Considered one of the top 10 most affordable states to live in the United States, Indiana is a state where retirees can stretch their savings and enjoy a potentially high quality of life. Affordable senior care options make this a popular place to retire. Of the 6.8 million people who live here, over 16% are aged 65 and older. The state is home to the Indiana University Health Medical Center, which U.S. News and World Report ranks in the top 50 hospitals in the country for senior care.

On the 2022 Senior Living Report, Indiana ranks sixth for affordability and 17th for senior living and housing costs. Overall, it falls 33rd in the nation for all ranking factors. The cost of assisted living, which averages $4,283 a month, is one of the reasons the state ranks so well for affordability.

This guide outlines the costs of residential care in Indiana and provides resources older adults can use to cover those costs. It gives seniors and their families a convenient list of nonprofit and government agencies that assist seniors with their retirement needs while also outlining the rules and regulations that govern Indiana’s assisted living communities.

The Cost of Assisted Living in Indiana

The 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey indicates assisted living care is affordable in Indiana. While the national average is $4,500, Indiana seniors pay just $4,283 a month. It falls right in the middle of the surrounding states of Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan, which are $4,488, $4,635, $3,448 and $4,250, respectively.

$4283

Indiana

$4500

The United States

$3448

Kentucky

$4250

Michigan

$4488

Illinois

$4635

Ohio

Cities in Indiana have very different costs of assisted living. Some are much higher than the state’s average, but others are lower. Kokomo in the central part of the state has the most affordable average of $3,250, while Lafayette near the Illinois border has the highest — over $2,000 more, at $5,255 a month. Bloomington shares the state’s average of $4,283, while Indianapolis is about $200 higher a month, at $4,478. In the Michigan City area near Lake Michigan, seniors average $3,617 a month, while Evansville in the far southern part of the state has an average of $4,389 a month. Finally, Terre Haute comes in at the higher end, at $4,948 a month.

$3250

Kokomo

$3617

Michigan City

$4283

Bloomington

$4389

Evansville

$4478

Indianapolis

$4948

Terre Haute

$5255

Lafayette

Indiana seniors can choose from a number of senior care options. Assisted living gives them access to help with daily living needs and a high level of independence, and it averages $4,283 a month. The most affordable option is adult day health care, which involves care during the day and living at home at night. This type of care averages $1,733 a month. Receiving homemaker services or home health aide care in the home costs $4,767 a month, and nursing home care in a semiprivate room is the most costly option, at $7,270 a month.

$4283

Assisted Living

$4767

Home Care

$4767

Home Health Care

$1733

Adult Day Health Care

$7270

Nursing Home Care (semiprivate)

Does Medicaid Cover Assisted Living in Indiana?

Medicaid in Indiana doesn’t directly pay for assisted living costs. In Indiana, seniors can use Medicaid funds to pay for assisted living costs through two programs, the Home and Community-Based Services waiver program and the Residential Care Assistance Program. These programs allow Medicaid-eligible seniors to apply their Medicaid funds toward their assisted living costs.

What Assisted Living Services Are Covered by Medicaid in Indiana?

Under the Home and Community-Based Services waiver program or the Residential Care Assistance Program, income-qualified individuals residing in assisted living communities or other residential treatment facilities can have many of their services covered, including:

  • Room and board
  • Assistance with activities of daily living
  • Recreational programs
  • Meals
  • Medical care

Through these waiver programs, all assisted living costs can be paid with Medicaid funds, but the amount of money available depends on the assets and income of the applicant.

Assisted Living Waiver Programs in Indiana

Home and Community-Based Services Waiver

The Home and Community-Based Services Aged and Disabled waiver program provides alternatives to nursing homes for seniors and disabled individuals who need care and support. Some use these funds to live at home, while others use them to move to an assisted living facility.

Some of the services available through this waiver program include:

  • Assisted living care
  • Community transition
  • Health care coordination
  • Emergency response system
  • Respite care
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Transportation

Applicants are assigned a case manager who evaluates their needs and chooses the specific services that apply to each person. These services become part of a Plan of Care/Notice of Action for the applicant.

To be eligible for this program, a senior must:

  • Be aged, blind or disabled
  • Have an income no more than 300% of the maximum Supplemental Security Income amount
  • Meet “nursing facility level of care” criteria
  • Be living in or planning to transition to an HCBS-compliant facility

Seniors should apply as soon as they feel they need these services. Applicants must first qualify for Medicaid. Then, they must visit their local Area Agency on Aging to get help applying for HCBS waiver services. Waitlists for this program are common in Indiana, so applying early is important.

Residential Care Assistance Program

The Residential Care Assistance Program is available for Medicaid recipients or those who receive Supplemental Security Income and are already in an RCAP-approved facility. The program provides funds to pay for:

  • Room and board
  • Laundry
  • Care coordination

Money is paid at an approved per-day rate established through the Division of Aging unless the resident has no income, in which case RCAP pays room and board monthly.

