With more than 71,000 adults living in skilled nursing facilities, Ohio has the nation’s fifth-largest population of nursing home residents after California, Texas, New York and Pennsylvania. The Buckeye State is home to more than 978 nursing homes that offer families a wide range of choices.

Skilled nursing facilities are suitable for individuals who have advanced medical needs and require around-the-clock care. In Ohio, these facilities are authorized to provide personal care, such as assistance with daily activities, as well as skilled medical care, such as administering medications. Nursing homes also offer meals, accommodations and recreational activities to provide an enriching lifestyle. According to the Genworth 2020 Cost of Care Survey, the median cost of a semiprivate nursing home in Ohio is $7,148 per month, and residents pay $1,065 more for private accommodations.

If your loved one is unable to live safely at home or has needs that are too advanced for an assisted living facility, skilled nursing may be the best option. This guide features helpful resources for families who are considering nursing home care, including pricing information, financial assistance programs, relevant state agencies and local long-term care organizations.

The Cost of Nursing Home Care in Ohio

Budget-conscious families will be pleased to discover that nursing home costs in Ohio are about 8% lower than the national average of $7,756. Rates are also competitive for the region according to the Genworth 2020 Cost of Care Survey. In Ohio and Indiana, seniors pay approximately $7,150 per month for a semiprivate room. Although average rates are just $180 higher in Kentucky, seniors in neighboring states pay considerably more. Nursing facilities in Michigan charge $1,825 more per month, and rates in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, exceed $10,000 a month.

$7148

Ohio

$7756

The United States

$8973

Michigan

$7133

Indiana

$10038

Pennsylvania

$7330

Kentucky

$11376

West Virginia

Average nursing home costs vary by more than $2,000 per month in Ohio’s major metropolitan areas. In Columbus, the state’s capital and largest city, monthly rates are $150 lower than the state median. This is one of the most affordable areas for nursing home care after Canton in the northeast, where seniors pay just $6,540 per month. When compared to the state median, prices increase by around $150 in Youngstown, $700 in Cleveland and $970 in Akron, which shows how rates can vary in a limited geographic region. Although monthly costs in Akron exceed $8,100, it’s not the most expensive city. In Dayton, residents pay $8,699 per month, which is $1,000 more than Toledo and $1,550 more than the state median.

$6996

Columbus

$7848

Cleveland

$8152

Cincinnati

$7604

Toledo

$8121

Akron

$8699

Dayton

$6540

Canton

$7300

Youngstown

Families who are seeking long-term care for an elderly relative have several options ranging from adult day care and in-home alternatives to assisted living and skilled nursing in licensed health care facilities. Adult day health care is the most affordable option with an average cost of $1,300 per month. Assisted living costs $4,350 per month, and home health agencies typically charge $4,481 to $4,566 depending on the level of care required. With an average cost of $7,148 per month, nursing homes are considerably more expensive, which reflects the level of skilled care and intensive staffing that’s provided around the clock.

$7148

Nursing Home

$4481

In-Home Care

$4566

Home Health Care

$1300

Adult Day Care

$4350

Assisted Living

Does Medicaid Cover Nursing Home Care in Ohio?

Medicaid is an important source of funding for Ohio’s nursing home residents. This program covers more than 3 million adults and children statewide and about 60% of the state’s nursing home residents. Ohio has one of the nation’s largest populations of nursing home residents after California, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. Nearly 72,000 adults reside in the state’s 978 skilled nursing facilities. Medicaid is available to residents who live in these facilities, meet medical and financial criteria and spend the majority of their income on long-term care. The state will also pay for alternative forms of care through Medicaid waivers.

Medicaid Eligibility in Ohio 

Medicaid provides several eligibility categories to ensure members of target populations can access available benefits. While traditional Medicaid is available to individuals who have limited income and assets, seniors and disabled adults may also qualify based on their medical needs. Applicants who require a nursing home level of care qualify for Medicaid if they earn no more than 300% of the federal Supplemental Security Income benefit. For 2022, this limit is $2,523 per month. Additionally, applicants must spend all of their income on long-term care, excluding a $50 monthly personal needs allowance. Assets are subject to strict limits. However, certain items are excluded, including a primary home and vehicle.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Ohio



Annual Income Limits 

Asset Limits

Single Applicant

$30,276

$2,000

Two-Person Household

(Only One Spouse Applying)

$30,276

$2,000 for applicant
$137,400 for nonapplicant

Two-Person Household
(Both Spouses Applying)

$60,552

$3,000

To qualify for Medicaid, applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal residents with a permanent address in Ohio. Seniors and disabled adults who require a nursing home level of care can qualify for benefits with higher income limits. The state also allows spouses to retain a monthly needs allowance, and seniors who earn too much to qualify may be able to establish a trust to reduce their income to acceptable levels. Applicants who meet financial requirements must also complete a personalized needs assessment to determine whether they qualify for nursing home care. 

