Assisted Living in Ohio
Ohio is situated to the south of Lake Eerie. It has a population of 11.7 million, of which 17.5% are aged 65 or over. The state has an aging population, with more than 2.5 million residents aged 60 or older, and the number of older adults in the state is growing 20 times faster than the younger population.
Some seniors find they require help with the activities of daily living as they get older. For those seniors, assisted living facilities offer a way to maintain their independence and dignity but receive help with the activities of daily living as required. The Genworth Financial Cost of Care Survey lists the average cost of assisted living in Ohio as being $4,635, which is slightly above average. Seniors may get help paying for this type of care through a waiver, and the overall cost of living in the state is below average.
This guide looks at the cost of assisted living and other care types in the state, and it lists Medicare and Medicaid options for seniors and other support and advice services.
How Much Does Assisted Living Cost in Ohio?
According to the Genworth Financial Cost of Care Survey 2022, the average cost of assisted living in Ohio is $4,635, which is slightly above the national average of $4,500. Ohio’s facilities charge more than in neighboring states. Kentucky is the most affordable, with average fees of $3,448 per month. Pennsylvania ($4,100), West Virginia ($4,160) and Indiana ($4,283) also offer relatively affordable fees compared to the national average.
The United States
The Cost of Assisted Living in Ohio’s Top Cities
Within Ohio, the cost of assisted living varies from city to city. Columbus, in the heart of the state, is relatively affordable, with average fees of $4,085. Fees are slightly higher in Toledo ($4,219) and Dayton ($4,250). To the far south in Cincinnati, seniors pay an average of $4,666 per month. Mansfield ($4,798) and Akron ($4,993) are some of the most expensive cities in the state.
The Cost of Assisted Living vs. Other Types of Care
In addition to assisted living, seniors can choose from several other care options. Adult day health care is the most affordable, at $1,733 for care in a group setting during office hours. Homemaker services cost $4,957 for housekeeping and personal care support at home. Seniors pay slightly more, $5,053, for home health care, which offers similar services plus limited nursing care. Skilled nursing in a semiprivate room in a residential nursing home is the costliest, due to the intensive 24-hour support provided, averaging $7,300 per month.
Assisted Living Facility
Home Health Care
Adult Day Health Care
Nursing Home Facility (semiprivate room)
Can You Use Medicaid to Pay for Assisted Living in Ohio?
Medicaid in Ohio does not directly cover the cost of assisted living. However, there are assisted living waivers that can be used to offset some of the cost of care. Most assisted living facilities in the state accept these waivers. The Assisted Living Waiver Program supports Ohio residents aged 21 or over who require personal care assistance, such as help with bathing, eating, or dressing. The Residential State Supplement covers the cost of room and board for those on a low income who require support in an assisted living facility.
Medicaid’s Coverage of Assisted Living in Ohio
The Ohio Medicaid Assisted Living Waiver is a home and community-based services waiver that is open to those who meet the eligibility requirements for Medicaid and who need support with the activities of daily living. It can also be used to assist with expenses relating to moving into the facility.
Waivers Programs for Assisted Living in Ohio
Assisted Living Waiver
Seniors may be eligible for the Assisted Living Waiver if they have been assessed as requiring one-on-one support with the activities of daily living. This waiver is open to all adults who qualify for Medicaid and meet financial eligibility requirements. Those under the age of 65 must have a physical disability to be deemed eligible, while those over 65 are required to need nursing home levels of care.
Seniors can apply for the Assisted Living Waiver by calling (866) 243-5678 or visiting their nearest Area Agency on Aging.
Residential State Supplement
The Residential State Supplement helps with the cost of room and board at assisted living and other long-term care facilities. To be eligible for this supplement, seniors must require long-term care, be eligible for Medicaid and be in receipt of Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or other similar benefits.
Eligibility for Medicaid in Ohio
Seniors must meet certain income and asset limits in order to qualify for Medicaid. These limits differ depending on whether the applicant is a single person or part of a couple. If one person in a couple is applying, the non-applicant is permitted to have a greater level of assets. Applicants are expected to spend the majority of their income on their care costs; however, there is a $50 personal needs allowance along with a spousal care allowance for couples.
