Filing an ALTCS Application in Arizona
For many Arizonans with low resources, the Arizona Long-Term Care System (ALTCS) program can provide essential services. However, the application process can be complex. The Law Offices of Brandon White offers experienced senior planning and ALTCS assistance to help you get your application right the first time.
What Is ALTCS?
The ALTCS program is a Medicaid program. It is available to some Arizona residents who are blind, disabled, or elderly. Residents with developmental disabilities may also be eligible. Under the ALTCS, long-term care services are free or low-cost.
In order to qualify the applicant MUST be Medically Needy. This means they need a certain level of assistance with “activities of daily living”.
In addition, applicants MUST be Financially Needy. This means they meet certain asset and income limits set by the ALTCS program.
What Does ALTCS Pay for?
ALTCS coverage depends on the living situation of the covered individual. For example, someone in a care facility will have different needs from someone living at home. Income, medical needs, and other factors determine the scope and nature of ALTCS coverage and should be considered during senior planning efforts.
Some of the services that may be available to ALTCS-eligible individuals include:
- Medical care and treatment, including doctor visits
- Nursing home and long-term facility care
- Hospital stays
- Access to specialists
- Adult daycare services
- Prescription medications
- Home-delivered meals
- Dental care of up to $1,000 annually
- Assisted living facilities and resources
Individuals eligible for the ALTCS program also have access to hospice care services.
Who Is Eligible for Arizona Long-Term Care?
ALCTS long-term care in Arizona is available for the elderly and the disabled. However, when reading up on how to apply for ALTCS in Arizona, you will note that specific eligibility conditions must be met before receiving these benefits. The first is a financial assessment to determine whether you are able to pay for the medical care and services you need.
Then, medical and functional assessments will determine the extent of your need for long-term care. If you have doubts about your eligibility, we are happy to review your case and provide helpful senior planning counsel.
Questions to Answer Before Applying for ALTCS
Before they apply for ALTCS, applicants can ask themselves a few questions that will help them determine their countable resources and eligibility for services:
- Is the applicant single with a gross monthly income over $2,382?
- Is the applicant single with more than $2,000 in assets?
- Is the applicant married with more than $28,076 in assets?
- Does the applicant possess any of the following: trust, life insurance, insurance for long-term care, real property interests (residence included), promissory notes, annuities, equities like stocks and bonds, interests in business property, or other similar assets?
- Within the last 5 years, has the applicant or their spouse transferred any assets such as bank accounts, cash, real property, or personal property (besides standard birthday or Christmas gifts) to another person?
- If the applicant is able to pay for their current care needs, will they be doing so for more than two months using their own funds?
- Is the applicant in need of a guardian, conservator, or fiduciary to aid them with preparing their ALTCS application?
- Has the applicant recently been diagnosed with a chronic illness that requires financial planning for future medical care requirements?
- Does the applicant have resources they wish to protect for their spouse or children?
An answer of yes to any of these questions means you should speak with an experienced elder law attorney for senior planning assistance with your countable resources and other ALTCS program issues, along with guidance on how to apply for ALTCS in Arizona.
ALTCS Program Application Process in 3 Steps
1. Gather the Required Information
Before starting your application, gather any necessary senior planning documents and information about your countable resources, such as:
- Checking and savings account statements
- Brokerage account statements and certificates of deposit
- Life insurance policies and long-term care policies
- Burial policies and end-of-life care policies and contracts
- 401(k)s, IRAs, pension plans, and other retirement account statements
- Real estate holdings
- Marriage certificates and certificates of divorce
Remember that financial statements detailing your countable resources must be no more than a month old after starting the application process.
2. Fill Out a Request for Application for Arizona Long-Term Care
Once you have your documents ready, you must send in a Request for Application for Arizona Long-Term Care to the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), which is Arizona’s Medicaid agency. The ALTCS application form can be submitted by email or handed in directly to the office.
If you need assistance at this stage, an ALTCS attorney experienced in senior planning can help you fill out the paperwork correctly or review an application you have filled out yourself.
3. Complete an Interview
Once your paperwork has been received, you will have a personal interview regarding your finances. This interview may be conducted in person or over the phone. If you are unable to participate in the interview, you may have a representative attend in your stead.
To verify your medical and functional needs, you will undergo a pre-admission screening (PAS), during which a professional will meet with you and review your medical records. This interview may also be done over the phone or virtually, and you may need to have a physician review your case for further verification.
How Long Does It Take to Get Approved for ALTCS Program Coverage?
The application process usually takes between 60 and 90 days, assuming all forms and documents have been submitted correctly and on time. In some cases, the processing time takes less than 60 days, especially if the applicant already receives Social Security Disability benefits.
Individuals with disqualifying income or too many countable resources must make adjustments, such as creating trusts, to qualify. They typically experience longer wait times to get approved.
It is important to have every part of the application organized and accessible. Any missing information or documents will slow down the processing time and can even lead to an applicant becoming disqualified from the ALTCS program.
Access the ALTCS Program Benefits You Deserve
ALTCS in Arizona is a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of Arizonans who receive the care and services they need under its provisions. If you are eligible, it is important to understand how to apply for ALTCS in AZ to prevent a denial of benefits or avoidable delays.
You can count on The Law Offices of Brandon White for the senior planning assistance you need and can trust. Contact us today.
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