Many elderly people move to Arizona to enjoy its climate, especially in the winter months of December, January, February and March. Coupled with the aging of its existing resident population, the migration of elderly persons has meant that the number of disabled persons requiring medical care and living assistance has greatly increased over the last three decades. This population has increased the need for financial assistance for elderly persons who are not able to care for themselves and who lack the financial resources to pay for their care.
In response, the Arizona legislature created the Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS) to distribute Medicaid assistance to persons who need medical help and financial assistance at the same time.
What is the ALTCS?
The ALTCS is part of Medicaid, the federal program that provides assistance to those in financial need. Because ALTCS is part of Medicaid, applicants can have no more than $2,000 in net resources to be eligible for the program. The program also has a monthly limit on income which is about $2,100.
The ALTCS is not like Medicare because it does not pay claims for services directly. Instead, it has a number of privately run plans that provide the financial benefits to ALTCS members. Many people who receive ALTCS benefits are able to receive medical care at home.
Choosing a plan
Once a person has been approved for ALTCS benefits, the person must select one of the ALTCS program contractors. At the present time, those plans include Banner, Mercy Care and United Care. Services offered by these plans include assisted living, residential care, in home care and skilled nursing.
While the application process is not overly complex, and while ALTCS employees are trained to help applicants gather the information necessary to support their application, choosing a plan and selecting benefits may make the assistance of an experienced elder law attorney very useful. Before submitting an ALTCS application, an interested person may wish to consult an elder law attorney for advice on the application process.