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Guide to Senior Living in Indiana

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Indiana had more than 6.7 million residents as of July 2019; nearly 16% of those residents were aged 65 and older. Using census data, the Indiana Business Research Center developed population projections showing that seniors are expected to make up 20.9% of the state’s population by 2050. State seniors pay no state tax on their Social Security payments, and the state has fairly low sales and property tax rates, making Indiana a good place for seniors to retire. The Hoosier State also has plenty of museums, restaurants and opportunities for outdoor recreation.

The state’s low cost of living may contribute to the low cost of nursing home care in Indiana, but seniors will pay more than the national average for assisted living and in-home care. This guide examines the average costs of senior care in Indiana and some of its largest cities. It also provides information about programs available to help make senior living affordable.

The Cost of Senior Living in Indiana

Note: There currently isn’t authoritative data on the average cost of Independent Living Facilities nationwide, so instead, we use the cost of Assisted Living to estimate it. Since the cost of Independent Living is typically 30-40% lower than the cost of Assisted Living, the numbers below were calculated by subtracting 35% from the cost of Assisted Living.

Note: Memory care is typically provided in communities licensed as assisted living facilities, and in general, costs 20-30% more than standard assisted living services. No authoritative cost data is available for this type of care, so we estimated memory care rates by adding 25% to assisted living fees in the Genworth 2021 Cost of Care Survey.

Hoosier seniors have several long-term care options to choose from depending on their care needs, budgets and living preferences. For active older adults who don’t require medical or personal care services, independent living offers a low-maintenance lifestyle that allows for plenty of time to pursue hobbies and interests. Assisted living is ideal for those who need some help with daily living activities. Memory care, which is typically provided in assisted living facilities, accommodates those with dementia. Seniors who need around-the-clock monitoring and skilled nursing services may be good candidates for nursing home care.  

According to the Genworth 2021 Cost of Care Survey, Indiana is a generally affordable state to obtain care. Because independent living is for active seniors who don’t need daily assistance, this type of care is the cheapest, with Indiana seniors paying $2,784 per month for services. Assisted living is a little costlier at $4,283. While memory care services are offered in assisted living facilities, they meet additional regulations and have higher monthly rates of $5,354. Nursing home care provides the highest level of care available and is the costliest at $7,270. 


Assisted Living


Independent Living


Memory Care


Nursing Home Care

The Cost of Assisted Living in Indiana 

Older adults in Indiana pay around $4,283 per month for assisted living, which is about $200 lower than the national rate of $4,500. In Michigan, care costs are comparable at $4,250, and in Illinois, rates are closer to the national median at $4,488. In Ohio, care costs exceed the national average at $4,635, and in Kentucky, fees are competitive at $3,448.  




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The Cost of Nursing Home Care in Indiana 

Nursing home residents in Indiana pay about $7,270 for monthly services. By comparison, nationally, care costs come in at $7,908. In Kentucky, monthly rates are a little lower than in Indiana at $7,178, and in Illinois, rates are among the lowest in the nation at $6,266. In Ohio, fees slightly exceed Indiana’s average at $7,300. In Michigan, rates are about $1,800 more than in Indiana at $9,095.  




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Can You Use Medicaid To Pay for Senior Living in Indiana?

Long-term care can be expensive, but fortunately, Indiana has programs to help older adults cover monthly care costs. For many older adults, Medicaid bridges the gap between what they can afford and what long-term care services cost. This program is jointly run by the state and federal government and provides comprehensive health insurance coverage for qualifying individuals.  

For older adults who live in nursing homes, Medicaid covers services directly under Package A, which is the traditional full-service plan. Those who live in assisted living or memory care facilities may also be able to use Medicaid to pay for services. However, this type of care isn’t covered under the traditional Medicaid program. Instead, seniors must apply for the Aged and Disabled Waiver

As is the case in most states, Indiana’s Medicaid program doesn’t cover independent living either directly or through waiver programs. Because this senior care type is for older adults who don’t need medical or personal care services, Medicaid coverage isn’t available.  

