Oregon has over 4.2 million residents, including a large senior community that makes up nearly a fifth of the population. In the 2022 Senior Living Report, Oregon ranks 28th in the nation overall and is in the top 11 states for access to health care and quality of life. The Oregon Health and Science University Hospital, a 576-bed teaching hospital, is located in Portland, and St. Charles Medical Center is a high-performing facility in Bend. The state also has numerous long-term care facilities to meet the needs of older adults who need assistance throughout the day. According to most recent data, older adults in Oregon pay $5,045 per month for Assisted Living, which is a little higher than the national median but consistent with costs in surrounding states

This comprehensive guide provides information on Assisted Living across Oregon, as well as how this type of care compares in cost to other options within the state. It highlights Medicare and Medicaid programs within the state as well as funding options for Assisted Living services. It also features a resource table with statewide agencies and programs for seniors and breaks down Assisted Living regulations in Oregon.

The Cost of Assisted Living in Oregon

According to the Genworth 2021 Cost of Care Survey, seniors in Oregon pay an average $5,045 per month for Assisted Living. While this is several hundred dollars higher than the national median of $4,500, the state is moderately priced compared to other options in the Pacific Northwest. In Washington, rates are nearly $1,000 higher at $6,000, while seniors in California pay $5,250 per month. Idaho and Nevada have considerably more affordable Assisted Living rates of $3,838 and $3,750, respectively.  

$5045

Oregon

$4500

The United States

$6000

Washington

$3838

Idaho

$3750

Nevada

$5250

California

Assisted Living rates across Oregon are relatively consistent, ranging from $4,485 per month in Corvallis to $5,623 in Eugene. In Albany, older adults pay $4,530 for residential care, and in Medford, care costs are a little higher at $4,640. In Bend, seniors pay $4,835, and in Portland, Assisted Living facilities charge $4,975. Care costs exceed the state median by several hundred dollars at $5,500 in Salem. 

$4485

Corvallis

$4530

Albany

$4640

Medford

$4835

Bend

$4975

Portland Area

$5500

Salem

$5623

Eugene Area

California seniors have several long-term care options depending on their lifestyle goals, care needs and budgets. Assisted living is moderately priced at $5,250 per month. Those who obtain care in their own homes pay $6,101 for basic home care and specialized home health care, and those who attend adult day health care facilities pay affordable rates of $1,842 per month. Nursing home care is the costliest, with facilities charging $9,794 for semiprivate accommodations.

$6006

Homemaker Services

$6101

Home Health Aide

$2654

Adult Day Health Care

$5045

Assisted Living

$10342

Nursing Home Care (semiprivate)

$11113

Nursing Home Care (private)

Does Medicaid Cover Assisted Living in Oregon?

Qualifying Assisted Living residents in Oregon may pay for assisted living through the state’s Medicaid program. Assisted Living services are covered directly through the K Plan, also called the Community First Choice State Plan Option, as well as indirectly through the Aged and Physically Disabled waiver. These programs pay for Assisted Living services and home-based care to help older adults maintain their independence and avoid or delay Nursing Home care. 

Medicaid, including the K Plan option, is an entitlement, and everyone who qualifies for enrollment is guaranteed coverage. Limited enrollment slots are available for the APD waiver, meaning that some people who qualify for services are placed on waitlists until a slot opens. Individuals who qualify for both programs may be enrolled in them simultaneously.  

What Assisted Living Services Are Covered by Medicaid in Oregon? 

Oregon’s Medicaid program covers a range of Assisted Living services. The coverage seniors receive depends on whether they’re enrolled in the K Plan or the APD waiver. 

K Plan Coverage 

Under the K Plan, all members receive case management and have individualized service plans that determine what services are covered. These services may include: 

  • Adult Day Care
  • Attendant Care, including personal care and Homemaker services
  • Assistive technology
  • Chore services
  • Community transportation
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Environmental modifications
  • Memory Care services
  • Respite Transition services to help individuals move from Nursing Home care to Assisted Living 

Aged and Physically Disabled Waiver 

Under the APD waiver, individuals access a more limited range of services. The purpose of this waiver is to help individuals move out of a skilled nursing facility and back into their home or a community setting. Because it has more generous income and asset allowances than the regular Medicaid program, it may benefit those not eligible for full Medicaid coverage.  

Assisted Living Waiver Programs in Oregon 

Aged and Physically Disabled Waiver 

The APD waiver is a Home and Community-Based Services waiver that helps seniors in nursing homes transition back to their home or a community setting, such as an Assisted Living facility. Covered services include: 

  • Case management
  • Housing support services, including help with finding housing and completing applications
  • Transition services to move from an institutional setting to assisted living 

The APD waiver may cover transition-related expenses such as security deposits, basic furnishings and setting up utilities. However, it doesn’t cover monthly room-and-board expenses. 

To be eligible for the APD waiver, applicants must be at least 65 years old or have a physical disability, and they must live in a nursing home but wish to return to their home or a community setting. They must also meet financial criteria. A single applicant can have a monthly income of up to $2,523 and up to $2,000 in assets.  

