Need long-term care services?
You may consider applying for the Arizona Long Term Care System or ALTCS. But how to apply for ALTCS?
Typically the ALTCS Application process takes 45 to 60 days to be approved or denied by ALTCS.
Quite a long agony to wait when you are not sure if you qualify. Here are the steps to ensure you will be approved.
What is ALTCS?
Firstly, before we dive into more detail on the application process, have a brief background on ALTCS? