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If you are looking into senior home care for yourself or a loved one, cost is likely a concern. Fortunately, home care costs are significantly less compared to assisted living facilities, nursing homes and other types of senior care options. There are two primary types of in-home care for seniors: home care aides and home health aides.

Types of In-Home Care for Seniors

Home care aides typically help seniors with their activities of daily living, such as grooming, hygiene, housekeeping and preparing meals. They also can provide companionship for seniors. Home health aide (HHAs) roles can be filled by certified nursing assistants or other medical providers like physical and occupational therapists depending on the person’s needs. These individuals are invaluable for those receiving in-home care who also have medical conditions and need assistance with medications, wound care, vital sign monitoring, IV treatments/feedings and mobility. While home care aides and HHAs are the most common home caregivers, one can also employ private duty nurses and live-in caregivers at a significantly higher rate.

Average Cost of Home Health Care Nationally

With the exception of live-in caregivers, most home health care personnel charge hourly rates. These individuals can be retained through private hires or a home care agency. While utilizing the services of an agency might cost 20-30 percent more than a private hire, agencies have strict regulations and policies. They also handle all of the background checks, financial payments, taxes and can provide backups in case the normal caregiver needs time off. In May 2021 we used Genworth’s Cost of Care survey to determine that the national average for home care is around $24 per hour, depending on the level of care required and the type of aide providing the assistance.

Caregiver Role National Hourly Average National Daily Average / 8 hours National Monthly Average / 22 days National Annual Average / 250 days per year
Home Care Aide / Homemaker /Companion $24 $188 $4,136 $47,000
Home Health Aide $24 $192 $4,224 $48,000

Home Care Costs By State

The average cost of home care depends heavily upon the beneficiary’s demographic location. As of May 2021, costs from state-to-state generally range from $17 to $32 per hour, but this can vary drastically even amid each state depending on the area’s cost of living. This chart lists the national cost of home care by state.

State Home Care Median Hourly Rate Home Care Daily Rate / 8 hours Home Care Monthly Rate / 22 days
United States $24 $192 $4,224
Alabama $18 $144 $3,168
Alaska $28 $224 $4,928
Arizona $26 $208 $4,576
Arkansas $20 $160 $3,520
California $29 $232 $5,104
Colorado $28 $224 $4,928
Connecticut $25 $196 $4,312
Delaware $25 $200 $4,400
District of Columbia $26 $208 $4,576
Florida $23 $180 $3,960
Georgia $22 $172 $3,784
Hawaii $29 $232 $5,104
Idaho $24 $192 $4,224
Illinois $26 $204 $4,488
Indiana $24 $188 $4,136
Iowa $26 $204 $4,488
Kansas $22 $176 $3,872
Kentucky $22 $172 $3,784
Louisiana $17 $136 $2,992
Maine $29 $228 $5,016
Maryland $25 $196 $4,312
Massachusetts $30 $236 $5,192
Michigan $25 $196 $4,312
Minnesota $32 $256 $5,632
Mississippi $19 $148 $3,256
Missouri $23 $184 $4,048
Montana $27 $216 $4,752
Nebraska $26 $208 $4,576
Nevada $25 $196 $4,312
New Hampshire $29 $232 $5,104
New Jersey $26 $208 $4,576
New Mexico $23 $184 $4,048
New York $26 $204 $4,488
North Carolina $21 $164 $3,608
North Dakota $29 $228 $5,016
Ohio $24 $192 $4,224
Oklahoma $24 $188 $4,136
Oregon $29 $232 $5,104
Pennsylvania $24 $192 $4,224
Rhode Island $30 $240 $5,280
South Carolina $22 $172 $3,784
South Dakota $29 $228 $5,016
Tennessee $21 $168 $3,696
Texas $22 $176 $3,872
Utah $26 $204 $4,488
Vermont $29 $232 $5,104
Virginia $23 $180 $3,960
Washington $32 $252 $5,544
West Virginia $19 $152 $3,344
Wisconsin $26 $208 $4,576
Wyoming $29 $228 $5,016

How to Pay for Home Care for Seniors

There are a number of ways to pay for home care for seniors including private payment and governmental and/or local assistance options. Here are some common questions concerning paying for senior home care.

Does Medicare Cover Home Care Costs?

Medicare does not cover any type of non-medical care that is not ordered by a physician or care practitioner. This means that there is no Medicare coverage for those receiving care for ADL’s, but any care related to medical needs are covered. Home health aides, CNA’s, nurses and therapists are covered under Medicare. However, recipients must be declared homebound and have a doctor prescribe this type of care, which is typically limited compared to time spent by a home care aide.

Does Medicaid Cover Home Care Costs?

Medicaid is a state and government sponsored program designed to serve low income persons. Coverage differs drastically from Medicare, as Medicaid does cover non-medical in-home care in addition to medical services. When provided as in-home care, this Medicaid program is referred to as Home and Community Based Services, but there are often state specific waivers that beneficiaries must apply for and receive for maximum coverage.

Do Veteran’s Benefits Cover Home Health Care?

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) does provide certain coverages for home health care. In certain cases, the entire cost may be covered, while in other situations this organization helps recompense veterans in order to reduce their expenditures for home health care. These benefits will vary depending on which type of policies are in force: Improved Pension, Aid and Attendance and Homebound.

Self Payment Options

Of course, self payment is always an option for families in need of senior health care. Some options include:

  • Life Insurance Policy Conversions
  • Reverse Mortgages & HELOCs
  • Long Term Care Insurance
  • Home Care Loans

Is Home Heath Care Tax Deductible?

Expenses for home care aides and even home health aides is limited. Non-medical related expenses such as assistance with ADL’s is not generally tax deductible. However, those seeking nursing and medical related expenses might qualify for a tax deduction for declaring an additional independent (similar to declaring a child on taxes) or even dependency status. If the primary purpose of the in-home heath care is medically related, then there are tax claim options to accommodate those needs as well. Do note, that only medical expenses are deductible under the medical claim and are limited by law.

Reviewed By

Scott Witt

Elder Home Care Expert

Scott founded Select Home Care Portland in 2009 and has been helping seniors live their best life at home or in their local senior community ever since. As an advocate for seniors, the primary philosophy has been to listen, educate and provide… Learn More About Scott Witt

Written By

Jeff Hoyt

Editor in Chief

Since graduating from Harvard with an honors degree in Statistics, Jeff has been creating content in print, online, and on television. Much of his work has been dedicated to informing seniors on how to live better lives. As Editor-in-Chief of the personal… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt

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