Arizona has a Medicaid program officially known as the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), which can help pay home care costs for qualifying Arizona residents. Seniors have access to the AHCCCS through a program called Arizona Long Term Care Services, which is also known as the Elderly and Physical Disability Program.
Home Waiver Programs in Arizona
Arizona Long Term Care Services (ALTCS)
You will often find Arizona Long Term Care Services referred to by its acronym, ALTCS (pronounced ALL-TECS). Its purpose is to pay for long-term care services for seniors who meet the financial eligibility requirements and score 60 points or more on their medical assessments (which are designed to determine the senior’s ability to perform everyday activities without assistance). Although the program can pay for nursing home care, it can also pay for In-Home and Home Health Care services, such as home-delivered meals and skilled nursing. Everyone who satisfies the eligibility criteria qualifies for support.
Successful applicants develop long-term care plans with caseworkers. This approach has some flexibility as the senior can choose what’s known as an ‘Agency of Choice’ or opt for ‘Self-Directed Attendant Care’. The former option lets seniors choose their own caregivers from an authorized agency without needing to be their caregiver’s employer. The latter option effectively makes the senior the employer, with the ability to hire, fire and train their caregiver. A Fiscal Employer Agent is assigned by the Department of Economic Security to help the senior negotiate the complexities of being an employer. The Self-Directed Attendant Care option is popular with seniors as it allows a family member to be the paid caregiver.
To be eligible for ALTCS, the applicant must be aged 65 or older and have a recognized physical or mental disability that would justify nursing home care. The applicant must also have an income no greater than 300% of the Federal Benefit Rate. To apply, seniors can either call (888) 621-6880 or contact their nearest ALTCS office.
How to Know If You’re Eligible for Medicaid in Arizona
As of 2022, a single applicant’s annual income can’t exceed $30,276 in Arizona. If both spouses in a two-person household apply, it’s $60,552. Countable income includes social security pensions, SSI payments, Veterans’ pension and compensation, disability income and immediate annuities. Countable assets include checking and savings accounts, real property (although not the applicant’s current address, unless its value exceeds $603,000), the cash value of insurance policies, stocks and non-exempt vehicles. There is a 60-month look-back period for all assets to determine if the applicant has undersold or gifted assets in anticipation of a future Medicaid claim.