Known as one of America’s agricultural hubs, Kansas ranks 16th overall on our 2022 Senior Living Report based on factors, such as living costs, access to health care services and senior housing options. Kansas received low marks in the Quality of Life category, but the state ranked 8th in the nation for senior-friendly transportation services and 10th overall for affordability. The median assisted living rate in the state is $4,580 per month, which is only $80 higher than the nationwide median of $4,500.

In Kansas, seniors can enjoy plenty of sunny days and an abundance of wide-open spaces. The state has a population density of 35.6, which is exceptionally low compared to the national average of 93.3. Kansas is home to just under 3 million residents, and 16.3%, or about 475,400, are seniors aged 65 and older. 

This guide covers assisted living costs in Kansas and neighboring states, as well as the cost of other long-term care services. It also includes an overview of funding options for covering care costs, a summary of state regulations for assisted living facilities in Kansas and links to free programs for older adults who need help accessing long-term care. 

The Cost of Assisted Living in Kansas

The Genworth 2021 Cost of Care Survey shows that on average, assisted living care in Kansas costs $4,580 per month, which is consistent with the national average of $4,500. Rates in neighboring states range from $3,000 in Missouri up to $4,750 in Colorado. Seniors in Oklahoma pay about $3,855 per month for assisted living care, while comparable services cost an average of $4,076 in Nebraska. 

$4580

Kansas

$4500

The United States

$3000

Missouri

$3855

Oklahoma

$4076

Nebraska

$4750

Colorado

Average assisted living rates across Kansas vary from $4,495 in Topeka, the state capital, up to $5,425 in Wichita, the state’s most populous city. In Manhattan, assisted living residents pay around $5,398, while in Lawrence, rates run around $4,538 per month. 

$5425

Wichita

$5398

Manhattan

$4538

Lawrence

$4495

Topeka

Assisted living is just one of the many long-term care services available to seniors in Kansas. Older adults who wish to continue living in their own homes but require support during the day can join an adult day health care program, which costs an average of $1,788 per month. Non-medical in-home care services provided by a homemaker cost an average of $4,576 per month, and this rate is based on 44 hours of care weekly. Home health care services cost around $4,671 per month and include some limited medical services, such as medication management and vital sign monitoring.

Assisted living care costs around $4,580 per month, and this rate includes room and board, along with some personal care and recreational programming. Seniors with complex medical needs who need around-the-clock skilled nursing care can expect to pay an average of $6,296 for a semiprivate nursing home room, while a private room costs about $6,813 per month. 

$1788

Adult Day Health Care

$4580

Assisted Living Care

$4576

Homemaker Services

$4671

Home Health Aide

$6296

Nursing Home (semiprivate)

$6813

Nursing Home (private)

Does Medicaid Cover Assisted Living in Kansas?

In Kansas, Medicaid is known as KanCare. KanCare services are delivered through three contracted managed care organizations, or MCOs: Aetna Better Health of Kansas, Sunflower Health Plan and UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Kansas. KanCare covers some assisted living services through the Frail Elderly (FE) waiver program, which is available through all KanCare plans. 

What Assisted Living Services Are Covered by Medicaid in Kansas? 

While KanCare doesn’t pay for the room and board portion of assisted living costs, Kansas’ Medicaid program does cover some services delivered within an assisted living facility through the Frail Elderly waiver program. These services vary based on the needs of each beneficiary as determined through an assessment conducted through the MCO. 

Assisted Living Waiver Programs in Kansas 

The Frail Elderly (FE) Home and Community-Based Service (HCBS) waiver is a KanCare program that’s designed to delay or prevent institutionalization of at-risk seniors aged 65 and older. The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Service (KDADS) manages the FE waiver, and benefits include: 

  • Adult day care
  • Assistive technologies, such as communication devices and visual aids
  • Help with activities of daily living 
  • Medication reminders
  • Evaluation by a licensed nurse
  • Limited diagnostic, prophylactic and restorative dental services, including the purchase and repair of dentures
  • Wearable medical alert devices
  • Ongoing intermittent skilled nursing care 
  • Enhanced care services, including transportation to and from medical appointments

To qualify for services through the FE Waiver program, seniors must be aged 65 or older, be financially eligible for KanCare and meet the functional requirements for nursing home placement as outlined by Medicaid. 

