What Is Long-Term Care Planning?
A long-term care plan aims to ensure you’re taken care of should you become incapacitated or disabled. It helps your loved ones understand your wishes should you be unable to communicate or make decisions for yourself.
Your plan can serve to:
- Appoint an individual to make decisions on your behalf
- Communicate your wishes regarding medical care, including life-sustaining measures and resuscitation
- Determine how to pay for your long-term care
A long-term care plan typically involves various legal documents. Fortunately, there are resources, such as The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), a state Medicaid agency that provides programs to serve residents.
Long-term care planning is not a topic many like to think about, but it’s wise to have a plan in place to ensure you’re prepared for anything unexpected.
Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS) Benefits and What Does It Cover
What is ALTCS? Arizona Long-Term Care System (ALTCS) is Arizona’s Medicaid program providing long-term health coverage for those medically and financially eligible.
While many confuse Medicare and Medicaid, they are two different programs. Medicaid is need-based, meaning only the individuals that meet the requirements qualify to receive these benefits.
ALTCS Arizona can provide individuals with many health coverage benefits. What does ALTCS pay for? Covered costs include:
- Facility care, including nursing homes, assisted living, and rehabilitation facilities
- At-home care
- Acute care services, including doctor and medical testing
- Services for mentally disabled children and adults
- Home and community services
- Senior transportation
- Home food deliveries
ALTCS and a long-term care plan go hand in hand, as this program helps provide long-term care for seniors and those suffering a disability.
ALTCS Eligibility Requirements
Figuring out how ALTCS works and whether you qualify can be confusing and stressful. The criteria you must meet before applying to receive benefits include:
- Be 65 years of age or older
- Be a U.S. citizen or legal alien
- Have a Social Security number
- Meet the medical requirements
- Meet income requirements
- Meet asset and resource limits
- Be a resident of Arizona
- Reside in your home, a medical facility, or an approved home-based community
- Be willing to provide required documentation to ALTCS
A Medicaid attorney can assist in determining whether you meet the minimum ALTCS qualifications.
ALTCS applicants must undergo an in-person screening process called the Pre-Admission Screen (PAS). You’ll have an examination during the screening process, and your overall health will be reviewed.
ALTCS then assigns a numerical score based on the results of the PAS and your medical records. Applicants do not frequently have difficulty meeting the medical requirements, so long as the ALTCS feels they need daily assistance.
Financial Eligibility Requirements
Financial eligibility requires a financial assessment to review your income and assets, which must both be below a certain amount. The amount depends on your marital status.
Many people struggle with this portion of the ALTCS application. This is one of the reasons why it is helpful to have a Phoenix Medicaid attorney assist you with your application.
ALTCS Monthly Income Limits
A single applicant can make up to $2,523 a month. If the applicant is married but applying alone, the limit is the same.
When married applicants are both applying, each spouse’s individual income cannot exceed $2,523, and their combined income cannot exceed $4,698.
ALTCS Total Asset Limit
Similar to monthly income, the total asset limit depends on an applicant’s marital status.
Single applicants are allowed a maximum of $2,000 in assets, including money in bank accounts or cash.
Married applicants applying together must have their assets combined, and the requirements are much different than those of a single applicant. A Medicaid planning attorney can review your assets and determine whether you’re eligible under the asset limit requirements of ALTCS.
Does My Income Affect My ALTCS Eligibility?
Income affects an applicant’s eligibility, as single and married applicants cannot exceed the limit.
Miller Trusts are often used to solve the problem of income over the limits. You assign your right to receive Social Security and other income to the trust. This can help solve the issue of excess income so that you can qualify for ALTCS.
Miller Trusts can be difficult to set up, but a qualified Medicaid planning attorney can assist.
Contact Our Gilbert Medicaid Planning Attorneys for a Consultation
If you require guidance with your long-term care planning or ALTCS, a long-term care planning attorney at The Law Offices of Brandon White, P.C. can assist.
Why Is Planning for Long-Term Care Important?
Many people avoid planning for the future, believing they won’t need long-term care or assistance. But the future is unknown, and long-term care planning in Phoenix can give you peace of mind.
Waiting too long to apply for ALTCS can ruin your opportunity to take advantage of potential benefits. Being proactive and planning for long-term care have many benefits. Individuals who start planning sooner have the chance to do it right and preserve more resources offered by ALTCS.
You never want to put yourself in an unfavorable position, relying on Medicare or paying for your needs out of pocket. Creating a solid plan can help you avoid any bumps in the road and provide a smooth road to receiving long-term care.
Strategies to Help You Qualify for ALTCS in AZ
Qualifying for ALTCS can be challenging, depending on your situation. To help you improve your eligibility for ALTCS in Arizona, you should:
- Apply early and give yourself plenty of time
- Manage your finances and assets
- Consider additional resources to help you qualify, like a Miller Trust
- Let a qualified lawyer assist you
Our knowledgeable ALTCS attorneys have the resources and experience to help you meet the qualifications to receive long-term care benefits. We thoroughly review your specifics, including your medical and financial situation, to determine the best course of action that will get you qualified and one step closer to being approved for ALTCS.
How Our Phoenix Experienced Medicaid & ALTCS Planning Lawyers Can Help
If you need guidance with your long-term planning or ALTCS, a Medicaid attorney at The Law Offices of Brandon White, P.C. is best equipped to help you. When you work with us, you can expect:
- Personalized attention and a legal plan tailored to your needs
- Care and compassion from our legal team
- Professionalism and high-quality service
We have had the pleasure of working with countless clients throughout the years, helping them get their long-term care in order. Let us do the same for you. Contact us today to get started.