Page Reviewed / Updated - May 2019
Understanding the costs of senior care can be complicated. Therefore, this webpage is intended to assist West Virginia residents in understanding the costs associated with assisted living, home care versus home health care, and adult day care. Several programs that cover or reduce the cost of elderly care, both in the home and in the community, will also be explored.
The programs listed on this page are what are available only from the state of West Virginia. To assist in your search for affordable senior care options on a national level, make sure to use our free Resource Locator Tool. Being aware of all the options available for assistance is one of the keys to finding affordable senior care.
Cost of Care Calculator
In West Virginia in 2019, the average cost of assisted living is $3,619 / month statewide, though the cost ranges anywhere from $3,210 / month on the low end to $4,357 / month on the high end. In Parkersburg, Beckley, Morgantown, Huntington, and Weirton-Steubenville, the monthly average is slightly below the statewide average, and is between $3,210 and $3,600. The area of Wheeling is just over the statewide average at $3,660 / month, while Charleston is the costliest area with a monthly average of $4,357.
Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease are able to get a higher level of care, supervision, and security in assisted living facilities in what are often referred to as Memory Care units. This type of care costs approximately $723 - $1,085 / month more than does traditional assisted living.
As with the cost of assisted living in West Virginia, there is a fairly wide range of cost throughout the state for non-medical home care. In 2019, the average hourly rate for home care is $16.50, with the range being $16.00 to $20.00. The areas with the most affordable home care are in the capital city of Charleston and in Beckley, with the average hourly rate being $16.00 - $16.25. Weirton-Steubenville, Huntington, and Parkersburg have the most expensive average hourly rate for home care, which is between $19.00 and $20.00.
In-home health care services are also available and are provided by a health care professional. For this type of care assistance, expect to pay on average $.50 / hour more than for non-medical home care. However, the biggest discrepancy can be found in Morgantown, where the average hourly cost for in-home health care is $2.50 / hour more than is regular home care.
As of 2019, the range of cost for adult day care in West Virginia is also large, with the average daily rate being $60 statewide. However, more affordable adult day care can be found in Beckley ($50 / day), and the most expensive adult day care is found in Parkersburg ($100 / day).
Medicaid is a low-income health insurance program in the United States that is jointly administered by the federal government and each of the states. In all of the states, Medicaid will cover the cost of nursing home care for elderly and disabled individuals who require such care. In West Virginia, in-home personal care services are also provided for frail elderly and disabled residents by the state Medicaid plan. This program is intended to delay or prevent nursing home care, as well as to promote independence of the person in need of care.
The Medicaid Personal Care Program provides assistance with a variety of daily living activities, including bathing, dressing, eating, housecleaning, mobility, and medication monitoring. Eligible applicants may live at home, with a family member, in an adult family care home, or in an assisted living facility. Click here for more eligibility information.
West Virginia also offers a Medicaid Waiver (often referred to as a Home and Community Based Services Waiver), which unlike state Medicaid, is not an entitlement program. This means that even if applicants are eligible for the program, there may be a waiting list for services. The West Virginia Aged and Disabled Waiver (ADW) provides support for the elderly and disabled to assist them in aging in place. Benefits may include personal care assistance, homemaker services, skilled nursing, and non-medical transportation assistance. Through Personal Options (a consumer directed option) via this waiver, individuals may choose the personal caregiver of their choice, including some family members. Click here to learn more.
In order for elderly residents of West Virginia to qualify for long-term care Medicaid, they must be 65 years of age or older. In addition to the need for functional limitations, there are also income and asset limits. However, the income limit is not the same for services via the state plan and benefits via the Medicaid waiver. As of 2019, the income limit is set at $771 / month, or put another way, $9,252 / year for the state Medicaid plan. (This figure is based on 100% of the Federal Poverty Level). To be income eligible for the Medicaid waiver, one cannot have income greater than $2,313 / month, which is equivalent to $27,756 / year. (This figure is set at 300% of the Federal Benefit Rate. For both programs, an individual’s assets are limited to $2,000. This figure excludes personal effects, an individual’s home (if the applicant or their spouse is living in it and the value does not exceed $585,000), household items, and a vehicle.
For married couples, with just one spouse applying for institutional (nursing home) Medicaid or the Medicaid waiver, there are provisions in place to prevent spousal impoverishment of the non-applicant spouse. There is a monthly maintenance needs allowance, which allows the applicant spouse to transfer as much as $3,160.50 / month in income to their non-applicant spouse. There is also a community spouse resource allowance, which allows the non-applicant spouse, often called the community spouse, to retain up to $126,420 of the couples’ assets. The rules that govern these provisions can be tricky, so if one is in this situation, it is recommended they seek the assistance of a Medicaid planning professional. Assistance is available to help families qualify for Medicaid. Learn more.
In addition to the Medicaid provided options for elderly care listed above, the state of West Virginia also offers four non-Medicaid programs. All of these programs are intended to assist senior and disabled West Virginians in remaining in their homes and out of more costly residential facilities.
1) The Ron Yost Personal Assistance Services (RYPAS) program provides financial assistance to aid in the cost of hiring a personal care provider. Assistance with basic everyday activities, such as bathing, dressing, mobility, meal preparation, housecleaning, and transportation, is provided. Family members, including spouses, may be hired to provide care via this program. Click here for more information.
2) The Older Americans Act Program, also referred to as the Legislative Initiative for the Elderly (LIFE), offers a variety of supportive services for the elderly. These services are offered through local County Aging Providers (senior centers) and may include the following services: respite care, housecleaning and laundry, medication management, transportation assistance, and meal delivery. See more benefits here.
3) The Lighthouse Program provides support for those 60 years of age or older who require significant assistance with a minimum of two daily living activities. Support may include assistance with mobility, housecleaning, laundry, personal care, grocery shopping and meal preparation. For eligibility requirements, click here.
4) The Family Alzheimer’s In-Home Respite (FAIR) Program is intended to provide respite care on a sliding scale to relieve the caregivers of individuals with dementia from Alzheimer’s disease or a related condition, such as Parkinson’s. Respite care may be provided in-home or in a group setting. To learn more, click here.
In addition to the state specific programs that assist in covering the cost of elderly care in West Virginia, 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.
As one can see, West Virginia has a somewhat large range in cost when it comes to elderly care throughout the state. Given this fact, one of the keys to finding the most affordable care is to appropriately determine what type of care is needed and to find high quality care at an affordable rate. Our organization provides a free service to assist seniors and their families in matching care needs with budget in their preferred geographic location within the state. Get started here.