ALTCS 101 for Professionals – Phoenix

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This free training is an overview of the Arizona Long-Term Care System (ALTCS) for health care professionals. This presentation covers medical and financial eligibility requirements, services covered by ALTCS, identifying ALTCS candidates in your facility, and how to identify red flags that cause ineligibility.

Presented by: Richard White, Elder Law Attorney

Email Director of Elder Care, Daniel Nunez with any questions: DNunez@jacksonwhitelaw.com

ALTCS 101 for Professionals – Phoenix

By | | No Comments

This free training is an overview of the Arizona Long-Term Care System (ALTCS) for health care professionals. This presentation covers medical and financial eligibility requirements, services covered by ALTCS, identifying ALTCS candidates in your facility, and how to identify red flags that cause ineligibility.

Presented by: Daniel Nunez, Director of Elder Care

Email Daniel with any questions: DNunez@jacksonwhitelaw.com

Affordable Care Act (ACA) and ALTCS

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In case you missed our latest Arizona Republic article in the weekly Seniors and the Law Column, it is written below. Our column runs every Saturday in select Arizona cities.

Q: I have heard a lot about the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.  This seems to suggest that there will be greater access to ALTCS, is this true?

While the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) does indeed expand Medicaid, this expansion has no impact on ALTCS.  The ACA will uniformly extend Medicaid coverage to individuals who earn less than 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Limit, which will allow a great number of additional individuals onto the rolls of Medicaid.  Importantly, though, long-term care is a subcategory of Medicaid, to which the ACA did not make any significant changes.  Put succinctly, then, the ACA will allow greater ease of eligibility for AHCCCS, but it does not facilitate eligibility for ALTCS.

The ACA did try to address long-term care concerns with a provision commonly referred to as the CLASS Act.  This provision aimed to provide the public with an option to purchase long-term care insurance, but there was evidence indicating that the insurance program lacked actuarial soundness.  Resultantly, the CLASS Act was repealed in January 2013, and a bi-partisan commission was created in its place to address the challenges that seniors face with accessing long-term care.  Once the commission is fully formed, it will have six months to prepare its recommendations for addressing our nation’s long-term care dilemma, and it is possible that the recommendations could be submitted as a Senate Bill for congressional adoption.

The take-away point here is that while there is some attention being devoted to long-term care, there are currently not any changes coming down the pike for ALTCS.  Seniors who need coverage for long-term care should not expect greater ease of eligibility once the ACA is fully implemented.  Just like before the ACA, ALTCS eligibility is reserved for those who satisfy stringent medical, income, and resource tests.

Seniors and the Law is authored by the attorneys at JacksonWhite Attorneys at Law and addresses legal issues that arise for the elderly and their families.  Questions can be sent to firm@jacksonwhitelaw.com.

Click to view all of our Seniors and the Law columns. 

It’s wise to start ALTCS plans early

By | Arizona Republic Column Articles | No Comments

In case you missed our latest Arizona Republic article in the weekly Seniors and the Law Column, it is written below. Our column runs every Saturday in select Arizona cities.

Q: As a widower, can you help me understand why it would help me to plan in advance for the ALTCS benefit, as opposed to simply applying for the benefit once I meet the resource requirement?  

That you are making this inquiry indicates you understand that single ALTCS applicants can have no more than $2,000 in available resources to qualify for the program.  You probably also understand that ALTCS penalizes applicants who make uncompensated transfers of assets, so your question really does raise a great point – If you can’t give assets away without penalty, then why not simply wait until you qualify naturally to apply for the program?

If ALTCS could really approve an application in a matter of days, then perhaps waiting until after you satisfied the resource requirement to investigate the benefit would not be such a bad approach.  In reality, though, ALTCS takes months, not days, to approve most ALTCS applications.  This means that if you were to wait until you were down to $2,000 before investigating ALTCS, you would be without the funds to pay for your care while the application processed.  Further, many applicants have unique issues that simply take time to resolve, and when funds are already gone it can be difficult to cover much-needed care while these issues are sorted out.

Without exception, the best approach is to start preparing for the ALTCS application before the funds are gone.  With careful planning, it is possible to arrange the circumstances so that care can be covered while the application processes, and while any potential issues are resolved.  In many instances, applicants are also able to preserve at least a portion of their resources along the way.  Without planning, however, it is all too often the case that family members are left to cover the bill.

Seniors and the Law is authored by the attorneys at JacksonWhite Attorneys at Law and addresses legal issues that arise for the elderly and their families.  Questions can be sent to firm@jacksonwhitelaw.com.

Click to view all of our Seniors and the Law columns.