How to Apply for Medicaid in Ohio

The Ohio Department of Medicaid provides several application options for seniors who want to apply for traditional health care benefits or long-term services and supports. To start an online application, visit Benefits.Ohio.gov. You may also contact your county’s Job and Family Services office. Applications are accepted in person and by mail or fax. You can also call Ohio’s Medicaid hotline at (800) 324-8680 for assistance. 

Information You Will Need:

  • Proof of income
  • Financial statements
  • Property records
  • Health insurance information
  • Proof of age or disability
  • Proof of citizenship or legal residency

Additional Medicaid Support & Resources in Ohio

If you need help applying for benefits or appealing a decision, contact the Department of Medicaid directly. You can also visit your local Job and Family Services office or reach out to a nonprofit advocacy group for personalized assistance.

Resource

Contact

Description

(800) 324-8680

If you have questions about Medicaid, including benefits for skilled nursing and long-term care, contact the state’s Medicaid Consumer Hotline to speak with a specially trained Choice Counselor. Staff members can answer questions, process applications and assist with notices and appeals.

(866) 244-0071

Ohio operates Job and Family Services offices in all 88 counties. This agency helps with applications for Medicaid and financial assistance, including food stamps. It also provides adult protective services in cases of abuse or neglect.

(800) 282-9181

Seniors who are applying for Medicaid or have received notice that their benefits are being reduced or terminated can contact the Ohio Disability Rights Law and Policy Center for assistance. The agency provides a detailed overview of the appeals process along with a variety of self-advocacy materials.

(614) 285-6710

Ohio Legal Help offers information about Medicaid and other government benefits, including eligibility requirements. The organization directs consumers to government agencies in their local area, and it provides referrals to legal aid organizations and pro bono attorneys who can help with Medicaid, long-term care and advance planning.

Does Medicare Cover Nursing Home Care in Ohio?

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 Support & Resources in Ohio 

Medicare is a federal program available to seniors aged 65 and older and adults who have certain medical diagnoses. This program covers 2.4 million Ohioans, and it can help with the cost of short-term nursing home care following a hospital stay.

Resource

Contact

Description

(800) 686-1578

OSHIIP is a federally sponsored program that educates current and future Medicare beneficiaries about their eligibility and coverage options. Specialized, trained counselors provide one-on-one information sessions to help older residents understand their insurance options and apply for extra help.

(800) 686-1526

The Ohio Department of Insurance offers a variety of informational services and local events through its Medicare Services division. It provides details about financial benefits that can reduce premiums, copays and prescription drug costs. Consumers can also find guides to long-term care insurance and related financial products.

(513) 458-5522

Pro Seniors administers the state’s Senior Medicare Patrol program. This initiative helps beneficiaries combat fraud by reviewing claims and billing records and making timely reports. Medicare enrollees are encouraged to contact SMP for questions about their explanation of benefits and other health insurance billing statements.

Other Financial Assistance Options for Nursing Home Care in Ohio

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 Ohio

State and federal agencies are available to help older adults maximize their health insurance coverage and long-term care benefits. Seniors who have questions about Medicare or ways to pay for skilled nursing can contact the following agencies for assistance.

Resource

Contact

Service

(866) 243-5678

Ohio has 12 regional Area Agencies on Aging that are part of a national network. These nonprofit, government-affiliated agencies help residents access nursing home care and community-based resources, including delivered meals, homemaker services, companionship and personal care. They also review applications for Medicaid long-term care.

(800) 266-4346

The Ohio Department of Aging develops programs and policies that support healthy, independent aging. Informational resources, community-based services and financial benefits are available to seniors and family caregivers. The agency advocates for individuals in long-term care, connects residents with necessary services and offers a discount card that's valid at dozens of local businesses.

(800) 282-1206

Ohio’s long-term care ombudsman program uses staff and specially trained volunteers to educate seniors who live in nursing facilities and help them understand and exercise their personal rights. They provide information, resolve resident complaints and consult with families who are considering long-term care for their loved ones.

