Assisted Living in Idaho
A combination of natural beauty, a low population density and a senior-friendly tax code have made Idaho an increasingly attractive retirement destination in recent years. Social Security and some retirement benefits are exempt from taxation at the state level, and a grocery credit is available to qualifying Idaho residents that provides an exemption from sales tax on grocery items.
The state’s major hospitals are located in the capital city and largest metro area, Boise, and include St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center, Vibra Hospital of Boise and Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center & Hospital. Outdoor-loving seniors can find plenty to do all year in Idaho from fishing, camping, hiking and hunting in the summer to Nordic sports during the winter.
Approximately 16.3% of Idaho’s population of slightly less than 2 million citizens is aged 65 or over. The average assisted living cost in Idaho is $3,838 per month although prices of individual facilities vary depending on factors, such as location within the community, amenities, services offered and the quality of the accommodations.
How Much Does Assisted Living Cost in Idaho?
According to the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of assisted living in Idaho is $3,838 per month. This is several hundred dollars lower than the national monthly average of $4,500. Those in Nevada and Utah pay lower monthly costs at $3,750 and $3,500, respectively. Prices rise to $5,045 to the west in Oregon and are even higher in Washington at $6,000. Residents of assisted living facilities to the east of Idaho in Montana pay a monthly average of $4,450, while their counterparts in Wyoming pay $4,169.
The United States
The Cost of Assisted Living in Idaho’s Top Cities
Average assisted living costs in Idaho range from a high of $4,675 per month in Coeur d’Alene in the northern end of the state to $3,500 in the eastern Idaho community of Idaho Falls. Residents of the state’s capital city and largest metro area, Boise, pay an average of $3,586 per month, while those in the southern part of the state in Twin Falls pay $3,820. Residents near the Washington border in Lewiston pay an average of $4,419 per month for assisted living.
The Cost of Assisted Living vs. Other Types of Care
The average cost of adult day health care in Idaho is $2,167 per month, which is significantly lower than the average cost of assisted living. Homemaker services and home health aides both come with an average price tag of $5,434, while a semiprivate room in a nursing home is the most expensive option at $8,517 per month.
Adult day health care
Home health aide
Nursing home (semiprivate room)
Can You Use Medicaid to Pay for Assisted Living in Idaho?
Although Medicaid does not directly cover the costs of assisted living in Idaho, Idaho residents who meet eligibility requirements can apply for the Idaho Aged and Disabled Waiver.
Medicaid’s Coverage of Assisted Living in Idaho
Idaho’s Medicaid waiver program provides assistance to those who require a nursing home level of care to remain living in their communities, including assisted living facilities, for as long as possible. The waiver pays for a range of services, including assistance with daily activities, such as dressing, bathing or showering, basic grooming and nail care. It also covers nonmedical transportation, homemaking, meal delivery, skilled nursing, necessary medical equipment and supplies, environmental modifications and personal emergency response systems.
Waiver Programs for Assisted Living in Idaho
Idaho Aged and Disabled Waiver
The Idaho Aged and Disabled Waiver is for seniors who meet specific criteria, including the following:
- Must be age 65 or over
- Must meet income and asset guidelines for Medicaid
- Must require a nursing home level of care
- Must be an Idaho resident
- Must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
Covered services include the following:
- Non-medical transportation
- Personal emergency response systems
- Adult day health care
- Environmental modifications and adaptations
- Behavioral and crisis management
- Meal delivery
- Chores and homemaking services
- Respite services
- Skilled nursing
- Specialized supplies and equipment
- Residential habilitation
Seniors can apply for the waiver online, by telephone or in person.
Eligibility for Medicaid in Idaho
In Idaho, the income limits for single Medicaid applicants are $30,516 per year, while the resource limit is $2,000. In two-person households where one or both persons are applying, there is an annual income limit of $15,372 and an asset limit of $3,000.
2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Idaho
(One spouse applying)
|$30,516 for applicant
$137,400 for nonapplicant
* per year
Applicants for Medicaid in Idaho must have the following documentation:
- Proof of identity and Idaho residency
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or legal immigration status
- Proof of household income and expenses
Applying for Medicaid in Idaho
The most convenient way to apply for Medicaid in Idaho is to visit Heathcare.gov to fill out an online application. Applicants can also call (877) 456-1233 (toll-free) or visit their nearest field office to apply in person. Applicants can also download an application and email, fax or mail the completed forms to the following:
- Email: [email protected]
- Fax: (866) 434-8278
- Mail: Self Reliance Programs, P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0026
Before You Apply
To apply for Medicaid in Idaho, applicants must have the following documentation:
- Household information
- Name and address
- Social Security number
- Monthly income and expenses
- A list of assets
- Tax filing status
- Proof of existing insurance
Where to Get Help
Idaho residents who need assistance with various aspects of Medicaid can get help from the following resources.
|Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Benefits Customer Service
|The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare can provide information about the Medicaid application process.
|Idaho Department of Health & Welfare Department of Fair Hearings
|Those wishing to appeal Medicaid decisions in Idaho can do so by telephone, fax, email or traditional mail. For those who don’t wish to call, the forms can be downloaded and attached to an email or faxed or mailed. Those who have been denied Medicaid benefits in Idaho have 30 days to file an appeal.
|Idaho Medicaid Fraud Control Unit
|Administered by the Office of the Attorney General, the Idaho Medicaid Fraud Hotline is where recipients can report fraud, neglect or abuse by providers.