Medicaid Coverage Level Type of Medicaid Coverage Entitlement?*  
Assisted Living Partial Medicaid Waivers No 
Independent Living None N/A N/A 
Memory Care Partial Medicaid Waivers No 
Nursing Home Care Full Medicaid  Yes 

*Note: Entitlement programs mean that everyone who qualifies will receive coverage and be accepted into the programs. If the program is not “entitlement,” then participant caps could be in place, and there may be a waiting list.  

Medicaid’s Coverage of Assisted Living & Memory Care in Indiana 

The state’s Medicaid program pays for assisted living and memory care services for qualifying Hoosiers. Rather than covering services directly, it makes provision for residential care under a waiver program to help seniors avoid or delay nursing home placement.  

Aged and Disabled Waiver

The A&D Waiver provides personalized services to help older adults remain in the community and avoid institutionalized settings. Rather than specifying a set list of services, this waiver program is flexible, covering services based on the individual’s needs. Enrollees are assigned case managers who assess their needs and determine which services are necessary to keep them in their assisted living or memory care community. Services may include: 

  • Attendant care 
  • Health care coordination 
  • Nutrition supplements 
  • Respite care 
  • Durable medical equipment 
  • Assisted living and memory care services 
  • Community transition 
  • Environmental modifications 
  • Transportation  

To be eligible for this waiver, applicants must be at least 65 years old, blind or disabled, and have an income of no more than 300% of the maximum Supplement Security Income amount. They must live in an assisted living or memory care facility or be transitioning to a residential community from a nursing home. They must also qualify for a nursing home level of care. This may mean they have a significant medical condition that impacts their ability to care for themselves, they need routine skilled nursing services, or they need help with medical equipment such as feeding tubes or ventilators.

To apply for the A&D Waiver, seniors or their responsible person should contact their local Area Agency on Aging or the Division of Aging at (888) 673-0002. 

Medicaid’s Coverage of Nursing Home Care in Indiana 

Currently, about two-thirds of nursing home residents in Indiana use Medicaid to pay for their care. This program provides comprehensive coverage for skilled nursing services in an institutional setting under the traditional Medicaid program. It picks up where Medicare leaves off, paying for services that residents would otherwise pay out of pocket. To have nursing home services covered, individuals may need their doctor to request prior authorization before they move into a facility.  

Eligibility for Medicaid in Indiana 

While Nursing Home Medicaid and the A&D Waiver are different programs, they share income and asset limits. Single applicants may have up to $2,523 per month in income. Those in nursing homes are permitted a $52 personal needs allowance and may withhold money to pay for Medicare premiums and, if they’re married, a spousal income allowance of up to $2,178. The remaining income must be put toward their care costs. Those applying for the A&D Waiver may also be required to put money toward their care costs, depending on the setting they live in.

Single applicants may have up to $2,000 in countable assets, and married applicants may have up to $3,000. If only one person in a two-person household is applying, they can have up to $2,000 in assets and the non-applicant can retain up to $137,400.  

2022 Indiana Medicaid Income Limits

  Income Limits*Asset Limits 
Single Applicant $30,276 $2,000 
Two-Person Household (Only one applicant) $30,276 for applicant $2,000 for applicant $137,400 for non-applicant 
Two-Person Household (Two applicants)   $30,276 per spouse  $3,000   

*per year

Seniors applying for Medicaid must meet additional eligibility requirements. These include: 

  • Functional: Applicants must need a nursing home level of care.
  • Citizenship: Applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal residents. 
  • Residency: Applicants must be permanent Indiana residents. 

Applying for Medicaid in Indiana 

Indiana residents have several options for applying for Medicaid. Those who want to apply in person can visit their local Division of Family Resources office and fill out and submit an application on site. They may also apply over the phone by calling the Family and Social Services Administration at (800) 403-0864 or online through the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration portal or the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace. To follow up on the status of their applications, individuals can call the FSAA or view their application status online. Altogether, the application process takes up to 90 days, though qualifying individuals may be accepted into the program sooner.  