To apply for the APD waiver, individuals can call the Oregon Health Plan Customer Service hotline at (800) 699-9075 and request a paper application. They can also apply online here

How to Know if You’re Eligible for Medicaid in Oregon 

To qualify for Medicaid in Oregon, you must meet financial eligibility criteria. Single applicants may have a monthly pretax income of up to $841. Income is calculated including Social Security Disability Insurance, Social Security Income, retirement savings and pension benefits. Married applicants may have a joint monthly income of up to $1,261. If only one spouse is applying, only the applicant’s income counts, and it may be up to $1,261 monthly. 

Applicants must also meet asset limits. Single applicants may have up to $2,000 in countable assets, and married applicants may have up to $3,000. Countable assets include stocks, bonds, investments, bank accounts and owned property the individual doesn’t occupy.  Applicants whose income and assets exceed these guidelines may still qualify for Medicaid through options such as spousal asset transfers, irrevocable funeral trusts and spend-down programs.  

Applicant 

Max Annual Income Limit 

Asset Limit 

Single Applicant 

$10,092

$2,000 

Two-Person Household, both applying 

$15,132

$3,000 

Two-Person Household, one applicant 

$15,132

$3,000 

In addition to income and asset limits, applicants must be at least 65 years old, legal U.S. citizens or residents and permanent Oregon residents.  

How to Apply for Medicaid in Oregon 

Seniors can apply for Medicaid online by visiting ONE.Oregon.gov, or they must fill out and submit a paper application to: 

OHP Customer Service 
P.O. Box 14015 
Salem OR, 97309  

Individuals can call OHP Customer Service at (800) 699-9075 for help with applying for Medicaid and Medicaid waiver programs.  

Information You Will Need 

Before applying for Medicaid, individuals should have the following information on hand: 

  • Proof of age
  • Proof of citizenship
  • Proof of state residency
  • Proof of income and assets
  • Social Security Number 
  • Policy for current health insurance coverage, including TRICARE and Medicare 

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid 

Several government and nonprofit agencies advocate and support those applying for Medicaid. Through these resources, seniors can get help with the application process, find out more about Medicaid coverage for Assisted Living and file appeals for denied services.

Resource 

Contact 

Description 

(877) 642-0450 

The Oregon Health Authority Ombudsman Program supports Medicaid beneficiaries by advocating on their behalf to ensure they have high access to health care. Individuals can contact the ombudsman if they have questions about their coverage, need help finding a provider or have a complaint regarding denied claims or canceled coverage.

(800) 699-9075 

The OHP Customer Service hotline provides free information and assistance with applying for Medicaid. Through this service, seniors can learn more about Medicaid benefits and the application process.

(800) 562-4620 

Seniors can call OHP Care Coordination for nurse advice and help with finding health care providers. The website also publishes information regarding the legislation that affects benefits and fields beneficiary feedback through member satisfaction surveys.

Does Medicare Cover Assisted Living in Oregon?

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

Other Financial Assistance Options for Assisted Living in Oregon

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 Oregon

Oregon seniors have access to numerous government and nonprofit agencies and programs that help them navigate long-term care options, identify ways to pay for services and connect with community-based services. Through the following resources, seniors can connect with financial and legal advisors, options counselors and information and referral specialists who help them make informed decisions regarding their care.  

Resource 

Contact 

Service 

(503) 945-5600 

16 Area Agencies on Aging provide community-based services and support for those aged 60 and over in Oregon. Through these local nonprofit agencies, older adults can obtain services such as transportation, congregate meals and social and recreational activities. The agencies have legal and financial advisors who help older adults find ways to pay for Assisted Living and navigate issues such as assigning powers or attorneys and managing assets.

(855) 673-2372 

The ADRC provides free information on long-term support options in Oregon. The website has a suite of user-friendly tools that help older adults assess and plan for their current and future care needs and find resources in their communities. Seniors can also speak with an ADRC representative for one-on-one help with finding local services and programs.

(800) 522-2602 

The statewide Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman advocates for those in Assisted Living and other long-term residential facilities, ensuring they understand their rights, receive a high standard of care and have the information they need to make decisions regarding their care plans. The ombudsman can mediate disagreements between families, residents and care staff and find solutions for gaps in care plans. They can also field and investigate reports of abuse or neglect and involve the proper authorities.

(800) 692-9666 

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs provides information on state and federal benefits available to qualifying veterans in the state, including disability compensation, emergency assistance, burial funds, veterans’ and survivors’ pensions, transportation, tax exemptions and long-term care via the state’s two veterans’ homes. It can also help individuals apply for Aid and Attendance, which may help cover residential long-term care costs. 

(800) 772-1213 

The Social Security Administration operates field offices throughout Oregon. At these locations, older adults can apply for benefits such as Social Security Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income and Medicare. The office can also replace Social Security cards and provide proof of income, which older adults may need when applying for Medicaid. 

