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Assisted Living in Kentucky

Kentucky, dubbed the Bluegrass State, is renowned for its college and professional sports teams, scenic parks and world-class performing arts centers, providing a dynamic backdrop for retirement living. It has over 4.5 million residents and a senior community that makes up nearly 17% of the population. The state may be a good option for those seeking safe communities with generally low crime rates, a comfortable climate and affordable health care

Kentucky is one of the cheapest states in the nation to live in, with an overall cost of living that comes in about 15% below the national average. Social Security benefits are totally exempt from state taxation, and seniors are able to claim a deduction on other sources of retirement income. Assisted living rates are low, coming in below the national median at $3,448 monthly.  

This guide provides more information on what Kentucky seniors pay for assisted living, along with details on financial assistance options, top resources for seniors and an overview of the regulations that govern assisted living facilities in the state.

How Much Does Assisted Living Cost in Kentucky?

The Genworth 2021 Cost of Care Survey indicates that Kentucky is one of the cheapest places in the United States for assisted living. Rates are nearly $1,000 lower than the national median of $4,500 at $3,448 per month and are well below care costs in bordering states. In Tennessee and West Virginia, rates come in at $4,105 and $4,160, respectively. Care costs in Indiana are a little higher but still relatively affordable at $4,283, and in Virginia, fees exceed the national median at $5,250. 

$3448

Kentucky

$4500

The United States

$4283

Indiana

$4105

Tennessee

$5250

Virginia

$4160

West Virginia

The Cost of Assisted Living in Oklahoma’s Top Cities 

In Lexington, assisted living rates are the highest surveyed in the state at $4,568 per month. Seniors in the Louisville/Jefferson County region and in Bowling Green pay rates consistent with the state median at $3,500. In Elizabethtown, older adults pay $3,225, and in Owensboro, rates are the lowest in the state at $3,088.  

$3088

Owensboro

$3500

Bowling Green

$3225

Elizabethtown

$3500

Louisville/Jefferson County

$4568

Lexington

The Cost of Assisted Living vs. Other Types of Care 

Assisted living in Kentucky is competitively priced at $3,448 per month, providing affordable care for those unable to live alone safely and comfortably. The only cheaper senior care option is adult day health care, which costs $1,690 per month but doesn’t include housing, housekeeping services and daily meals and snacks. Older adults who live at home and arrange home-based care pay $4,767 for homemaker and home health aide services, and seniors in nursing homes pay $7,178 for semiprivate accommodations.

$4767

Homemaker Services

$4767

Home Health Aide

$1690

Adult Day Health Care

$3448

Assisted Living

$7178

Nursing Home

Can You Use Medicaid to Pay for Assisted Living in Kentucky?

Kentucky Medicaid is operated jointly by the state and federal governments and provides coverage for medical services for qualifying individuals. It can be used alongside Medicare to pay for expenses, such as doctor’s office visits, hospitalization and prescription medications. At this time, the state’s Medicaid program doesn’t cover assisted living services directly or through any waiver programs. To find options for paying for long-term care expenses, seniors can contact their local Area Agency on Aging. 

Can You Use Medicare to Pay for Assisted Living in Kentucky?

Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover the cost of assisted living in Kentucky. 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 Kentucky?


How to ApplyHow It Works
Aid and AttendanceApply 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.
Reverse MortgagesResearch and learn about the different types at ftc.govIf 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 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 Kentucky

Kentucky residents can contact various programs and agencies for help with navigating long-term care planning and age-related issues. Through these resources, older adults can get more information on assisted living services and ways to pay for services, residents’ rights and what to do if they don’t receive the standard of care they deserve. The following table also provides contact information for legal and financial advisors, options counselors and benefits specialists.  

Resource  Contact Service 
Area Agencies on Aging and Independent Living (502) 564-6930 There are 15 Area Agencies on Aging throughout Kentucky. These agencies are monitored by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Human Services and use funding from the Older Americans Act to administer free and low-cost services to those aged 60 and over statewide. Services vary slightly by geographic region, but all agencies provide information and referral services, legal and financial counseling and social and recreational programming.  
Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs (800) 572-6245 The Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs oversees four veterans’ homes within the state, which may be a cost-effective alternative to assisted living for veterans who need personal care services. The department also administers a range of benefits to Kentucky veterans, including health insurance, medical care, tax credits and financial benefits, that may offset long-term care costs. 
Long-Term Care Ombudsman (800) 372-2991 The Kentucky Long-Term Care Ombudsman promotes high-quality care for those in assisted living through advocacy and information. The program is comprised of over 80 trained volunteers who visit assisted living facilities throughout the state to ensure compliance with state guidelines and educate residents of their rights and options for recourse if they don’t get the care and services they need. The ombudsman can also investigate concerns about abuse, neglect and exploitation and involve the proper authorities as necessary. 
State Health Insurance Assistance Program (877) 293-7447, Option 2 The State Health Insurance Assistance Program provides confidential, unbiased health insurance options counseling for older adults throughout the state. It’s staffed with trained volunteers who answer questions regarding Original Medicare, including what the program covers, deductibles and premiums and how to avoid late enrollment penalties. Volunteers can also help older adults determine whether they qualify for public benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income, the optional state supplement and Medicaid. All services are free.  
Kentucky Senior Living Association (502) 938-5102 The Kentucky Senior Living Association is comprised of members who operate licensed assisted living facilities in Kentucky. Through this resource, older adults can begin their search for long-term care facilities in their region, learn about senior living options and find support groups that meet to discuss a range of age-related topics.  
Kentucky Legal Aid (270) 782-5740 Kentucky Legal Aid is staffed with licensed legal professionals who provide free advice and assistance with issues that impact older adults. Through its four regional offices, seniors get in-person and over-the-phone support with navigating public benefits, such as SSI, Medicare and Medicaid. The agency also serves as the long-term care ombudsman for the Barren River region of the state.  

COVID-19 Rules for Assisted Living in Kentucky

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including chfs.ky.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 2/8/2022, 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? Not Available*

*NOTE: This information was not available for this state, contact your local area agency on aging or senior living facility for more information.

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Kentucky

Assisted living facilities in Kentucky are certified annually by the Kentucky Department of Aging and Independent Living. This department outlines intake and discharge procedures, staffing and staff training, the scope of care and medication services. It also publishes helpful documents, such as the certification checklist that assisted living facilities follow and a list of assisted living facilities in the state.   

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