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Financial Assistance, Costs and Payment Options for Eldercare in Kentucky

Page Reviewed / Updated - August 21, 2019


This webpage was created to assist Kentucky residents in understanding the costs associated with long-term senior care throughout the state. The cost of assisted living, home care, home health care, and adult day care will all be explored. Payment options for senior care assistance programs, both in the home and in the community, will also be covered.

While the programs outlined here are inclusive of all the elder care options available from the state of Kentucky, programs that are available on a national level are not covered. In order to find the most appropriate care for your needs and budget, it’s vital to search for assistance nationwide. By using our Resource Locator Tool, at no charge, you can easily find other viable options.

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Kentucky Elder Care Costs

Assisted Living / Memory Care

The statewide average monthly cost of assisted living in Kentucky, as of 2019, is $3,520. For the most part, the various geographic regions of the state, such as Bowling Green and Louisville/Jefferson County, have average monthly costs that range from $3,430 -$3,498. This equates to annual rates of approximately $41,160 to $41,976. However, there is one big exception where the average cost of assisted living is well below these amounts. This is in the area of Owensboro, where the average monthly cost of assisted living is approximately $1,780, or looking at it from an annual perspective, approximately $21,360 / year. Elizabethtown also has a reasonable monthly average cost at approximately $2,800, or an annual rate of $33,600. In contrast, the most expensive area for assisted living is Lexington, where the average monthly cost is $4,050, or $48,600 annually.

In addition to the monthly cost of assisted living, those who require Alzheimer’s Care, also referred to as Memory Care, will have an additional cost of approximately $1,056 / month.

Home Care

The average hourly cost of non-medical home care in Kentucky is $20.00 / hour throughout the state in 2019. The most affordable home care can be found in the areas of Owensboro and Elizabethtown, where the average hourly cost is between $17.50 and $18.00. Lexington is just slightly over the state average at $21.00 / hour. Bowling Green and the Louisville/Jefferson County metro area have the highest average hourly rate for in-home care, which is between $21.25 and $22.50.

In-home health care (provided by health care professionals) is another option for elderly care and costs approximately $.50 more an hour than non-medical home care does.

Adult Day Care

Statewide, in 2019, the average daily cost of adult day care in Kentucky is $68 / day. The areas of Lexington and Louisville/Jefferson County offers the most affordable cost of adult day care at an average of $65 to $66 / day. In Bowling, it is also still fairly affordable at approximately $72 / day, and in Elizabethtown, the average daily cost is $75. While Owensboro has the most affordable cost of assisted living and in-home care, it has the costliest adult day care. Here, the average daily cost is $91. It’s worth mentioning that adult day care is frequently billed in half-day increments.

Kentucky Financial Assistance Programs

Medicaid Programs for the Elderly

Medicaid is a program for low-income individuals of all ages and is a joint effort between the federal government and each of the states. While the federal government sets parameters, each state can work within those parameters to do what works best for that particular state. In Kentucky, nursing home care and limited in-home personal care is covered by the state plan. However, Kentucky also offers Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers, which provide long-term care in the home and community to prevent or delay nursing home placement of the elderly and disabled. However, unlike the state plan, Medicaid waivers have enrollment caps. This means once the maximum number of participants has been met, there will be a waitlist for services. As of 2019, the state of Kentucky has two HCBS waivers.

Medicaid Waivers

1) The Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver Program provides supports for elderly residents of Kentucky to enable them to age in place. These supports include minor home modifications, personal care assistance, adult day care, homemaker services, and respite care. Via this waiver, eligible applicants can self-direct their own non-medical care assistance. Family members, and even spouses, may be hired to fill the caregiver role.  For more benefits and eligibility requirements, click here.

2) The Supports for Community Living (SCL) Waiver is targeted towards individuals who are intellectually or developmentally disabled. In order to be eligible for this program, the disability must have developed before the age of 22. Benefits include home modifications, adult day care, personal care assistance, psychological services, and specialized medical equipment. This program also allows for self-direction of non-medical care. For additional information, click here

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for long-term care Medicaid in the state of Kentucky, an individual’s level of functioning, their assets, and their income are all considered. In 2019, a senior applicant may have a monthly income of up to $2,313, which is equivalent to 300% of the current Federal Benefit Rate (FBR). Elderly applicants may have assets up to $2,000. While this may seem like a relatively low figure, certain items, such as an applicant’s primary home, up to an equity value of $585,000, a vehicle, household items, and personal effects, are considered exempt.

Married applicants whose spouses are not applying for Medicaid may be able to transfer a portion of their income to their non-applicant (community) spouses. This is called the monthly maintenance needs allowance, and is in place to ensure non-applicant spouses have enough income in which to live. As of 2019, up to $3,161 / month in income may be transferred to non-applicant spouses. In addition, community spouses are entitled to a greater amount of assets than are applicant spouses. This is called the community spouse resource allowance, and as of 2019, this figure can be as high as $126,420.

Applicants who are over the income and asset limit(s) may still qualify for Medicaid. If there is any question one might be eligible, it is strongly recommended that one reach out to a Medicaid Planning Professional for assistance. Learn more.

State (Non-Medicaid) Assistance Programs

The state of Kentucky currently offers four non-Medicaid programs for the elderly to assist in the cost of senior care and supports.

1) The Kentucky Hart-Supported Living Program, previously called Kentucky Supported Living, provides grants to disabled individuals to assist them in living independently, either at home or in the home of a relative. This grant allows for consumer direction, allowing program participants to choose which supports would most benefit them and who will provide services. Examples of supports and services include vehicle and home modifications, homemaker tasks, personal care, respite care, and live-in support. For more information and eligibility requirements, click here

2) The Personal Care Attendant Program (PCAP) is intended for Kentucky residents who have lost functioning of at least two limbs. This program allows for consumer direction, meaning program participants may hire and manage the caregiver of their choosing. Benefits may include assistance with daily activities, such as bathing and dressing, housecleaning, grocery shopping, meal preparation, and transportation. Click here to learn more

3) The Kentucky Homecare Program provides seniors, who are at risk of nursing home placement, a variety of in-home supports, such as meal delivery, personal care assistance, household chores, respite care, and minor home repairs. Services are delivered through local Area Agencies on Aging and Independent Living and may vary based on the office. For additional information and to see eligibility requirements, click here.

4) The Adult Day Care and Alzheimer’s Respite Program provides adult day care for frail Kentucky seniors and individuals with Alzheimer’s. Benefits while being supervised in adult day care include meals, medication management, personal care assistance, and recreational activities. This program also offers in-home Alzheimer’s respite care to give caregivers a break from caregiving duties. For eligibility guidelines, click here

Other Financial Options for Care

In addition to the state specific programs that assist in covering the cost of elderly care in Kentucky, 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.

Finding Affordable Care

As one can see from the figures above, the cost of elder care in Kentucky varies significantly based on the geographic location. One great way to manage the cost of care is to find a provider that offers needed assistance at an affordable rate. Our organization has made this easy for you by partnering with several organizations that match specific care needs with care providers in the area in which one requires assistance. This service is available at no charge to you. Click here to find affordable care.

Top Cities for Senior Care in Kentucky

For more information about the costs and resources available in Kentucky cities, click on the links below.