Can You Use Medicare to Pay for Assisted Living in Idaho?
Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover the cost of assisted living in Idaho. Unlike nursing homes, assisted living facilities are not considered to be “clinical settings’ and so are not eligible for Medicare coverage. That being said, you can still use Medicare to cover the cost of approved medications, doctor visits, medical equipment, etc.
For more information about Medicare visit medicare.gov.
Are There Other Financial Assistance Options for Assisted Living in Idaho?
|How to Apply
|How It Works
|Aid and Attendance
|Apply online at va.gov.
|If you are a veteran and you receive a VA pension, you may also be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit. This benefit takes the form of a monthly cash allowance that you receive in addition to your standard pension. This benefit is used by veterans who need long-term care services, including care received at an assisted living facility.
|Research and learn about the different types at ftc.gov
|If you own a home, you may be able to use a reverse mortgage to access some of the equity in your home. Like traditional loans, reverse mortgages do need to be repaid with interest, typically within 12 months, so seniors should carefully weigh this option alongside other financing methods.
|Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance
|Learn about how to receive LTC insurance benefits at acl.gov.
|While those who currently need assisted living will typically not be eligible, if you purchased an LTC insurance policy in the past, you may be able to use it to help pay for assisted living. While most policies cover at least a portion of the cost, you still need to check the specific terms of your policy.
Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Idaho
The following free and low-cost resources are available to seniors in Idaho. Help with finding aging services, veteran services, legal services and advocates for seniors living in long-term care facilities are included in the table below.
|Idaho Commission on Aging
|(208) 334-3833 or (877) 471-2777
|The Idaho Commission on Aging assists older adults and those with disabilities to remain independent in the communities of their choice while enjoying a good quality of life. As the state Area Agency on Aging, it provides information, direct services and referrals to local, state and federal resources to seniors, their families and their caregivers. Services include case management, administration of the Senior Nutrition Program via congregate meals in designated locations and meal delivery, health and wellness screenings and health insurance counseling.
|Long-Term Care Ombudsman
|Residents of assisted living and other long-term care facilities and individuals who are concerned about their loved ones can contact the Long-Term Care Ombudsman if they suspect abuse, neglect or financial exploitation. All services provided by this office are confidential and free of charge.
|Division of Veterans Services
|Veterans of the U.S. military, their immediate families and survivors can access resources and referrals through the Idaho Division of Veterans Services. Services include helping applicants navigate the often confusing red tape involved in applying for state and federal service-based entitlements, finding VA clinics and accessing service records and discharge papers. The agency also publishes a Veterans Resource Directory and a quarterly Veterans Services Bulletin.
|Idaho Legal Aid
|Idaho Legal Aid helps seniors aged 60 and over who meet income guidelines by providing free assistance with civil issues. Services are dependent on the availability of staff, funding and program priorities.
|Social Security Offices
|There are several Social Security field offices located within the state of Idaho. Seniors can visit these offices for applications for Social Security and Medicaid financial assistance.
COVID-19 Rules for Assisted Living in Idaho
The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including coronavirus.idaho.gov and cdc.gov/coronavirus. These rules apply to nursing homes and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/7/2022, but since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving pandemic, contact your local senior living facility or Area Agency on Aging for more specific and up-to-date information.
Visiting Loved Ones
|Can I visit my relative in person if he/she wants emotional support from me?
|Yes (Conditions Apply)
|Can I visit my relative in person for end-of-life compassion care?
|Will my loved one be required to self-quarantine after I visit him or her?
|Do I need to wear PPE and/or a cloth mask if I do visit my relative in person?
|Are Hairdressers and other non-medical contractors still allowed in senior living facilities?
|Does the state recommend or require that senior living facilities assist families with setting up virtual visit alternatives?
|Are visitors being screened for elevated temperatures?
|Are visitors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?
*NOTE: This information was not available for this state, contact your local area agency on aging or senior living facility for more information.
Outings and Group Activities
|Are residents allowed to leave the facility for non-medical reasons?
|Are residents of senior living facilities who leave and return required to self-quarantine?
|No (Conditions Apply)
|Are senior living facilities required to cancel all group outings?
|Are residents still eating together in the dining hall?
|Yes (Conditions Apply)
|Are facilities still allowed to host group activities within the community?
|Yes (Conditions Apply)
Safety Measures for Staff & Contractors
|Are staff members and contractors being screened for elevated temperatures?
|Are staff members and contractors being tested for Coronavirus?
|Yes (Conditions Apply)
|Are staff members and contractors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?
Safety Measures for Residents
|Are staff members required to regularly screen residents for coronavirus symptoms?
|Are residents relied on to screen themselves and self-report potential coronavirus symptoms?
|Are staff members required to take residents’ temperatures?
|Are residents being tested for coronavirus?
|Yes (Conditions Apply)
Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Idaho
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare regulates assisted living communities and other long-term care facilities in the state of Idaho. Facilities must comply with all relevant local, state and federal regulations regarding staffing levels, medication distribution, accommodations and other applicable categories regarding their operations.