Assisted Living in West Virginia
Ranked the third best state in the country for seniors to retire, West Virginia provides seniors with a cost of living that’s much lower than the national average and lower than average costs of housing, groceries, utilities and transportation. Summers are mild with highs around 83, while winters are cold with up to 33 inches of snow. The overall rate of crime in West Virginia is also lower than the national average, which makes the state a safe place for seniors.
Older adults who require assistance with daily living tasks will find plenty of options throughout the state. The average cost of these communities is around $4,160 per month, which is low compared to the national average. Assisted living can be expensive, but the state has several options to assist with costs, including state Medicaid and Medicare.
This guide includes a comparison of assisted living costs throughout the state and a cost comparison of other long-term care options. It also includes a list of resources to help the aging population.
How Much Does Assisted Living Cost in West Virginia?
According to the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the average statewide monthly cost of an assisted living community in West Virginia is $4,160. This is less than the national average of $4,500. Most neighboring states have more expensive costs, except for Pennsylvania at $4,100 and Kentucky at $3,448 per month. Ohio seniors pay around $4,635, and those in Virginia pay $5,250 per month on average.
The United States
The Cost of Assisted Living in West Virginia’s Top Cities
The upfront costs of an assisted living community in West Virginia’s top cities vary depending on location. Other criteria for costs include the number of amenities, types of care provided and type of room. In the northernmost part of the state in Wheeling and Weirton, seniors pay some of the lowest costs in the state at $3,675 and $3,800 per month, respectively. Huntington and Charleston are more than the state average at $4,875 and $4,750 per month. Some of the highest costs are in Parkersburg at $5,444 and in Morgantown at $5,700.
The Cost of Assisted Living vs. Other Types of Care
Aside from assisted living at $4,160, there are other types of long-term care in West Virginia. Adult day health care is the least expensive option at $1,083 per month and is for seniors who only need assistance during the day. Older adults who own their own homes and prefer to age in place may choose homemaker services at $3,527 per month, which offers assistance with housekeeping, grooming, bathing, meals and transportation, or a home health aide at $3,575, which also includes skilled nursing and medical care. A semiprivate room in a nursing home, where seniors receive around-the-clock supervision and comprehensive medical care, is the most expensive option at $11,619.
Adult Day Health Care
Home Health Aide
Nursing Home (semiprivate room)
Can You Use Medicaid to Pay for Assisted Living in West Virginia?
West Virginia Medicaid covers assisted living communities indirectly through the statewide home and community-based services waiver, the Aged and Disabled Waiver. This waiver is meant to prevent or delay entry into a nursing home, which can be one of the costliest options for long-term care.
Medicaid’s Coverage of Assisted Living in West Virginia
Frail, disabled and elderly residents in West Virginia may get assistance covering specific services within the state. Seniors eligible for Medicaid may receive help with activities of daily living at home, with a family member, in a long-term care facility or in an assisted living facility. Like most state Medicaid programs, West Virginia Medicaid also pays for nursing home care, including medical assistance, therapy, skilled nursing and medication management.
Waiver Programs for Assisted Living in West Virginia
While room and board isn’t covered, there is one waiver in West Virginia that may help seniors cover the cost of assisted living throughout the state.
Aged and Disabled Waiver (ADW) Program
The ADW is a home and community-based services waiver that helps pay for personal care services in long-term care. These services include help with grooming, housekeeping, transportation and meals. Eligibility for the ADW is based on the same criteria for Medicaid applicants. This includes specific income and asset limits.
To apply, seniors should contact the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services at (304) 558-3317. Not all who apply for the waiver and are qualified receive benefits. The program provides a limited number of benefits, which means most remain on the waitlist until they are officially accepted.
Eligibility for Medicaid in West Virginia
Medicaid applicants in West Virginia must meet income and asset limits in order to receive benefits. For a single applicant, the income cap is $30,276 per year, or 300% of the federal poverty level. Asset limits can’t exceed $2,000. In a two-person household with only one person applying, the income limit is $30,276 but asset limits can’t exceed $2,000 for the applicant and $137,400 for the non-applicant. The non-applicant may also be entitled to a Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Alliance (MMMNA). The MMMNA is a spousal impoverishment rule intended to prevent poverty. In a two-person household with both individuals applying, the income cap is $30,276 per person with an asset limit of $3,000.
