Page Reviewed / Updated - May 2018
This webpage will assist residents of Nebraska in understanding the cost of elderly care throughout the state. The cost of assisted living, in-home care, and adult day care will be covered. Financial assistance programs and care assistance programs, be that in the home or in residential care, will also be explored.
The programs listed on this page include all of the programs offered by the state of Nebraska. However, it does not include programs that come from other financial sources, such as programs on a national level. That being said, it is highly recommended that one explore all options of care assistance in order to find the most suitable program for care needs and circumstances. To assist in your search, we have made our Resource Locator Tool available at no charge.
Cost of Care Calculator
As of 2018, the average monthly cost of assisted living throughout the state of Nebraska is $3,580. However, several highly populated areas within the state have monthly averages higher than the state average. This includes Grand Island metropolitan area at $3,720 / month, Omaha at $4,070 / month, and Lincoln at $4,690 / month. Memory Care, also known as Alzheimer’s Care, exists in assisted living facilities for those who have dementia related to Alzheimer’s. Due to the need for increased security and supervision, expect to pay approximately $970 / month more.
Statewide, in 2018, the average cost of in-home supportive care throughout Nebraska is $23.75 / hour. The most affordable home care can be found in Hall County (Grand Island), where the average hourly rate is $20.75. In Lancaster County (Lincoln) and Douglas County (Omaha), the hourly average rate of care is 15% higher and on par with the statewide average of $23.75 / hour. In-home medical care, also called home health care, is also available and costs an average of $24.25 / hour statewide. However, in some geographic areas of the state, the cost for home health care can be as much as 10 – 15% higher than the cost for non-medical home care.
Adult day care is one of the cost efficient options when it comes to senior care. As of 2018, the average daily cost for adult day care is $44 throughout the state of Nebraska. This is considerably lower than the average nationwide daily cost of $71, making the average cost of daycare approximately 40% less costly in Nebraska. Even in larger cities of the state, the average daily cost of adult day care is still under the nationwide average. For instance, Omaha’s average cost is $53 / day and Lincoln is $58 / day. Grand Island has the most affordable daily cost for adult day care at $43.
Medicaid Program Explanation
Medicaid is a health insurance program for low-income residents of the United States. It is a program that is set forth by the federal government and then state run as determined by each state within the federal set parameters. Via the state Medicaid plan, nursing home care is covered, as well as in-home personal assistance.
Programs and Waivers
The Personal Assistance Services (PAS) Program is intended for disabled individuals and those who have a chronic medical condition that calls for a level of care consistent with an assisted living facility. Provided services are meant to avoid residential placement and may include medication management, homemaker services, adult day care, and assistance with mobility, toiletry, eating, and hygiene. PAS is part of the state Medicaid program and is an entitlement, which means anyone who is eligible for services via this program is able to receive them. Eligible applicants may self-direct caregiving services. This means they are free to choose their caregiver, including some family members.
The Aged and Disabled Medicaid Wavier is a Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver that is not an entitlement, meaning there is a limit to how many people may receive services via this Waiver. This program is intended to assist the elderly and disabled in aging in place, either at home or in an assisted living facility. Supports include assistive technology, independence skills training, adult day care, chore and homemaker services, home modifications, and respite care.
Medicaid Eligibility in Nebraska
In order for the elderly to be eligible for Medicaid in Nebraska, there are both income and asset restrictions that must be met. As of 2018, an individual’s monthly income cannot be in excess of $1,012 ($12,140 annually), which is currently equivalent to 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). The asset limit is set at $4,000, though certain assets are generally considered exempt (non-countable), such as burial plots, personal belongings, household items, and the applicant’s home, given the equity value is not greater than $572,000 and the applicant or their spouse lives in the home. Make note, eligibility requirements for the state Medicaid plan and Medicaid Wavier may differ.
Nebraska allows for “medically needy spend downs,” which allow applicants who are above the allowable income to still be eligible for Medicaid once they have “spent down” their income. This is often referred to as categorically needy or the medically needy pathway. If one has more assets than is allowed, it is very important that assets not be gifted or transferred for less than fair market value. Doing so is in violation of Medicaid’s Look-Back Period and can result in Medicaid ineligibility for a period of time, which is based on the amount of assets gifted/transferred during the 60-month look-back period. Applying for Medicaid can be complicated, particularly if one has assets and / or income greater than the allowable amount(s). For additional information or for assistance with the application process, it may be helpful to contact a Medicaid expert.
In addition to the Medicaid programs listed above, Nebraska currently has four non-Medicaid programs offering financial and care assistance for the elderly.
1) The Lifespan Respite Subsidy Program provides financial assistance to help cover the cost of respite care for Nebraska residents with a chronic condition, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Respite care may be provided in-home or at an adult day care facility.
2) The Social Services for Aged and Disabled Adults (SSAD) Program provides supports both for the individual that requires care and their primary caregiver. Benefits may include chore and homemaker services, medical transportation assistance, adult day care, limited personal care assistance, and meal delivery.
3) The Disabled Persons and Family Support (DPFS) Program provides supportive services to delay or avoid nursing home placement of medically disabled individuals. Home health care, personal care assistance, transportation, home modifications, and assistive technology are all benefits and services available via this program.
4) The Assistance to the Aged, Blind, or Disabled (AABD) Program provides both financial assistance and medical support care for those who are elderly or disabled. For those receiving financial assistance, this may be used towards room and board, home utilities, food, clothing, and home supplies.
In addition to the state specific programs that assist in covering the cost of elderly care in Nebraska, there are also federal and non-profit programs available. In order to find other programs that assist in paying for care or reduce your out-of-pocket cost, make sure to use our Resource Locator Tool. This tool makes it easy to locate and consider all of your options and choose the program that best fits the circumstances. Eldercare loans and programs that aid veterans with assisted living are other available options.
The best way to manage the cost of elderly care is to adequately determine the care needs of your loved one and to find a high-quality provider that is affordable. To aid in your search, we have partnered with several organizations that are able to assist in this process. This service is provided free of charge and will match care needs and budget with reputable care providers in the preferred geographic region. Click here to find affordable care.