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Nursing Homes in Indiana

Around 16.4% of Indiana's 6,833,047 population are 65 or older, and 34,406 live in a certified nursing facility. These nursing homes provide vital medical care to people with disabilities and complex health conditions when they can't be cared for safely at home while ensuring their social and psychological needs are met. Many nursing facilities also offer rehabilitative services to help seniors improve or maintain their functional abilities. 

Deciding to move to a nursing home can be a challenging time for seniors and their families. Therefore, it can be helpful to learn about the funding options available, especially for older adults with limited savings or low incomes. This guide outlines whether Indiana's state Medicaid pays for nursing home care, Medicare coverage guidance and how Indiana regulates its 80 nursing homes. It also provides an overview of Medicaid nursing home eligibility criteria to help seniors understand whether they'll likely qualify for help. 

Popular Cities in Indiana

Fort Wayne

Cost of Indiana Nursing Homes

The average cost of nursing homes in Indiana is $215 per day. This is higher than the national average which is $228 per day.

 

Can You Use Medicaid to Pay for Nursing Home Care in Indiana?

Indiana's Medicaid program covers nursing home care for older adults and people with significant health needs or disabilities. As of 2022, around 1,995,496 Indiana residents are enrolled in either Medicaid or CHIP. The state will cover the costs of a nursing home placement for seniors who qualify for Medicaid coverage and meet other eligibility criteria. Alternatively, older adults may be eligible for funded home health services via the Aged and Disabled waiver if they require a nursing facility level of care but wish to be cared for at home. 

Eligibility for Medicaid in Indiana

Medicaid will only pay for nursing home care in Indiana for people on low incomes with assets below a certain value. The state assesses applicants' incomes as a percentage of the Federal Poverty Level and considers sources such as wages, alimony payments and retirement income. Assets may include savings, bonds and investments but usually exclude the family home and personal belongings. For married couples, Indiana only considers the applicant's individual income to determine eligibility for nursing home coverage unless both spouses apply.

Income Limits*Asset Limits
Single Person$32,904$2,000
Two-Person Household$65,808 (both spouses applying)
  • $3,000 (both spouses applying) OR
  • $2,000 for applicant spouse and $148,620

*Per year

Indiana expects eligible seniors to contribute most of their countable income toward their placements, and the state then tops up their contributions to cover the full costs. However, funded nursing home residents can retain a monthly allowance of $52 to cover personal spending. 

Aside from income and asset limits, applicants need to meet other eligibility criteria to qualify for Medicaid funding. Additional criteria include:

  • Having a disability as defined by the Social Security Administration
  • Being aged 65 or older
  • Already living in a nursing home
  • Being a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or legal alien and living in Indiana

Applying for Medicaid in Indiana

Indiana residents can apply for Medicaid in Indiana online via the state's benefits portal or the federal Health Insurance Marketplace. Alternatively, they can apply for health benefits in person at their nearest DFR office or by calling 1-800-403-0864. Applying in person or by phone can be helpful for people who need support in completing their applications.

What Information You Will Need

  • Full name and date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Information about any employment or retirement income
  • Details of past and current benefits, such as Social Security income
  • Value of any countable assets
  • Details of any existing health coverage

Additional Medicaid Support and Resources in Indiana

Accessing Medicaid funding for nursing home care can be confusing, but seniors and their caregivers don't have to navigate the system alone. The following organizations can support people applying for or receiving nursing home coverage to understand their benefits and eligibility. 

ContactService
Find a NavigatorLook up your county to find a navigatorFind a Navigator allows applicants to locate and contact a certified health insurance navigator in their area. A navigator can provide support with Medicaid applications and other health insurance types. Many areas offer navigator services in Spanish.
INconnectEnter your location for contactsThe INconnect website offers a broad range of online resources to help seniors and their families learn about their long-term care options and plan for senior care. It includes video resources and information for caregivers. The navigation tool allows users to quickly locate the resources they need.
Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging(317) 205-9201Indiana's AAAs can help older adults plan for senior care and access the services they require. The local offices help seniors determine their Medicaid eligibility and can facilitate connections with community resources.

Can You Use Medicare to Pay for Nursing Home Care in Indiana?

Medicare provides limited coverage for short-term stays in a skilled nursing facility following a hospital stay, but seniors must meet a number of specific requirements. This benefit is available to beneficiaries who have been hospitalized for at least three days, excluding the date of discharge, so it's most valuable for those who are recovering from an injury, illness, or surgery.

Once seniors meet the hospitalization requirement, Medicare will pay for up to 100 days of skilled nursing per benefit period. The first 20 days are covered in full. Starting on day 21, beneficiaries must pay a daily coinsurance rate. After day 100, seniors are responsible for the entire cost.

What Does Medicare Cover?