To enroll in the FE Waiver program, seniors must: 

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

Medicaid’s income limits are adjusted on an annual basis. In 2022, single applicants may have an annual pre-tax income of no more than $17,131 with a $2,000 asset limit. For couples, the income limit increases to $23,169 and the asset limit increases by $1,000. If one spouse applies, the other has a much higher asset limit of $137,400; this was put in place as a financial protection for the noninstitutionalized spouse. 

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Kansas

Annual Income Limits

Asset Limits

Single Applicant

$17,131

$2,000

Two-Person Household

(Only One Person Applying)

$23,169

$2,000 for applicant

$137,400 for non-applicant

Two-Person Household
(Both People Applying)

$23,169

$3,000

In addition to meeting Medicaid’s income and asset limits, seniors must: 

  • Be at least 65 years old, or
  • Be blind or have a qualifying disability, and
  • Be a permanent resident of the state of Kansas, and
  • Be a U.S. citizen, national, permanent resident or legal alien

How To Apply for Medicaid in Kansas 

Kansas residents can apply for Medicaid online through the KanCare Consumer Self-Service Portal. Seniors can also call (800) 792-4884 to request a paper application that can either be returned by mail or fax, and PDF application forms are available to download on the KanCare website

Information You Will Need 

When applying for KanCare (Medicaid), individuals must be prepared to provide the following documentation:

  • Proof of income from all sources, including employment, investments, VA benefits, SSI and Social Security
  • Proof of any current health insurance coverage
  • Copies of any trusts or annuities held by the applicant
  • A letter from the applicants’ life insurance company verifying the policy number, face and cash value of the policy and any liens against the policy
  • The most recent statement from all bank accounts, CDs, stocks and bonds held by the applicant or that the applicant co-owns 
  • Copies of any prepaid burial plans or funeral service
  • Proof of age
  • Proof of citizenship and permanent residency in Kansas
  • Verification of the applicants’ Social Security number

How To Get Help Applying for Medicaid 

Kansas seniors who need help applying for health insurance, navigating their long-term care options or dealing with problems related to their care can get help through one of the following programs and services. 

Resource 

Contact 

Description 

(800) 723-6953 (KLS Statewide Intake)

(888) 353-5337 (Elder Law Hotline)

Kansas Legal Services is a statewide nonprofit legal services organization that serves low and moderate-income clients. Seniors aged 60 and older who need assistance with civil (non-criminal) legal issues, such as access to KanCare/Medicaid, can call the Elder Law Hotline to speak with an intake specialist. Staff at KLS can also help seniors learn about elder law issues, such as estate planning and guardianship. 

1-855-643-8180

Staff at the KanCare Ombudsman Office help KanCare members and applicants resolve outstanding issues related to KanCare coverage, services and enrollment. 

1-855-221-5656 (Aetna)

1-877-644-4623 (Sunflower) 

1-877-542-9238 (United)

KanCare members who are dissatisfied with the services they receive through one of the three KanCare managed care organizations can file a managed care grievance. Common grievances include issues with quality of care or services, failure to deliver services in a way that respects the member's rights and an MCO failing to cover charges, which should be covered under KanCare. Grievances must be submitted via phone or mail to the respective MCO. 

Does Medicare Cover Assisted Living in Kansas?

The short answer is that no, Medicare does not cover the cost of assisted living in Kansas. 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 Kansas.

Other Financial Assistance Options for Assisted Living in Kansas

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 Kansas

Kansas seniors who need help applying for health insurance, navigating their long-term care options or dealing with problems related to their care can get help through one of the following programs and services. 

Resource 

Contact 

Service 

1-877-662-8362 

The Kansas Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program helps to protect the rights of long-term care residents throughout Kansas. Volunteer and paid Ombudsmen educate residents about their rights, support resident and family councils in long-term care facilities and serve as advocates for residents who have concerns about the care they're receiving. 

(785) 267-1336

The Kansas Association of Area Agencies on Aging & Disabilities is a statewide network of 11 Aging and Disability Resource Centers. These federally mandated centers are designed to ensure seniors aged 60 and older, as well as adults with disabilities, have access to information on state and federal benefits that can be used toward assisted living costs. Staff at each regional center can also help seniors locate local community-based services, such as home meal delivery programs, accessible transportation services and case management. 