Before You Apply 

Having important documents on hand can expedite the application process and improve the individual’s chances of a quick approval decision. Before applying, gather important documents that verify eligibility, such as:  

  • Proof of name and date of birth 
  • Social Security Number 
  • Proof of all income 
  • Bank statements showing the amount of money in checking and savings accounts 
  • Documentation of any existing health insurance coverage 

How To Get Help 

Applying for Medicaid coverage can feel daunting, but fortunately, the state has several resources that can help Hoosiers navigate the system, understand their benefits and appeal adverse decisions. These resources can also help seniors qualify for Medicaid when they exceed income and asset limits. 

Contact What You Should Know
MHS Ombudsman Program (877) 647-5326    Indiana has a dedicated ombudsman who helps Medicaid applicants and beneficiaries understand their long-term care benefits and resolve problems with their coverage. The ombudsman is available for over-the-phone consultation daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 
American Council on Aging    Contact Form The American Council on Aging publishes up-to-date information on Indiana’s Medicaid program, including income and asset limits, options for qualifying when over the limits and state-specific programs. The council also has Medicaid planners stationed throughout the state who provide in-person and over-the-phone assistance. 
Indiana Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (800) 446-1993 The state’s Fraud Control Unit investigates fraudulent billing practices, such as charges for service not rendered and excessive services administered in nursing homes within the state.  

Can You Use Medicare to Pay for Senior Living in Indiana?

Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover the cost of assisted living, independent living, or memory care. Unlike nursing homes, these care types are not considered to be “clinical settings” and so are not eligible for Medicare coverage. That being said, those who live in these communities can still use Medicare to cover the cost of approved medications, doctor visits, medical equipment, etc.

When it comes to nursing home care, it gets much more complicated. Medicare does provide limited coverage for a qualified stay in a nursing home,but there are strict rules and requirements of which you should be aware. This benefit is available to seniors who have been hospitalized for at least three days, excluding the date of discharge.

Once you’ve met the hospitalization requirement, Medicare will pay for up to 100 days in a skilled nursing facility (per benefit period). While the first 20 days are covered in full, there is a daily coinsurance rate that must be paid starting on day 21. After day 100, seniors are responsible for the entire cost.

Medicare CoverageMedicare Coverage DurationCoinsurance Requirement?
Assisted LivingNoneN/AN/A
Independent LivingNoneN/AN/A
Memory CareNoneN/AN/A
Nursing Home CareLimited100 Days Per Benefit PeriodYes – After 20 Days

What Nursing Home Care Services Does Medicare Cover?

Medicare covers a number of specific services, including:

  • Meals
  • A semiprivate room
  • Medications
  • Skilled nursing services
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Audiologist care
  • Medical supplies
  • Medical social services
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Ambulance transportation

What Nursing Home Care Services Aren’t Covered by Medicare?

Medicare does not cover long-term custodial care that addresses seniors’ day-to-day needs. This includes help with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing and using medical equipment.

Medicare Support & Resources in Indiana

Those who qualify for Medicare have access to a range of free services to help them understand their coverage, private Medicare options and ways to save money on premiums and copays. The following table lists the top resources available to everyone in the state. 

ResourceContact What You Should Know 
State Health Insurance Assistance Program (800) 452-4800 SHIP is a free service of the Indiana Department of Insurance. This volunteer-driven program provides Medicare-eligible individuals with confidential, unbiased information on their Medicare benefits, available Medigap and Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare Savings Programs. Volunteers can help callers determine their cost-sharing responsibilities for nursing home fees and offer benefits screenings identify programs that may help pay for costs that Medicare doesn’t. They can also help seniors identify and prevent Medicare fraud, abuse and waste.   (800) 633-4227 The federal Medicare site offers up-to-date information on Medicare, including eligibility requirements, copays and deductibles. It also provides comprehensive information on private Medicare plans, including the different types of Medicare Advantage Plans and Medigap, as well as details on avoiding late enrollment penalties that may permanently increase what seniors pay for their Medicare coverage. 
BenefitsCheckUp (800) 794-6559 BenefitsCheckUp is a service of the National Council on Aging. Through this website, seniors can search for benefit programs by zip code to locate public benefits that may reduce what they pay for Medicare coverage or pay for nursing home services not covered by Medicare. The website also features information on Nursing Home Medicaid, veterans’ benefits and the state’s CHOICE program, which may help seniors obtain necessary services at home and avoid nursing home placement.  

