ALTCS planning: When waiting for CLASS is just not an option

By April 9, 2011Uncategorized

Amidst all of the recent talk about repealing the health care reform legislation, members of the Obama administration, including Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, have been speaking out about the CLASS Act, the proposed public long-term health care insurance.  For instance, at a recent forum on long-term care, Mrs. Sebelius commented that “one out of six people who reach the age of 65 will spend more than $100,000 on long-term care,” and that “if nothing changes, we will see more and more of them either forced into a nursing home against their wishes or forced to clean out their savings to afford the long-term services and supports they need.”

While Mrs. Sebelius made this point in reference to the pressing need that future seniors will have for a program such as CLASS, there are already countless seniors who are in precisely the situation that Mrs. Sebelius described, as those caring for elderly parents in AZ may well know.  Many seniors in need of long-term care spend thousands each month, while their well spouse worries whether the couple’s savings will be sufficient to also provide for his or her needs.  And once the couple’s savings are depleted, where will the well spouse turn for support?

Fortunately, a branch of Arizona Medicaid, known as ALTCS, is designed to help seniors in this predicament.  ALTCS/Medicaid is a needs based program that is presently available to help qualifying seniors pay for their long-term health care.  Unlike the proposed CLASS Act, ALTCS/Medicaid is not an insurance program, but is available to individuals based on whether or not they meet the Arizona Medicaid eligibility requirements.  Further, while we are yet to see how the CLASS Act is implemented, we already know precisely what is required to apply for Arizona Medicaid and become approved for the benefit.

If you are presently in need of long-term health care, and waiting for the CLASS Act is just not an option,  call us today to speak with an Elder Law attorney about Arizona Medicaid. (480) 818-6912