What is ALTCS?
The Arizona Long-Term Care System, or ALTCS, is a program designed to help residents of Arizona pay for long-term care. Long-term care includes nursing homes, assisted living, memory care, residential group homes, and in-home care. Knowing how you’ll be taken care of as you age is extremely important. Senior Planning can help you and your loved ones achieve peace of mind by helping you find any necessary care and applying for ALTCS when necessary.
Beyond the state residency requirement, there are also medical and financial requirements. When applying for ALTCS you will want to familiarize yourself with the requirements and process to ensure that you have the best chance of qualifying for the program.
Medical Eligibility for ALTCS
ALTCS is made for patients who need attendant care because of age or other medical needs. To ensure that you meet these needs, applicants undergo an evaluation that looks at medical history and current medical needs. As long as a person genuinely needs consistent hands-on care, they should not struggle to pass the medical portion of the application.
To prove eligibility, applicants go through a medical screening process called a Pre-Admission Screening. This process begins by providing basic information, like your age, current long-term care needs, living arrangements, and physician information.
An assessor will evaluate a person’s ability to perform Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). This includes toileting, transferring, cooking, eating, bathing, dressing, and personal hygiene. The assessor is looking to prove that the applicant needs help with their ADLs to remain safe and healthy.
Senior Planning offers a free consultation where we can help evaluate whether or not you’d qualify medically. We can help you decide if you should apply now or in the future. If you decide to hire Senior Planning to assist with your ALTCS application, we will help illustrate the applicant’s need for hands-on care and ALTCS.
Financial Eligibility for ALTCS
Although the medical portion of the application can be difficult, the financial eligibility for ALTCS is more complex and many people struggle to understand it. You should expect your income and assets to be closely inspected. Both income and total assets have to fall under a certain amount to qualify for ALTCS.
The monthly income limits depend on if you’re married or single. A single applicant can have up to $2,382 in monthly income. Married applicants who apply together can individually have up to $2,382 in monthly income or a combined income of no more than $4,764. If one spouse is healthy and does not need care, they may be able to keep some or all of the ALTCS spouse’s income. This is decided on a case by case basis, which is why using a professional service like Senior Planning’s is so important. We will help save as much of a person’s income as possible while still getting them qualified for ALTCS.
As mentioned, assets are also looked at, from savings accounts to stocks, bonds, life insurance policies, CDs, property, and anything else a person may have. An individual can have up to $2,000 in countable resources. Anything past that will either penalize or disqualify an applicant. Many assets are not included in countable assets. Your primary residence, one vehicle, burial plots, and irrevocable prepaid burial plans are not included in your assets when determining if you qualify.
As you can see, it gets complicated fast. Using the help of either an elder law attorney or a Medicaid planning service like Senior Planning’s can be very beneficial if you have more than $2,000. Simply transferring assets can harm qualification so before you transfer any assets, it is important to understand the repercussions. Sometimes transferring is the correct option, but depending on the total dollar amount, there are different strategies that can be employed. We can help save as much as possible while still getting qualified. Call today for a free consultation.
What if I Don’t Qualify for ALTCS?
It’s not unusual to be rejected by ALTCS, especially if you don’t meet the financial eligibility requirements. Many people who apply on their own frustratingly find that they are denied from receiving benefits. However, there is usually a solution. Many people come to us after attempting the application on their own and usually, we have a high success rate for people applying for the second, third, or even fourth time.
If you don’t qualify because of your finances or assets, our team can help you. There are trusts and ways to manage assets that can help you meet the requirements. We can help you examine your options.