Page Reviewed / Updated - Jun. 2018
This webpage will help Oregon residents understand the cost of senior care throughout the state. The cost of assisted living, non-medical and medical home care, and adult day care will be explored. We will also cover various financial and care assistance programs that assist with the cost of elderly care.
The programs that are discussed on this page are complete in regards to what the state of Oregon has to offer. However, there are also national programs available, which are not covered here. When seeking out assistance with the cost of senior care, one should explore every option. To assist in your search for elderly care, our Resource Locator Tool, which is free of charge, is invaluable.
Cost of Care Calculator
In 2018, the average monthly statewide cost of assisted living in Oregon is $4,135. This is approximately 10% more costly than the national average, which is currently at $3,698 / month. The Oregon area that offers the most affordable rate for assisted living is Corvallis, which has an average monthly cost of $3,695. Portland and Salem are nearly on par with the statewide monthly average, offering assisted living at a monthly average of $4,070 to $4,142. Bend and Eugene is just slightly higher at an average monthly cost of $4,185. The most expensive assisted living can be found in Albany, with an average monthly cost of $4,909. An additional monthly fee is charged for those who require Alzheimer’s Care (Memory Care), due to the increased need for supervision. One should expect to pay an additional $1,070 to $1,270 / month for this service.
The hourly cost of non-medical home care in Oregon varies dramatically based on the geographic area. In 2018, the cost per hour ranges anywhere from $13.25 to $29.25, with the statewide average being $23.75. The area of Salem, by far, offers the most affordable hourly cost at $13.25. Grants Pass also offers a low hourly rate ($20.25), compared to the rest of the state, as does Medford ($22.75). Both Bend and Portland have average hourly rates of $24.75. The most expensive home care is found in Corvallis at $29.25 / hour. For those that need a higher level of in-home care, home health care is another option for elderly care. This type of care generally costs $1.75 to $3.25 / hour more than non-medical home care.
In Oregon, in 2018, the average cost of adult day care is $92 / day. This amount is nearly 30% higher than the nationwide average of $71 day. The most affordable day care found in the state of Oregon is in the area of Salem ($43 / day) and Medford ($68 / day). On the other hand, the most costly adult day care is in Grants Pass ($123 / day) and the city of Eugene ($145 / day). It’s important to note that the cost of adult day care is often billed in half-day increments.
Medicaid, a health insurance program for low-income residents of the United States, is a joint program between the federal government and each of the states. While the federal government created the program, each state is given the freedom to make its own rules and administer the program within the parameters set forth by the federal government. In Oregon, Medicaid is called Oregon Health Plan (OHP). Like all of the states, Oregon’s state Medicaid plan, which is available to all eligible applicants, will cover the costs associated with nursing home care for the frail, elderly, and disabled. This plan also covers the cost associated with limited in-home personal care.
Oregon’s K Plan, also referred to as the Community First Choice (CFC) plan, is an option under the state Medicaid plan. Via this program, elderly and disabled individuals who require a level of care consistent to that of a nursing home are able to receive long-term supports in their home and community. Benefits include assistance with daily living activities, such as bathing and dressing, meal preparation, housework, and shopping for essentials. Other supports include home modifications, assistive technology, and short-term respite care, among others. For additional information, click here.
The Independent Choices Program (ICP) is also a state plan option and provides eligible applicants with cash payments on a monthly basis in order to self-manage their own care. Generally, the money goes towards the purchase of assistive technology and personal care services. Program participants can even hire family members to act as their caregiver, including their spouse. For more information, click here.
In Oregon, Medicaid also offers Medicaid Waivers, often called Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers. In contrast to the state plan, HCBS Waivers have enrollment caps, which means once the allotted slots are filled, wait lists for services are created. These programs offer long-term care in a senior’s home and in the community, delaying or preventing the need for institutionalization. Currently, Oregon offers the following HCBS waivers.
1) The Aged and Physically Disabled (APD) Medicaid Waiver is for Oregon residents who are medically qualified to live in a nursing home facility (and live in a nursing home), but wish to return to the the community to live. In addition to transitional services, such as moving costs, security deposits, and purchase of household items, case management and wellness education is provided. For eligibility requirements, click here.
2) The Client-Employed Provider (CEP) Program is intended for those that are elderly or disabled and require assistance with daily activities, such as bathing and grooming, preparing meals, housecleaning, mobility, and shopping for essentials. As the name of the waiver suggests, program participants act as the employer of their care provider / homecare worker. Family members, including spouses, may be hired to provide care and assistance. Learn more here.
3) The Oregon Spousal Pay Program provides payment to spouses who act as the caregiver of their spouse. This program requires that the spouse requiring care need significant assistance with daily living activities. For additional information about this unique program, click here.
Oregon Medicaid Eligibility
Elderly individuals must have a functional need for services in order to be eligible for long-term Medicaid. In addition, there are also income and asset restrictions. As of 2018, an individual applicant cannot have an income greater than $2,250 / month or $27,000 / year. This amount is equivalent to 300% of the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR). The limit for assets is $2,000 for a single individual. While this may seem like a low figure, an individual’s primary residence is considered exempt, given the individual lives in the home and it is valued under $572,000. A single vehicle, household items, and some personal effects are also considered exempt.
Being over the financial limit(s) does not mean one cannot still qualify for Medicaid. There are Income Cap Trusts in Oregon, also known as Qualified Income Trusts (QITs) or Miller Trusts, which help applicants over the income limit to become income eligible. Those over the asset limit can also still become Medicaid eligible by “spending down” assets. For instance, one can buy a burial plot, make home reparations and / or modifications, and pay off debt. It is important that one not gift assets or sell them for less than they are worth in an effort to meet the asset limit. Doing so is in violation of Medicaid’s look-back period and can cause a period of Medicaid ineligibility.
The process of applying for Medicaid can be complicated, and one might want to consult with a Medicaid planning professional for assistance with the application process. This is particularly true if one has income and / or assets over the limitation(s) or if one is married with a healthy spouse.
The state of Oregon currently only offers one non-Medicaid based program that provides long-term care for seniors. Oregon Project Independence (OPI) provides in-home supervision and assistance with daily living activities, such as toiletry and mobility, bathing and dressing, preparing meals, light housecleaning and laundry, and grocery shopping. Other benefits include adult day care, respite care, and skilled nursing. This program is intended for seniors who have a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or a similar condition. This program allows for consumer direction, allowing eligible applicants to select the care provider of their choosing. This includes some family members. For additional information and for eligibility requirements, click here.
Long-term care services might also be offered via the Older Americans Act and with services administered by your local Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) office. The services provided often vary by geographic location and the AAA office that services that area. To find the AAA office nearest you, click here.
In addition to the state specific programs that assist in covering the cost of elderly care in Oregon, 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.
In order to find elderly care that best fits the given situation, while also fitting your budget, it’s important to accurately assess the type of care needed and to find the most affordable care in your geographic region. To assist you in your search, our organization has partnered with professionals who can assist you in determining the appropriate type of care and matching your needs with high quality, yet affordable care, in your desired location in Oregon. This service is free to use. Get help here.
For more information about the costs and resources available in Oregon cities, click on the links below.