Senior News

The many names for Medicaid

What is the difference between Medicaid, AHCCCS, & ALTCS

If you have started looking into Arizona Medicaid with a Medicaid attorney, you might be wondering why it is sometimes called Medicaid, sometimes called AHCCCS, and sometimes called ALTCS.  Some simple clarification will probably be quite helpful.  Medicaid is the general term describing the federal program that provides health care to the poor, blind, disabled and elderly.  Each state has its own version of the Medicaid program, and Arizona Medicaid is called Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, or AHCCCS (pronounced “access”) for short.

Within AHCCCS, there are two branches, one for acute care, and the other for long-term health care, which is known as Arizona Long-Term Care System, or ALTCS (pronounced “all-techs”) for short.  Most of our attention on this blog is devoted to ALTCS, which provides both acute care and care designed to keep the individual in the lowest possible level of care.  Depending on the type of care that an individual needs, the ALTCS benefit might cover medical bills ranging from doctor visits and hospitalization to care in a skilled nursing facility.

Every branch of Arizona Medicaid has specific eligibility requirements.  With ALTCS, however, it is oftentimes possible to engage in ALTCS planning to facilitate eligibility.  If you are in need of long-term health care, or if you are caring for elderly parents in AZ who require long-term health care, it would be a good idea to discuss your situation with a Medicaid attorney.



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