Page Reviewed / Updated - February 08, 2021
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.
Cost of Care Calculator
According to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey 2019, the statewide average monthly cost of assisted living in Kentucky, as of 2020, is $3,497. The areas of Bowling Green and Elizabethtown have average monthly costs very close to the statewide average, ranging from $3,400 -$3,600. This equates to annual rates of approximately $40,800 to $43,200. There is one area of the state 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 $2,166, or looking at it from an annual perspective, approximately $25,992 / year. In contrast, the most expensive areas for assisted living are Lexington and Louisville /Jefferson County, where the average monthly costs range from $4,073 - $4,297, or $48,876 - $51,564 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 $874 - $1,074 / month. On average, this type of care costs approximately 20% - 30% more than the cost of traditional assisted living.
The average cost of non-medical home care in Kentucky, per Genworth’s 2019 Cost of Care Survey, is $20.00 / hour throughout the state in 2020. The most affordable home care can be found in the areas of Owensboro and Elizabethtown, where the average hourly cost is between $18.00 and $19.00. Lexington is on par with the state average at $20.00 / hour. Bowling Green and the Louisville / Jefferson County metro area have the highest average hourly rate for in-home care, which is between $22.00 and $23.20.
In-home health care (provided by health care professionals) is another option for elderly care, and statewide, on average, costs the same as does non-medical home care. Two exceptions are Lexington and Louisville /Jefferson County, where the hourly cost is approximately $1.00 more.
Statewide, according to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey 2019, in 2020, the average daily cost of adult day care in Kentucky is $72
/ day. The area of Owensboro offers the most affordable cost of adult day care at an average of $68 / day. In Bowling Green, Louisville /Jefferson County, and Lexington, the daily cost is consistent with the statewide average at $72. In Elizabethtown, the average daily cost is just $2 more at $74. It’s worth mentioning that adult day care is frequently billed in half-day increments.
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. They 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 2020, the state of Kentucky has two HCBS 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, personal emergency response systems, 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.
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 2020, a senior applicant may have a monthly income of up to $2,349, 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 interest of $595,000, a vehicle, household items, and personal effects, are considered exempt.
Married long term care 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 2020, up to $3,216 / 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 2020, this figure can be as high as $128,640.
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.
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. This means 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, which is currently being phased out, 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.
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.
As one can see from the figures above, the cost of elder care in Kentucky can vary 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.
For more information about the costs and resources available in Kentucky cities, click on the links below.