To qualify for this program, a senior must:

  • Be 65 or older or be blind or disabled
  • Currently receive Medicaid or SSI
  • Live in an RCAP facility
  • Not require a nursing home level of care

The RCAP community helps the applicant with the application process, or the applicant’s family members can download the application and collect supporting documentation to submit to the Division of Family Resources via email at FSSA.APPS4RCAP@fssa.in.gov.

How To Know If You’re Eligible for Medicaid in Indiana

Indiana’s Medicaid programs are overseen by the Family and Social Services Administration and the Division of Family Resources. Medicaid eligibility in Indiana is primarily based on income. Other eligibility qualifications include:

  • Being a resident in the state of Indiana
  • Being a U.S. national, citizen, permanent resident or legal alien
  • Needing health care or insurance assistance

As of 2022, single applicants for Medicaid in Indiana can have a yearly income of no more than $16,971.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Indiana

.

Annual Income Limits

Asset Limits

Single Applicant

$16,971

$2,000

Two-Person Household
(Only One Person Applying)

$22,930

$3,000

Two-Person Household
(Both People Applying)

$22,930

$3,000

Individuals eligible for the HCBS waiver may be able to qualify with a monthly income of up to $2,382 or $28,584 a year. Vehicles, homes, burial spaces and retirement savings don’t count as assets for these considerations.

How To Apply for Medicaid in Indiana

To apply for Medicaid in Indiana, seniors can visit the Family and Social Services Administration website to apply online. Seniors can also print applications and drop them off at the Department of Family Resources office closest to them.

Information You Will Need

Before starting the application process, individuals will need to gather some documents. These include:

  • Proof of household income
  • Tax filing details
  • Proof of age
  • Proof of citizenship or legal resident status
  • Social Security number
  • Details about other insurance policies

Seniors applying for HCBS also need proof they are medically in need of these services.

How To Get Help Applying for Medicaid

Several agencies and programs in Indiana can help seniors apply for health insurance through Medicaid. Some seniors already in assisted living facilities can get help there, especially if they’re applying for RCAP. Other groups that can help seniors find the right plan and apply for it include these:

Resource

Contact

Description

(800) 986-3505

The state of Indiana is divided into 16 Planning and Service Areas, each of which has its own Area Agency on Aging. These agencies help connect seniors to the services they qualify for, including health care coverage and Medicaid. They provide case management, referrals and information to help seniors access services they need to live as independently as possible.

(844) 243-8570

Seniors who are having trouble getting their Medicaid applications approved can request free legal assistance from Indiana Legal Services. The organization takes applications online or by phone Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It also has a number of free legal resources available online.

(866) 211-9966

Indiana 211 is a free helpline that seniors and others in Indiana can call to get connected to local services they need, including Medicaid help. Seniors can simply dial 211 to get free, confidential help finding local resources. The helpline is staffed 24/7.

Does Medicare Cover Assisted Living in Indiana?

The short answer is that no, Medicare does not cover the cost of assisted living in Indiana. Assisted living facilities are considered to be a “residential setting” and not a “clinical setting,” (think nursing homes). While Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of care received in an assisted living community, it does still cover things like approved medications, doctor visits, medical equipment, etc., just like it would if you lived at home.

For more information about when Medicare can be used to pay for senior living in a nursing home, and for Medicare-related resources, see our guide to Nursing Homes in Indiana.

DEV NOTE: Please include a link to the section on the appropriate nursing home state page that discusses Medicare.

Other Financial Assistance Options for Assisted Living in Indiana

Seniors who are not eligible (due to location, financial situation, or other factors) for other types of financial assistance, do still have some options. See the table below for an overview of some of the most common ways to make Assisted Living affordable.

.

How to Apply

How It Works

Aid and Attendance

Learn more and apply online at va.gov.

Veterans who receive a VA pension may also be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit, a monthly cash allowance that veterans receive in addition to their standard pension amount. The benefit is intended for veterans in need of long-term care services and may be used towards paying for Assisted Living.

Reverse Mortgages

Learn more about your options and how to apply at ftc.gov

If you own a home, you may be able to use a reverse mortgage to help pay for Assisted Living. Reverse mortgages are loans that one can take out against the value of their home, essentially converting some of the home's equity into cash. Reverse mortgage loans do need to be repaid with interest, typically within 12 months of receiving the loan.

Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance

Learn more about Long-Term Care Insurance and how to apply for a policy at acl.gov.

Seniors who already have long-term care insurance may be able to use it to pay for Assisted Living. Most policies cover at least a portion of the cost, but it depends on the specific policy terms. Note that older adults who are already in need of Assisted Living will not typically be eligible to sign up for a LTC insurance policy.

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Indiana

Many agencies and nonprofit organizations throughout Indiana offer services to seniors. By reaching out to these groups, those living in assisted living communities can access resources beyond their communities and maximize the benefits they are entitled to receive because of their age or disability status. These groups provide their services to local seniors at little to no cost.

Resource 

Contact 

Service 

(317) 232-3910

The Indiana DVA helps veterans and their families access the benefits they've earned. These include grants and access to the Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery and the Indiana Veterans Home. Many of these programs can help seniors in Indiana financially. In addition, the DVA offers access to veteran-based medical benefits.