(800) 488-6070

Pro Seniors operates a free legal helpline for seniors aged 60 and older. It also serves as the state’s long-term care ombudsman. These independent advocates advise seniors and their families on long-term care issues and facility selection. They also accept confidential complaints regarding the quality of service.

(614) 644-0898

The Ohio Department of Veterans Services serves veterans in all 88 counties through a network of local offices. If you're a veteran, military spouse or dependent, you may qualify for free state and federal benefits that can help with the cost of skilled nursing. The state also manages several veterans' homes that offer long-term care.

(614) 784-9772

This industry association supports facility administrators, develops staff certification programs and provides informational resources to aid in the development of quality recreation programs for older adults. It also helps seniors locate participating community centers in their geographic area.

COVID-19 Rules for
Nursing Homes in Ohio

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including coronavirus.ohio.gov. These rules apply to Independent Living Communities and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/13/2022), 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 OHIO COMMUNITIES

Can I visit my relative in person if he/she wants emotional support from me?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Can I visit my relative in person for end-of-life compassion care?

Yes

Will my loved one be required to self-quarantine after I visit him or her?

No

Do I need to wear PPE and/or a cloth mask if I do visit my relative in person?

Yes

Are Hairdressers and other non-medical contractors still allowed in senior living facilities?

Yes

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

Yes

Are visitors being screened for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are visitors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?

Yes

Outings & Social Activities

RULES FOR OHIO COMMUNITIES

Are residents allowed to leave the facility for non-medical reasons?

Yes

Are residents of senior living facilities who leave and return required to self-quarantine?

No (Conditions Apply)

Are senior living facilities required to cancel all group outings?

No

Are residents still eating together in the dining hall?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are facilities still allowed to host group activities within the community?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

COVID-19 Safety Measures for Staff and Residents

RULES FOR OHIO 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 Ohio

NURSING HOME LAWS AND REGULATIONS IN OHIO
Licensing
Nursing homes in Ohio, also called long term care facilities, are licensed by the Department of Health, Health Care Facilities Licensure and Certification Section. Facilities are authorized to provide personal care and skilled nursing to individuals who require assistance due to an injury, illness or disability.
Staffing
Skilled nursing facilities must have sufficient direct care staff on each shift to provide appropriate, timely care and to deliver at least 2.5 hours of one-on-one assistance to each resident daily. Qualified staff includes nurse aides, RNs and LPNs. The state also has minimum shift requirements for key personnel, such as the director of nursing.
Staff Training
Facility administrators must provide appropriate training to ensure that each staff member can perform all required job duties. Nurse aides in Ohio must complete a board-approved 75-hour training program and competency evaluation that includes classroom education and supervised clinical work experience.
Admission Restrictions
Individuals seeking admission to a Medicaid-funded long-term care facility must pass a federally mandated Preadmission Screening and Resident Review. The facility must be able to safely meet the resident's needs, especially if the person has a developmental disability or serious mental illness. Short-term admissions may be permitted in emergency situations.
Care Planning
Nursing homes must prepare a written plan of care within seven days of admission or completion of the initial assessment. The plan should be developed with input from the resident or resident's representative and must be reviewed quarterly or following a change in health.
Dietary and Nutrition Services
Skilled nursing facilities must provide a least three palatable, nutritionally balanced meals daily. Meal substitutions and alternative dining options must be available. Facilities are also required to monitor each resident's intake to ensure that their nutritional needs are met. Dietary services must be overseen by a qualified nutritionist or registered dietitian.
Specialized Rehabilitative Services
Nursing homes may provide special services, including physical and occupational therapy, to contribute to the patient's rehabilitation.
Medication and Pharmaceutical Services
Staff members may assist nursing home residents with self-administering medications, and they may administer prescription and over-the-counter medications as directed by a physician's orders. Nursing homes are also required to provide pharmacy services by employing a full- or part-time pharmacist or consultant.
Activities
Nursing homes must provide comprehensive life enrichment activities to meet residents' physical and emotional needs. Programs must accommodate the individual's interests and abilities.
Infection Control
Nursing homes must develop written policies for preventing and managing communicable infections and diseases. Staff members must follow hygiene protocols, and facilities must report and investigate infections as required. These rules apply to tuberculosis and other listed diseases.
Medicaid Coverage
Medicaid Long Term Care will pay for the cost of institutional care provided in a skilled nursing facility. This coverage is available to individuals who meet income and assist limits and have a qualifying medical need.

Nursing Homes Facilities in Ohio (199)