(800) 513-7731 

The Kansas Commission on Veterans' Affairs Office helps to ensure that all Kansas veterans and their dependents are able to access their maximum entitlements through county, state and federal programs, including benefits that can be used toward assisted living costs. All services are provided at no cost to veterans and their families, and assistance is available through any of the 15 regional VCVA offices. The VCVA also operates the Kansas Enhanced Veterans Services Program, a mobile service for those who are unable to visit a VCVA office. 

(800) 772-1213

Kansas seniors can visit one of the 11 Social Security field offices located throughout the state to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance, Medicare and Supplemental Security Income. Staff at these offices also screen SSI recipients for Medicaid eligibility. 

COVID-19 Rules for Assisted Living in Kansas

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including kdads.ks.gov and cdc.gov. These rules apply to nursing homes and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 3/22/2022, 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 Kansas 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 Kansas 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 Kansas 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 Kansas

In Kansas, assisted living communities, also known as adult care homes, boarding care homes and home plus, must comply with government regulations designed to protect the health, safety and rights of residents. Assisted living facilities in Kansas are licensed and inspected by the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services.

KANSAS LAWS AND REGULATIONS

Assisted Living Service Plan Requirements 

Each new resident must be provided with a written service agreement outlining the services they'll receive and who will provide those services. This service plan must be developed in collaboration with the resident and/or their legal representative, their physician and any parties involved in the delivery of services outlined in the service plan. This plan must be reviewed at least once a year. 

Assisted Living Admission Requirements 

Facilities may only admit and retain residents who have care needs that can be safely met within the facility. Assisted living facilities cannot house individuals who have behavioral issues that require the use of physical restraints or who pose a physical danger to others. Also prohibited are individuals who need ongoing 24/7 skilled nursing care, residents who cannot safely exit the facility with limited assistance in the event of an emergency and anyone who needs hands-on assistance from two or more caregivers to perform activities of daily living. 

Assisted Living Scope of Care 

Assisted living facilities provide room and board, as well as personal care services, recreational programming and some limited medical care delivered by a licensed nurse. 

Assisted Living Medicaid Policy 

KanCare covers the cost of some assisted living services through the Frail Elderly Medicaid waiver program. 

Assisted Living Facility Requirements 

Assisted living facilities first licensed after January 1, 1995, must offer apartments equipped with a full, accessible private bathroom; a kitchenette with a sink, refrigerator and stove or microwave; a lockable door and a window that opens to the outside. Facilities that were first licensed on or before December 31, 1994, don't need to offer living units with private bathrooms and kitchenettes. 

Medication Management Regulations 

Residents may self-administer prescription and over-the-counter medications following an assessment performed by a licensed nurse. Facility staff who are licensed medical professionals may administer and manage medications, although medication aides are prohibited from administering subcutaneous or intravenous medications. All medications administered to residents must be reviewed every 75 days by a licensed pharmacist.

Staffing Requirements 

Every assisted living facility must have an administrator, and that administrator must be licensed if the facility has 62 or more residents. A registered nurse must also be employed or retained by the facility to supervise licensed practical nurses and medication aides. There are no minimum staffing ratios, although the administrator must ensure that enough staff are available to safely fulfill each residents' care plan. Staff must remain awake at all times while on duty. 

Staff Training Requirements 

Non-licensed administrators must complete at least 50 hours of approved training every 2 years. Administrators must also ensure that all facility staff complete orientation and ongoing in-service training related to residents' rights, fire prevention, infection control and abuse prevention. 

Background Checks for Assisted Living 

All employees and contractors working in Kansas assisted living facilities must successfully pass a criminal background check. Anyone who has been convicted of an offense that could jeopardize the safety of vulnerable individuals, such as theft, battery, sexual battery or mistreatment of a dependent adult, is excluded from employment in a licensed facility. 

Requirements for Reporting Abuse 

Anyone who suspects that a vulnerable adult is being neglected, abused or exploited is required to report their concerns to the Kansas Protection Report Center. If the victim is in immediate danger, individuals must contact their local law enforcement agency.