ALTCS Eligibility Requirements (Arizona Medicaid)

As a program designed to pay for long-term health care, ALTCS is only available to applicants who are eligible for Arizona Medicaid.

Accordingly, the first thing ALTCS looks for is whether an applicant passes certain medical and financial requirements.

Medical Requirements for ALTCS

ALTCS does this by administering a pre-admission screening, known as the PAS, to everybody who decides to apply for Arizona Medicaid. During the PAS, an assessor from ALTCS evaluates various aspects of the applicant’s health, such as continence, orientation, behavior and whether the applicant needs assistance with activities of daily living.

Qualifying medically is ordinarily not an issue for applicants with a genuine medical need. Those afflicted with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Dementia, and other related diseases generally need long-term health care, and can usually qualify medically for the Arizona Medicaid benefit.

To qualify financially, on the other hand, many of those who apply for Arizona Medicaid must engage in ALTCS planning with a qualified Arizona elder law attorney.

Financial Requirements for ALTCS

When applying for Arizona Medicaid, eligibility is not always easy for applicants to obtain. Regarding Medicaid qualifications, applicants tend to encounter issues with financial requirements more often than with medical requirements.

In large part, this stems from the fact that Medicaid qualifications are quite complicated when it comes to the financial portion of the application.

To help make sense of these rules, many applicants find it quite helpful to consult with an elder law firm.

ALTCS applicants can be certain that a representative from Arizona Long-Term Care System will examine their income and resources closely.  Married applicants must submit their spouse’s financial information to ALTCS for examination as well.

While ALTCS eligibility rules differ for single and married applicants, every applicant is bound by specific resource and income limits.  Those who even slightly rise above these limits may be denied ALTCS eligibility.

Arizona Long Term Care Exceptions and Allowances

Fortunately, Arizona Long Term Care System has certain exceptions and allowances under which applicants with too much income or too many resources may still satisfy Medicaid qualifications. For instance, those with too much income may qualify for the benefit by working with an Elder Law attorney to establish an Income-Only Trust.

Likewise, applicants with too many resources may still qualify for the benefit by working with an Elder Law attorney to establish a Special Needs Trust. Under the right circumstances, these types of ALTCS Medicaid planning tools are extremely helpful to certain applicants.

ALTCS Eligibility: Resource Limits

ALTCS imposes very strict resource limits on those who apply for Arizona Medicaid. For the year 2014, this amount is $2,000 for an individual, but certain types of resources are not included in the calculation. In other words, ALTCS deems certain resources as exempt, or non-countable.

Under Arizona Medicaid rules, the following resources are exempt, and do not have a negative effect on ALTCS eligibility:

  • One home
  • One vehicle
  • Life insurance
  • Burial plots
  • Irrevocable prepaid funeral plans
  • Certain miscellaneous assets

Arizona Long-Term Care System counts most every other type of asset that can be converted into cash. Applicants whose countable resources exceed the resource limit, however, may engage in ALTCS planning with an Elder Law attorney to one day qualify for ALTCS.

Medicaid lawyers will explain that ALTCS always counts the following types of assets when determining ALTCS eligibility:

  • Cash and bank accounts
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Retirement accounts
  • Revocable pre-paid funeral contracts
  • Revocable trusts
  • Certificates of deposit

ALTCS Eligibility: Income limits

In addition to the resource limit, ALTCS imposes an income limit on those who apply for Arizona Medicaid. While this income limit changes annually, the 2014 ALTCS rules allow single applicants to have up to $2,163 of monthly income, and married applicants applying together to have up to $4,326 of monthly income.

Although excess income creates ALTCS eligibility problems, the elder law team at JacksonWhite Law can help those who apply for Arizona Medicaid engage in ALTCS planning that will help them meet Medicaid qualifications.

To request more information about ALTCS requirements, visit our resources page, or call us at (480) 464-1111.

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