(800) 992-6978

Adult Protective Services hears complaints about abuse or neglect of vulnerable adults in Indiana, including seniors. If a senior or family member submits a report to the local APS unit, It will investigate and take the necessary measures to protect the individual.

(800) 622-4484

The Indiana Long-Term Care Ombudsman program allows residents of assisted living communities to receive advocacy help. If a resident or resident’s family member believes their rights are not being protected, they can contact the Ombudsman to get help.

(800) 452-4800

Through Indiana's SHIP program, seniors in the state can receive free, impartial counseling about their Medicare coverage and benefits. The counselors can help seniors make the most out of their benefits and apply for programs they may qualify to receive.

(800) 772-1213 

Indiana’s Social Security Field Offices help seniors apply for Social Security benefits and cards as well as Medicare services. This is also the contact point for Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance for disabled seniors.

COVID-19 Rules for Assisted Living in Indiana

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including coronavirus.in.gov and The CDC. These rules apply to nursing homes and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 03/16/2022, 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.

Visitation Policies

Rules for Indiana Communities

Are loved ones allowed to visit to provide emotional support?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are relatives allowed to visit for end-of-life care?

Yes

Are residents required to quarantine after visiting with a loved one?

No

Are visitors required to wear PPE (including masks) in order to visit residents?

Yes

Are non-medical contractors (such as hairdressers and entertainers) allowed in senior living facilities?

Yes

Are visitors checked for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are visitors required to answer questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?

Yes

Outings & Social Activities

Rules for Indiana Communities

Are residents allowed to leave (errands, visiting family, etc.) for non-medical reasons?

Yes

Are residents who leave required to quarantine when they return?

No (Conditions Apply)

Are senior living communities required to cancel all group outings?

No

Are residents allowed to eat meals together in a common area?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are residents allowed to gather in common areas for group activites?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

COVID-19 Safety Measures for Staff and Residents

Rules for Indiana Communities

Are staff members regularly required to do a temperature check?

Yes

Are staff members regularly tested for COVID-19?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are staff members members regularly required to do a health and safety screening, including questions about travel, contact with positive cases, etc?

Yes

Are residents regularly screened for COVID-19 symptoms?

Yes

Are residents regularly checked for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are residents regularly tested for COVID-19?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Indiana

The Indiana State Department of Health oversees the rules, regulations and licensing of assisted living communities. A strict set of regulations ensures these facilities can provide the right level of care to each resident they serve.

INDIANA LAWS AND REGULATIONS

Assisted Living Service Plan Requirements 

All facilities must assess the health needs of a senior before admitting them as a resident. This assessment will consist of the scope, type and frequency of service they require. It also includes the senior’s preferences. These evaluations must be redone if the resident’s scope of care changes while they're at the facility. Medicaid-approved facilities must have an individual risk plan for residents when deemed necessary.

Assisted Living Admission Requirements 

Assisted living communities aren't allowed to admit residents who require 24-hour nursing care or have needs they're not equipped to meet. Residents cannot pose a danger to themselves or others. Any resident cannot be admitted if they require total assistance with any two of these:

  • Eating
  • Toileting
  • Transferring

Assisted Living Scope of Care 

Assisted living communities must provide the care required to maintain the health and well-being of residents, including any necessary therapies like occupational or physical therapy, medication management and basic care services. Facilities must have a state-licensed nurse if they provide minor nursing services.

Assisted Living Medicaid Policy

Medicaid funds can pay for assisted living care in qualified facilities if the resident is eligible for the HCBS or RCAP programs.

Assisted Living Facility Requirements

If they accept the Medicaid waiver, assisted living communities must have individual units that are wheelchair accessible. They must include:

  • Private bath, with half of the units having roll-in showers
  • Bedroom
  • Living areas
  • Kitchenettes

Residents can share a bedroom if they agree to the shared living arrangement, such as in the case of married couples.

Medication Management Regulations

Licensed nurses or qualified medication aides must administer medication. Injectable medication must always be administered by licensed staff members, but certified nursing aides can give simple treatments. All medications must be under a physician's orders. Residents can keep medications in their units in secure storage if they self-administer their medications.

Staffing Requirements 

A licensed administrator oversees the overall administration of the facility, and all assisted living communities must have one on staff. If the facility has more than 50 residents who need medication or nursing services, it must have a licensed nurse on duty at all times. Activities directors are also required. Facilities must have a pharmacist on staff or under contract. There's no staff-to-resident ratio requirement. However, faculties must have at least one awake staff member on site at all times.

Staff Training Requirements 

Facilities must give all new staff members an orientation that covers the policies and procedures of the community. An organized in-service training must happen at least once a year for all staff members.

Background Checks for Assisted Living 

All employees must complete a background check before starting their work. If they're guilty of abuse, neglect or mistreatment of a resident at any point in their past, or if they have a finding on the nurse aide registry, they may not be hired.

Requirements for Reporting Abuse 

Any suspected abuse must be reported to the Indiana Adult Protective Services Department. This can be done online or over the phone by calling the state hotline at (800) 992-6978.