ALTCS in Arizona – How to Qualify

ALTCS in Arizona

ALTCS is Arizona - What is that?

ALTCS stands for Arizona Long Term Care System, it is part of the Medicaid program. The Medicaid program is a joint program between the federation and the states. Medicaid is a type of health insurance program that pays for a person's custodial care. Each state has unique regulations. Medicaid is usually provided by the state of Arizona to seniors of 65 years of age or older, or to individuals that require nursing home level of care for been disabled.

Medicaid is responsible for Long-term care for around 62.2% of Americans (or qualified residents). 21.8% of the elderly people pays for their Long Term Care Out-of-Pocket. 11.6% private pay, which usually means that they have Long Term Care Insurance. Private Pay is the best and more reliable way to pay for Long Term Care. Most people wait to long to buy Long Term Care Insurance. By the time that they decide to buy they may not qualify for it anymore, or it will be extremely expensive for them to afford. 4.4% is paid for Other Public Resources, which includes Medicare (which is designated for short-term skilled care) or VA, between others.

ALTCS in Arizona - Who qualifies?

The first criteria to know if you are eligible for ALTCS in Arizona is usually age. For someone to apply for ALTCS usually a person need to be at least 65 years of age or older, and they need to be in need of a level of care that qualifies them to ALTCS. There are exceptions though, in some cases a person can be younger than 65 year and have a type of disability that will make ALTCS accessible to them.

We like to divide requirements that need to be meet in older to qualify for ALTCS in two types. The first one is non-financial requirements, the second one been financial requirements. We will go over them in detail in the paragraphs that follow.

ALTCS Non-Financial Eligibility Requirements

The Non-Financial Requirements to be eligible for ALTCS in Arizona are:

  • The person applying needs to be a United States of American citizen or a qualified alien;
  • The person applying needs to be at least 65 years old, or have a disability;
  • The person applying must reside in a Medicaid approved facility and a Medicaid approved bed. Most Medicaid approved facility have two people per room.

A person also need to meet financial requirements on top of meeting non-financial requirements to be eligible.

ALTCS Financial Eligibility Requirements

The Financial Requirements to be eligible for ALTCS in Arizona need to be meet not only by the Institutionalized Individual but also by his/her Community Spouse (if applicable). The Financial requirements to be meet are divided between Income and Assets.

The Institutionalized Individual needs to meet the Income requirements below to be eligible:

  • The Income of the Individual in question needs to be less than the county- specific Divestment Penalty Divisor. As of October 2019 the Divestment Penalty Divisor for the Maricopa and Pinal Counties is $7,253.13, for all the Other Counties it is $6,337.20. These number change frequently so please use them as just a reference.
  • If the gross income of the Institutionalized Individual exceeds $2,313, a Qualified Income Trust will be required. Again bear in mind that qualification gross income changes frequently and may be different from the above.

The Community Spouse also needs to meet some specific Income requirements:

  • There are no limits on the income of the community spouse;
  • However there is an income floor know as the Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance (MMNA) for the community spouse. The MMNA is defined as the amount of income that the community spouse is entitled to. The community spouse will always be entitled to the minimum MMNA, but he or she may also be entitled to a larger amount depending on their shelter expenses.

In terms of Assets the Institutionalized Individual is allowed to keep $2,000 in countable assets to be eligible. The Community Spouse is allowed to keep a separate resource allowance from the institutionalized individual known as Community Spouse resource Allowance (CSRA). As of October 2019 Arizona recognizes a minimum CSRA of $25,284 and a maximum CSRA of $126,420.

The Community spouse is entitled to 50% of the countable assets at the snapshot date for application, not to fall below the minimum CSRA and not to exceed the maximum CSRA. The snapshot date is usually defined as 30 consecutive days of uninterrupted care for the institutionalized individual.

There are some assets that are exempted and to not count toward one's resource allowance. To know more about that we advise you to talk to an elder care attorney.

It is important to highlight that applicants can't give away assets in order to be eligible to ALTCS, this is commonly referred to as a divestment. There is also a five year lookback period for divestment. If divestment have been made (i.e. assets have been given away) the applicant will be subject to a period of Medicaid ineligibility, which will make the applicant responsible for paying to his or hers long term care expenses.

Both Non-financial and Financial requirements need to be meet for eligibility to be possible.

How to start the process?

The first step to make sure if you qualify for ALTCS in Arizona is to give our Elder Care Attorneys a call to schedule a free initial consultation. During the initial consultation we will access your eligibility. If you do meet the requirements to apply for ALTCS you can engage our law firm so we can start the application process.

A lot of clients are concerned about the cost of the process and the time that it will take to get qualified. We work with a flat fee structure so you will know the full cost beforehand, even before you engage Citadel Law. We usually explain to clients that our total cost will be close to a full month in a nursing home facility, the sooner you apply for it the better.

In terms of the time that it will take to get approved it varies from client to client. Even if it takes a few months to get approved your qualification will actually start when you are admitted into the nursing home facility, or when your care started.

Free assessment with an Elder Law Attorney - How can we help you?

Qualifying for ALTCS in Arizona can be a long and confusing process. Our compassionated Elder Care Attorneys at Citadel Law Firm PLLC  will be pleased to offer you a free consultation to access your eligibility to ALTCS. You can schedule it online by clicking here or call (480) 565-8020.