Medicare covers a number of specific services, including:

  • Meals
  • A semiprivate room
  • Medications
  • Skilled nursing
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Audiologist care
  • Medical supplies
  • Medical social services
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Ambulance transportation

What Isn't Covered by Medicare?

Medicare does not cover long-term custodial care that addresses seniors' day-to-day needs. This includes help with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing and using medical equipment.

For more information about Medicare and when it covers Nursing Home Care, read our Guide to Nursing Homes.

Medicare Support and Resources in Indiana

Seniors and their caregivers may require assistance in choosing the right Medicare coverage for their needs or help in understanding what senior care benefits they're entitled to. Several Indiana organizations offer free counseling and resources to help older adults navigate the Medicare application and claims processes. 

ContactService
Indiana SHIP(800) 452-4800Indiana SHIP provides free, unbiased advice on Medicare to seniors and their families. Its volunteers can provide information about beneficiary rights and claims filing and help applicants choose the best policy for their needs. SHIP offers support via virtual meetings, on the phone or in person.
Indiana Department of Insurance(317) 232-2385The department offers free online information to help Medicare applicants evaluate and compare Medicare Advantage plans. Its resources provide a comparison of each plan's basic eligibility requirements, typical benefits and beneficiary protections.
Northwest Indiana Community Action(800) 826-7871NICA provides online resources to educate seniors and caregivers on their long-term care options. It operates a helpline offering free options counseling to help seniors access services and supports and determine eligibility for benefits.

Other Financial Assistance Options for Nursing Home Care in Indiana

While Medicaid and Medicare are two of the most common programs used to pay for Nursing Home Care, there are other financial assistance options available, depending on your unique situation.

How to ApplyHow It Works
Aid and AttendanceLearn 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 skilled nursing care.
Reverse MortgagesLearn 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 nursing care. 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. This type of funding can be especially useful for married couples when only one partner needs nursing care, as the other residents of the home may continue living there. Reverse mortgage loans do need to be repaid with interest, typically within 12 months of receiving the loan.
Long-Term Care (LTC) InsuranceLearn 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 covered for skilled nursing care. Most policies cover at least a portion of the cost of nursing home care, but it depends on the specific policy terms. Note that older adults who are already in need of skilled nursing care will not be eligible to sign up for a LTC insurance policy.

Nursing Home Laws and Regulations in Indiana

Licensing RequirementsAll residential care homes, including nursing homes, must obtain a license from the Indiana Department of Health. The facility must demonstrate that it meets the rules and regulations governing nursing homes in Indiana. The department monitors licensed homes to ensure compliance and investigates complaints.
Staffing RequirementsRequired staffing levels depend on the number of residents, but all nursing homes must have at least one qualified nurse on duty at all times. Homes with over 100 residents must have an additional nurse on duty for every 50 residents.
Staff Training RequirementsStaff must receive training at least annually, and those working with people with dementia should receive 6 hours of dementia training within 6 months of employment. Nurses must receive 8 hours of training per year, while non-nursing staff must receive 4 hours.
Admission RestrictionsA licensed nurse must perform a preadmission evaluation to determine a potential resident’s health and care needs. Nursing homes can only admit residents if their evaluation indicates that the home can meet their medical and psychosocial needs.
Care Planning RequirementsNursing homes must collaborate with each resident’s physician to produce a personalized care plan. Other staff members may provide input to ensure the plan meets the person’s needs. The home must also involve the resident or a nominated friend or relative in the planning process.
Dietary and Nutritional Services RequirementsFacilities must plan and provide three balanced meals per day, and meals must meet each person’s dietary requirements. A licensed dietician must approve the meal plans, and modified diets must be prescribed by a doctor. Homes should accommodate religious diets and personal preferences.
Specialized Rehabilitative ServicesHomes do not have to provide speech, physical and other rehabilitative services on-site, but many do. However, they must facilitate access to these services off-site when prescribed by a physician.
Medication and Pharmaceutical ServicesOnly licensed nurses or qualified medication aides may administer medication when prescribed by a resident’s physician. Staff must keep accurate records of the time and dosage of medications given and observe for any adverse effects. Any errors must be reported to the resident’s physician.
Activities RequirementsNursing homes must hire a recreation therapist or occupational therapist as the activities director. The activities director must complete approved training within 1 year of employment and deliver activity programs to suit residents’ interests, preferences and functional abilities.
Infection Control RequirementsAll nursing homes must develop an infection control program enabling them to detect communicable diseases and prevent them from spreading. Staff must receive infection control training and keep the facility sanitary to prevent infections. All residents must be evaluated for tuberculosis before admission.
Medicaid CoverageMany Indiana care homes are approved to accept Medicaid funding. Eligible seniors can use Medicaid to cover the cost of living in a nursing home, but they may have to contribute some of their regular income.

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