2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Ohio
|Income Limits*||Asset Limits|
|Two-Person Household(Only One Person Applying)||$30,276||$2,000 for applicant$137,400 for non-applicant|
(Both People Applying)
In addition to meeting the income and asset requirements, seniors must also:
- Be U.S. citizens or meet non-citizen requirements
- Reside in Ohio
The Assisted Living Waiver is open to those aged over 65 who require nursing home levels of care for any reason, and those aged 64 or younger who are living with a physical disability.
Applying for Medicaid in Ohio
Seniors who wish to apply for Medicaid can do so by calling the Offices of Long-Term Services and Supports at (844) 644-6582 or by using the online application service. The local Area Agency on Aging may also be able to offer advice on the application process.
Before You Apply
To apply, seniors will need to have the following information and documents on hand:
- Proof of residence/citizenship, such as a passport or green card
- Proof of age in the form of a passport, birth certificate or medical/school documents
- Bank statements
- Property deeds and car titles
- Evidence of any income from shares/other investments
- Medicare documentation
- Evidence of any Social Security income/VA benefits
Where to Go to Get Help
There are several organizations offering support with the Medicaid application process. Seniors can also access online state and federal resources to help them understand the eligibility requirements and find local contacts to assist with more specific queries.
|Benefits.gov||(800) 324-8680||The Benefits.gov website offers advice and information about the benefits available in different states. The Ohio Medicaid page covers useful contacts, eligibility requirements for Medicaid in the state and the application process.|
|OSHIIP||(800) 686-1578||The Ohio State Health Insurance Information Program helps individuals choose the right Medicare and Medicaid services for their needs. Trained, impartial advisors work with seniors, answering questions to reduce Medicare fraud and help them choose plans that will suit their health and financial circumstances.|
|Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services||(866) 244-0071||The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services has several local offices spread across the state. These offices can assist with benefits applications and run local adult protective services, which can assist in cases of elder abuse or neglect.|
Can You Use Medicare to Pay for Assisted Living in Ohio?
Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover the cost of assisted living in Ohio. 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 what Medicare visit medicare.gov.
Are There Other Financial Assistance Options for Assisted Living in Ohio?
|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.|
|Reverse Mortgages||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 Ohio
Seniors living in Ohio can access support from a variety of nonprofit and local government organizations. These organizations provide support with benefits applications and appeals, legal issues, veterans’ assistance and more.
|Area Agencies on Aging||(866) 243-5678||There are 12 Area Agencies on Aging covering the 88 counties of Ohio. These agencies deliver a range of supportive programs for Ohio residents. They can assist with Medicaid applications and connect seniors with public and private sector organizations delivering transportation, meal service or other help within the community.|
|Veterans Affairs Offices||See Directory for Local Office||The Department of Veterans Affairs has seven Vet Centers in Ohio along with several other facilities for veterans, including clinics and benefits administration offices. Former servicemen and women can access these services to help them apply for VA pensions and benefits, find local veterans’ homes or receive medical support.|
|Social Security Offices||(800) 772-1213||There are 56 Social Security Offices in Ohio. These offices can help seniors apply for Social Security benefits, appeal if a claim has been denied or access documentation that may be required for a Medicaid application. Seniors can find their nearest Social Security Office by entering their zip code into the search tool on the SSA website.|
|Ohio Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman||(888) 282-1206||The Long Term Care Ombudsman advocates for the rights of patients living in long-term care facilities. Volunteer ombudsmen liaise with patients and their loved ones and investigate complaints or concerns about the standard of care at assisted living facilities.|
|Pro Seniors||(800) 488-6070||Pro Seniors provides Ohio’s older adults with free legal advice and support. This organization advocates for seniors’ rights and assists with benefits appeals, health care issues and estate planning. It also helps seniors understand the Medicare system and deals with issues relating to both Medicare fraud and billing errors.|
COVID-19 Rules for Assisted Living in Ohio
The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including coronavirus.ohio.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 2/13/2022, 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)|
Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Ohio
The Ohio Department of Health’s Bureau of Regulatory Operations oversees the licensing of residential care facilities, including assisted living communities. The Bureau sets the rules that such communities are required to abide by, including staffing requirements, care standards and health and safety regulations.