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Nursing Homes in Ohio

Nursing home care is an essential service for many of Ohio's seniors, in particular, those who are living with serious medical conditions that require regular support from skilled medical professionals. Of the state's 11.7 million residents, the U.S. Census estimates that 17.8% are 65 or older, and 63,324 of those seniors currently live in a nursing home. 

Ohio is home to 952 certified nursing facilities. These facilities offer 24-hour skilled nursing care and supervision, providing seniors with a safe environment where they can recuperate after a hospital stay or receive the long-term care they need to live as comfortably and independently as possible.

In this guide, we explore some of the options seniors and their loved ones have for covering the cost of nursing home care in Ohio. We also look at how the state regulates nursing home care and what seniors and their loved ones can expect in terms of care provision should they opt to transition to such a facility.

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Cost of Ohio Nursing Homes

The average cost of nursing homes in Ohio is $210 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 Ohio?

Ohio Medicaid can be used to cover the cost of long-term care in a nursing home for eligible seniors, although there are some limitations on the expenses that can be claimed through the program. In general, seniors can claim the cost of room and board as well as any necessary medical services. 

It's estimated that there are 3.3 million people enrolled in Medicaid & CHIP in Ohio. The Nursing Home/Institutional Medicaid program is an entitlement program, so anyone who meets the eligibility requirements will receive the benefits once their application has been approved. Nursing Home/Institutional Medicaid will cover a semiprivate room, the cost of medical care and help with the activities of daily living. It won't cover a private room or any nonroutine comfort articles such as cosmetics, snacks or entertainment items. Seniors may keep a personal needs allowance of up to $50 per month to cover the cost of this kind of discretionary spending.

Seniors who would prefer to remain in their own homes but require a nursing home level of care can apply for Home and Community-Based Services Waivers. Those who are looking to live in a nursing home don't need to use a waiver program and can instead apply directly to the Ohio Medicaid program.

Eligibility for Medicaid in Ohio

To qualify for Nursing Home Medicaid, seniors must meet medical eligibility requirements as well as certain income and asset limits. The 2023 limits are $2,000 in countable assets and an income of $32,904 for a single person and $3,000 in countable assets, with a combined income of $65,808 for a couple.

Income Limits*Asset Limits
Single Person$32,904$2,000
Two-Person Household$65,808$3,000

*Per year

Seniors must also be U.S. citizens, residents of Ohio and assessed by a medical professional as requiring a nursing home level of care. The state has a look-back period of 5 years, meaning when a person applies for Medicaid, their financial history for the last 5 years is reviewed to ensure they have not deliberately deprived themselves of assets in order to meet the eligibility criteria.

Applying for Medicaid in Ohio

Seniors can apply for Medicaid online via the Ohio Benefits website. Applications are also accepted over the telephone at (800) 324-8680. Those who would prefer to be guided through the application process in person can visit their nearest Job and Family Services Office to apply.

What Information You Will Need

Before applying, seniors are advised to ensure they have the following information and documentation on hand:

  • 5 years of quarterly bank statements from all accounts
  • Evidence of income from savings or investments
  • Proof of age and residence (e.g., passport/birth certificate)
  • Proof of life insurance
  • Wage slips
  • Evidence of Social Security income
  • Tax forms
  • Power of attorney (if applicable)
  • Deeds or other evidence of owned assets

Additional Medicaid Support & Resources in Ohio

Seniors and their loved ones who require assistance with the Medicaid application process can contact the following organizations for support. These organizations can offer advice about eligibility, help to complete the forms or provide support if an application has been declined.

Ohio Medicaid Consumer Hotline(800) 324-8680The Ohio Department of Medicaid runs this hotline, and it serves as the first point of contact for those who require help with the application process. Calls to the help line are free, and the advisors can answer most basic questions about the application process.
Ohio Benefits(844) 640-6446The Ohio Benefits website includes an online eligibility checker that helps seniors confirm their eligibility for Medicaid and other benefits. The checker is free and easy to use and may help seniors discover benefits they didn't know they were eligible for.
Ohio SHIIP(800) 686-1578The Senior Health Insurance Information Program is a free hotline run by trained volunteers who offer advice and education about Medicare programs and other health insurance matters. While it's not primarily focused on Medicaid, it may help older adults make the most of the health insurance programs available to them.

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

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 & Resources in Ohio

The Medicare system can be confusing to navigate. The following organizations offer information and support for seniors and their loved ones and can help them better understand Medicare and its various plans.

Pro Seniors(800) 488-6070This nonprofit program operates the Senior Medicare Patrol program, which helps seniors ensure their claims for Medicare are correct and accurate and that they're receiving all the help they're entitled to. Pro Seniors also provides legal aid to Ohio residents.
Ohio Department of Insurance(800) 686-1526The Ohio Department of Insurance regulates the sale of insurance policies and works to ensure all residents have access to fair coverage. It also provides information about SHIIP coordinators, who can help would-be applicants with questions about Medicare programs.
Area Agencies on Aging(866) 243-5678There are 12 Area Agencies on Aging serving Ohio. Each agency has a clearly defined local area and offers a range of services, including free Medicare counseling. The counselors are independent and aren't paid a commission, so seniors can feel confident the advice they receive is impartial and accurate.

Other Financial Assistance Options for Nursing Home Care in Ohio

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 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 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 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 Ohio

Licensing RequirementsNursing homes are licensed by the Department of Health, Health Care Facilities Licensure and Certification Section for the purposes of providing skilled nursing and personal care services to seniors and those who are injured, recuperating from an illness or living with a disability.
Staffing RequirementsFacilities are required to have enough staff available to provide a minimum of 2.5 hours of one-on-one support to each resident per day. This requirement covers RNs, LPNs and nurse aides. There are additional requirements for the director of nursing and other key personnel.
Staff Training RequirementsAll nurse aides are required to complete an approved 75-hour training program, including a mix of classroom education and supervised clinical experience. RNs and LPNs must meet additional requirements as set by the board.
Admission RestrictionsBefore admission to a facility, individuals must go through a Preadmission Screening and Resident Review to ensure the facility can meet the needs of the patient. This requirement may be waived for short-term admissions in the event of an emergency.
Care Planning RequirementsResidents must be given a written care plan within 7 days of their admission or initial assessment. The plan must be reviewed quarterly or sooner in the event of a significant change in the resident's health.
Dietary and Nutritional Services RequirementsResidents must be provided with at least three nutritionally balanced and palatable meals per day. Meal substitutes and alternative dining options must be provided. A registered dietitian or nutritionist must oversee the menu, and each resident's food intake should be monitored.
Specialized Rehabilitative ServicesRehabilitative services such as physical, occupational or speech therapy may be provided by nursing homes. Such services aren't compulsory but may help contribute to the rehabilitation of patients.
Medication and Pharmaceutical ServicesStaff members are permitted to assist nursing home residents with the self-administration of medications or to administer medications under the direction of a physician. Nursing homes must have a pharmacist or qualified consultant available to provide pharmacy services.
Activities RequirementsLife-enrichment activities must be provided and must suit the physical and emotional needs of the residents. The activities must be designed in a way that accommodates the interests, abilities and mobility levels of the residents.
Infection Control RequirementsFacilities must have a written policy that defines how they will manage communicable infections. All staff members must be trained in hygiene protocols and are required to follow protocols for investigating and reporting listed diseases and infections such as tuberculosis.
Medicaid CoverageMedicaid covers the cost of care in a nursing facility for those who meet the income and asset limits and have been assessed as requiring a nursing home level of care.

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