Applying For ALTCS

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Medicaid is the number one resource for assisting with the cost of care

You may have heard it called many things.  Medicaid, ALTCS, Long-term care insurance, in Arizona it is most commonly referred to as ALTCS (Arizona Long Term Care System).  It is coverage available under the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), which is part of the federal Medicaid system.

From the AHCCCS website:

AHCCCS offers services for individuals who require nursing home or in-home care. These services are offered through the Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS). This program is intended for individuals who are age 65 or older, blind or have a disability (at any age) and need ongoing services at a nursing facility level of care.

In short, the program is there to ensure that those who need long-term care are able to receive it.  This program, unlike Medicare, is a need based program.  To be approved the applicant must demonstrate financial and medical need.

This article is not going to go into the details of financial and medical qualifications as these qualifications are subject to change, there are a multitude of caveats and we do not want to confuse the public or discourage anyone from applying.  We will however provide a basic checklist for applying and information on how to apply.

The phone is your friend

Like with almost any application these days you have a number of application options.  Our experience is that phoning in the application is less time consuming and is less likely to result in applicant confusion.

If you would like to apply using a paper application instructions can be found in this link.

You can also visit your local ALTCS office to apply in person.  Office locations can be found in this link.

If you would like to phone in your application, below is a list of ALTCS office locations and their phone numbers:

  • Casa Grande - 520-421-1500
  • Chinle - 928-674-5439
  • Cottonwood - 928-634-8101
  • Flagstaff - 928-527-4104
  • Kingman - 928-753-2828
  • Phoenix - 602-417-6600
  • Prescott - 928-778-3968
  • Tucson - 520-205-8600
  • Yuma - 928-782-0776

Be Prepared

The medical portion of qualifying is relatively straightforward.  A medical evaluation appointment is set, the medical assessor may ask questions, review medical records and generally try to determine how much assistance the applicant needs.  ALTCS applicants must have a medical need score of 60 points or higher to qualify medically.

The financial component can be more or less straightforward depending on an applicants income, sources of income, assets and what if any asset transfers have occurred in the last 5-years.  At their discretion, ALTCS may ask for financial records going back as far as 5-years.

Below is a list of items to have at a minimum.

  • Most recent social security or pension award letters, paystubs (if applicable), W2's or 1099's (if applicable), federal tax returns (if applicable)

  • Most recent two months asset statements (bank statements, IRA's, etc.)

  • Information on any life insurance policies which may have a cash value

  • Information on real estate holdings (value, amount of mortgages, etc.)

  • Copies of any trusts

  • Be prepared to be explain and document any bank account transactions in excess of $500

You may be asked for more documents than what is listed above, or considerably less, each applicant is different.  However, the above checklist should give you an idea of just how much due scrutiny is placed on the finances of ALTCS applicants to ensure they are actually financially needy.

Sometimes it's better not to go it alone

Applicants with complex finances or individuals who would like to plan their estate so that they would be eligible for ALTCS in the future should consider using an Eldercare attorney that specializes in ALTCS applications and planning.  The price for these services vary.  On the low end we've seen costs at $4,000 and higher than $10,000 in other cases.  Each case is unique and each attorney has different billing rates.  We've worked with a number of attorneys that have received good client reviews and tend to price under the market average.  Reach out if you would like a referral.



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