(800) 722-4134 

SHIBA is a statewide program that provides free health insurance options counseling to those aged 65 and over. Seniors can talk with a SHIBA counselor to learn more about their Medicare benefits and obtain unbiased information on available Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans, which can help reduce out-of-pocket medical and long-term care costs. The program can also help seniors learn how to protect themselves from health insurance fraud, determine eligibility for Medicaid and file appeals for denied health insurance claims.

COVID-19 Rules for Assisted Living in Oregon

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including oregon.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 3/16/2022, 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 Oregon 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 Oregon 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 Oregon 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 Oregon

Assisted Living facilities in Oregon comply with regulations set by the Department of Human Services. These regulations set a minimum standard of care to ensure a high quality of life for Assisted Living residents statewide. 

OREGON LAWS AND REGULATIONS

Assisted Living Service Plan Requirements

To determine a resident’s service plan, the facility must conduct an evaluation within the first 30 days of residency that establishes a baseline of the resident’s physical and mental health. This includes: 

  • Interests, hobbies and leisure activities
  • Current medical diagnosis
  • Current medications

  • Mental health issues, including depression and behavioral disorders

  • Memory
  • Communication and sensory abilities
  • Ability to manage medications and use a call system
  • Tobacco, alcohol and drug use 

The service plan must outline the services provided and by whom, where and how often. It must be reviewed quarterly or whenever the resident’s needs change.

Assisted Living Admission Requirements

Before a new resident moves in, the facility must ensure that it can adequately meet their needs. It must conduct an initial screening to determine their service needs, preferences, strengths and relationships.

Assisted Living Scope of Care

At a minimum, assisted living facilities in Oregon provide: 

  • Three nutritious, appetizing meals daily, plus snacks, with modifications for special diets; menus must be prepared at least a week in advance, and meal substitutions must be available
  • Personal and laundry services 
  • Daily social and recreational programming
  • Space, equipment and supplies for group activities
  • Assistance with daily living activities including mobility assistance, dressing, bathing and eating
  • Medication administration
  • Housekeeping services 

Facilities must also arrange for transportation services for medical and recreational outings, and it must contract with third parties for ancillary services such as barber and beauty services, therapy and hospice. 

Assisted Living Medicaid Policy

Oregon’s Medicaid program covers some Assisted Living services under the K Plan, which pays for attendant care in any setting, including Adult Foster Care, Independent Living or Assisted Living communities. The state's Medicaid program also covers assisted living services under the Aged and Physically Disabled Waiver. For residents paying for assisted living with Medicaid, the person-centered service plan coordinator completes their service plan. This waiver doesn’t cover room and board.

Assisted Living Facility Requirements

Assisted Living facilities have to comply with local building regulations and take measures to prevent pest infestations. They must have accessible, well-lit outdoor recreation areas. All indoor pathways and floors must be in good repair and made from hard, smooth materials while minimizing resistance for those using wheelchairs and mobility aids. Walls and ceilings must be cleanable, and facilities with more than one level must have elevators. Resident units may be limited to a bedroom with up to two residents, and there must be a minimum of 80 square feet per resident. Centralized bathrooms are permitted.

Medication Management Regulations

Assisted living facilities must have safe medication and treatment administration systems approved by a licensed nurse, pharmacist consultant or physician, and facilities must maintain medication records for each resident. All medication obtained through a pharmacy or over the counter must be clearly labeled in the original container. 

Residents who self-administer their medications must be evaluated upon move-in and at least quarterly to ensure they can continue to safely do so, and they must have a physician’s written order of approval for self-administration of prescription medications. They're permitted to keep their medications in their unit unless doing so could be unsafe.

Direct care staff members may administer medication if certified staff members have observed and evaluated their ability to safely do so. Only a physician or other legally recognized practitioner can make changes to residents' medication regimens. Residents or their legally authorized persons may refuse medications or treatments. 

Staffing Requirements

Facilities must have full-time administrators to oversee day-to-day operations and ensure compliance with regulations, as well as caregivers and universal workers. Facilities must hire or have a contract with licensed nurses. There must be enough qualified staff members to maintain awake schedules at all times. 

Staff Training Requirements

All employees must complete orientation within 30 days of their hire date. This must cover residents’ rights, reporting abuse, infection control and emergency procedures. Caregivers must complete 12 hours of on-the-job training. All staff members must be certified first aiders and CPR certification is recommended. Administrators must complete 20 hours of continuing education every year. 

Background Checks for Assisted Living

All staff members are subject to criminal background checks, which must be conducted every two years and submitted to the Department of Human Services and Aging. Disqualifying crimes include criminally negligent homicide, assault, human trafficking, sexual misconduct, theft or burglary, animal abuse and illicit drug possession.

Requirements for Reporting Abuse

All employees are required to immediately report abuse to the local department office, the local Area Agency on Aging and to the facility administrator. If the abuse is believed to be a crime, local law enforcement must be contacted first. Residents, visitors and family members can report abuse to the Department of Human Services by calling the toll-free number at (855) 503-7233.