2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in West Virginia
|Family Size||Yearly Income Limits||Asset Limits|
|Two-Person Household(One applicant)||$30,276 per applicant||$2,000 for applicant$137,400 for non-applicant|
|Two-Person Household(Two applicants)||$30,276 per applicant||$3,000|
Additional eligibility requirements include:
- 65 years of age or older or those with a disability
- Require nursing home level of care
- Citizen of the United States or legal alien
- Resident of West Virginia
Applying for Medicaid in West Virginia
Seniors who receive SSI are automatically approved for state Medicaid in West Virginia. No additional application is needed. Individuals who wish to apply online can do so through the Health Insurance Marketplace or the West Virginia Bureau of Medical Services. Applications are also received over the phone by calling (800) 318-2596, or they can be submitted by calling the Department of Health and Human Resources at (877) 716-1212. Paper applications may be downloaded and mailed to the Bureau for Children and Families at 350 Capitol Street, Room 730, Charleston, WV 25301.
Before You Apply:
Before starting an application, gather the information needed to prove eligibility:
- Social Security card
- Birth certificate or proof of immigration status
- Government-issued ID
- Proof of income for the last 30 days
- Copies of bank statements for the past 30 days
- Copies of insurance cards
- Awards letters for veterans’ benefits, SSI, Social Security and retirement accounts
- Proof of property ownership
Where to Go to Get Help
Seniors can get help and answers to questions involving the Medicaid application process from several organizations and agencies in West Virginia. Trained counselors can answer questions on everything from eligibility to organizing medical bills.
|Benefits.gov||(800) 318-2596||Benefits.gov is a federal website dedicated to providing individuals with state and federal program information, including state Medicaid. The site has a pre-approval questionnaire that helps individuals understand their chances of program acceptance. It also gives a brief overview of each program and contact information.|
|HealthInsurance.org||(619) 367-6947||HealthInsurance.org provides information about West Virginia Medicaid and other financial assistance for seniors paying for long-term care. The site provides Medicaid statistics and explains eligibility.|
|Medicaid.gov||(877) 267-2323||Medicaid.gov is the federal website for Medicaid. The site provides a general overview and links to state programs. Counselors are available through the toll-free number to answer general questions and explain benefits.|
Can You Use Medicare to Pay for Assisted Living in West Virginia?
Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover the cost of assisted living in West Virginia. 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 West Virginia?
|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 West Virginia
Several public and private agencies provide programs and services to seniors who live in West Virginia. These resources help address the needs of older adults and focus on improving their quality of life.
|WV Bureau of Senior Services||(304) 558-3317||The WV Bureau of Senior Services provides a database of programs and services for older adults throughout the state. Programs include transportation, meals and exercise and educational classes. The agency produces a monthly television series called The Road Ahead that focuses on topics of interest to seniors.|
|Coalition Community Action Partnership||(800) 234-1706||The Coalition Community Action Partnership serves seniors throughout Mingo County. The organization operates five senior centers that give seniors meals and a chance to socialize and take part in activities throughout the day.|
|Central West Virginia Aging Services||(304) 472-0395||Central West Virginia Aging Services is a social service organization for seniors in central West Virginia. The agency offers case management, RN assessments, private pay services and personal care, including meals and transportation.|
|West Virginia Long-Term Care Ombudsman||(800) 834-0598||The West Virginia Long-Term Care Ombudsman advocates for seniors in residential care by ensuring communities maintain standards set by state and federal agencies. The ombudsman also takes complaints against facilities that violate seniors’ rights and seek to find a resolution.|
|West Virginia Aging and Disability Resource Center||(304) 558-2358||The West Virginia Aging and Disability Resource Center helps improve the quality of life of seniors through a variety of programs and services. These include food; financial assistance; medical, dental and vision care; transportation and personal care.|
COVID-19 Rules for Assisted Living in West Virginia
The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including dhhr.wv.gov/covid-19. These rules apply to nursing homes and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/15/2022, 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?||Not Available*|
|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|
*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?||Not Available*|
|Are residents of senior living facilities who leave and return required to self-quarantine?||Not Available*|
|Are senior living facilities required to cancel all group outings?||Yes|
|Are residents still eating together in the dining hall?||No|
|Are facilities still allowed to host group activities within the community?||No|
*NOTE: This information was not available for this state, contact your local area agency on aging or senior living facility for more information.
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 West Virginia
The Department of Health and Human Resources Office of Health Facilities Licensure and Certification regulates assisted living communities in West Virginia. The agency holds residential communities to specific standards on staffing, health and safety, housing, room and board and personal care.