Are There Other Financial Assistance Options for Senior Living in Indiana?

Depending on your unique situation, there may be other financial assistance options to partially or fully cover the cost of senior living in Indiana. Below, we cover some of the common ways that seniors can make senior living options such as assisted living or memory care more affordable.

How to Get StartedWhat You Should Know
Aid and AttendanceApply online at 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.
Reverse MortgagesResearch and learn about the different types at 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) InsuranceLearn about how to receive LTC insurance benefits at 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 Senior Living Resources for Seniors in Indiana

Indiana seniors have access to a range of services and benefits regardless of their income and care needs. The following table features statewide resources for older adults that help them maintain their independence and quality of life throughout retirement.  

 Contact What You Should Know 
AARP Indiana (866) 448-3618 AARP Indiana provides information relevant to Indiana residents aged 50 and over. Through this website, older adults can get up-to-date information on state and federal bills that impact health insurance benefits and long-term care services. The organization hosts events and services throughout the year, including free income tax preparation, safe driving courses, movie screenings and health and wellness classes. It has a membership program that offers benefits such as travel and recreation discounts and a subscription to the organization’s award-winning magazine. 
Alzheimer’s Association Greater Indiana Chapter (317) 575-9620 The Greater Indiana Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association serves seniors and families in 73 of Indiana’s 92 counties. Through this organization, those affected by dementia access a range of educational, informational and support services, including support groups, early-stage engagement activities and the Community Resource Finder. It operates a free 24-hour helpline, which Hoosiers can reach at (800) 272-3900. Those in the southern region of Indiana receive these services through the Greater Kentucky/Southern Indiana Chapter
Indiana Area Agencies on Aging (800) 986-3505  There are 16 Area Agencies on Aging throughout Indiana. These independent nonprofit agencies provide services to those aged 60 and over through the Older Americans Act. Services vary by region but generally include information and referrals for community-based services, long-term care options counseling, home-delivered meals and congregate meal sites, and volunteer-based transportation services. Agencies may also offer affordable in-home services, which may help some seniors avoid assisted living or nursing home placement.  
Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs (800) 457-8283 The Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs administers state and federal benefits to older veterans throughout the state. Through local offices, veterans may obtain emergency financial assistance, transportation services, property tax deductions and hunting and fishing licenses. Offices may also help qualifying individuals apply for federal VA benefits that may help cover services in memory care facilities, assisted living facilities or nursing homes.  
Indiana Legal Services, Inc.   (844) 243-8570 Indiana Legal Services operates legal clinics and offices throughout the state. At these locations, those aged 60 and over get one-on-one assistance with applying for Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid. The offices can also help with age-related issues such as drafting wills and assigning guardianship or powers of attorney.   
Indiana Long-Term Care Ombudsman (800) 622-4484  The Indiana Long-Term Care Ombudsman ensures a high standard of care for those in residential care communities and nursing homes throughout the state. The ombudsman can work with seniors and families to assess care needs and come up with affordable solutions, as well as mediate disagreements regarding a loved one’s care. They can also help nursing home and residential care facility residents understand their rights, and they investigate reports of abuse or neglect in long-term care facilities. 
Indiana Community Action Association (317) 638-4232  The Indiana Community Action Association operates Community Action Programs throughout the state. These programs provide services to qualifying individuals, including home modifications, congregate meals, transportation and emergency financial assistance. Some programs also offer friendly phone calls and home-based care to support seniors’ independence.  

