within 30 days of starting employment. Each registered nurse must maintain an active CPR certification.
Admission RestrictionsSkilled nursing facilities aren’t permitted to admit residents who require restraints for their safety. Bedridden residents and residents requiring 24-hour medical supervision can’t be admitted unless they’re enrolled in a hospice program and have been approved by the Bureau of Health Care Quality and Compliance. Individuals with unmanageable incontinence, pressure ulcers, and contractures can’t be admitted to Nevada skilled nursing facilities. Additionally, patients who require specialized care, such as catheterization or the use of oxygen, may not be admitted to a Nevada skilled nursing facility unless the facility is capable of performing the required care or has trained medical personnel available to perform the care.
Care Planning RequirementsThe facility administrator must conduct a comprehensive needs assessment for each resident. The needs assessment must include information on the resident’s cognitive status, customary routine, behavior patterns and overall condition. The assessment should also address the condition of the resident’s skin, dental health, pattern of continence and nutritional needs.
Dietary and Nutritional Services RequirementsSkilled nursing facilities must provide three meals per day. Each meal must be nutritious, suitable for the resident, served appropriately (e.g. hot foods served hot) and planned with the resident’s nutritional needs and individual preferences in mind. Snacks must also be made available for residents who don’t have dietary restrictions that prevent them from eating in between meals. A facility with more than 10 residents must consult a registered dietitian at least quarterly to develop new menus, train kitchen staff and make sure the nutritional program complies with all relevant requirements.
Specialized Rehabilitative ServicesSkilled nursing facilities must provide specialized rehabilitative services, such as physical therapy, as required by each resident’s care plan. If the facility doesn’t employ its own rehabilitation staff, the services must be obtained from a qualified third party.
Medication and Pharmaceutical ServicesResidents are permitted to administer their own medications if they’re capable of doing so. Unlicensed staff may also administer medications, provided they complete a 16-hour training course. For residents who need insulin, a nurse may fill and label the insulin syringes ahead of time; alternatively, the facility may use pre-filled pens.
Activities Requirements Facilities licensed for 50 or more residents must have at least one full-time staff member responsible for assisting with activities. Facilities licensed for 20 to 49 residents must have one staff member responsible for organizing and conducting activities.
Infection Control Requirements Every skilled nursing facility must have an infection-control program to prevent the spread of disease and ensure the health and safety of residents.
Medicaid CoverageNevada Medicaid pays for augmented personal care for residents of skilled nursing facilities who are 65 and older. This includes recreational programming, medication oversight and companion services.