COVID-19 Rules and Restrictions for Indiana Senior Living Facilities

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including and 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?Yes
Will my loved one be required to self-quarantine after I visit him or her?No
Do I need to wear PPE and/or a cloth mask if I do visit my relative in person?Yes
Are Hairdressers and other non-medical contractors still allowed in senior living facilities?Yes
Does the state recommend or require that senior living facilities assist families with setting up virtual visit alternatives? Yes
Are visitors being screened for elevated temperatures?Yes
Are visitors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?Yes

Outings and Group Activities

Are residents allowed to leave the facility for non-medical reasons?Yes
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?No
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?Yes
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?Yes

Safety Measures for Residents

Are staff members required to regularly screen residents for coronavirus symptoms?Yes
Are residents relied on to screen themselves and self-report potential coronavirus symptoms?No
Are staff members required to take residents’ temperatures?Yes
Are residents being tested for coronavirus?Yes (Conditions Apply)

Senior Living Laws and Regulations in Indiana

Note: All these rules typically apply to non-clinical senior living facilities, such as independent living, assisted living, and memory care facilities. Nursing homes and other senior living facilities with a clinical setting may have additional or slightly different requirements and regulations.

The Indiana Department of Health is in charge of issuing licenses and monitoring senior living facilities in Indiana. In addition to granting licenses, the Department of Health conducts inspections and investigates complaints, ensuring that residents of senior living facilities are as safe and comfortable as possible. A facility doesn’t have to obtain a license if it doesn’t provide nursing care or medication management services; however, each facility still has to follow a variety of regulations to ensure the safety and well-being of its residents.

Scope of Care

In Indiana, residential care facilities are not permitted to provide comprehensive nursing care. They may provide meals, activities, laundry services and limited personal care to residents who need some help with activities of daily living.

Memory Care Regulation

Facilities that operate Alzheimer’s and dementia special care units must be managed by administrators that have obtained the certified health facility administrator designation or completed a four-year degree in social services, health care or a closely related field. Administrators must complete at least 12 hours of initial training on meeting the needs of patients with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia; they must also receive six hours of continuing education each year to ensure they understand how to meet the needs of residents with cognitive impairments.

Staffing Requirements

The Indiana Department of Health does not require senior living facilities to maintain minimum staffing ratios; however, each facility must maintain a written staffing plan detailing the number of employees and their education levels.

Abuse and Neglect Reporting

In Indiana, all capable adults, including employees of senior living facilities, are required to report any suspicion of elder abuse or neglect to Adult Protective Services or the nearest law enforcement agency. Adult Protective Services maintains a state reporting hotline and an online complaint form to make it easier to submit confidential reports.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does assisted living cost in Indiana?

On average, assisted living costs $4,100 per month in Indiana, with residents of Indianapolis and South Bend generally paying more for services than residents of Evansville and Fort Wayne.

Does Indiana Medicaid pay for assisted living?

Regular Medicaid doesn’t cover expenses related to residing in an assisted living facility. In Indiana, residents with intellectual or developmental disabilities may qualify for a waiver to pay for assisted living. The waiver program aims to help seniors stay in their communities instead of entering nursing homes.

Does Medicare pay for assisted living?

Medicare typically doesn’t cover the cost of assisted living or services aimed at helping seniors live independently. Enrollees who need help paying for these services may qualify for help from Medicaid, state agencies or nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping seniors.

What types of amenities are commonly in assisted living facilities?

Assisted living facilities have a variety of amenities, including private dining rooms, linen services, on-site libraries, computer centers and activity centers. Most facilities also provide housekeeping and laundry services.

What is the difference between assisted living and nursing homes?

One of the main differences between an assisted living facility and a nursing home is the environment. Nursing homes typically look like hospitals, while assisted living facilities may consist of apartments or suites decorated to look like private homes. Each facility also provides a different type of care. Assisted living facilities don’t provide regular medical care; instead, they provide some personal services and may help residents take their medications. Nursing homes provide daily medical care to seniors who aren’t well enough to remain in their homes or communities.

Learn More About Senior Living in Indiana

For more information about specific types of senior living in Indiana read our Guide to Assisted Living and Independent Living.

The Top Cities for Senior Living in Indiana

Learn more about the cost of senior living in the top Indiana cities. Additionally, find reviews and information about assisted living facilities and other senior living communities across the state.

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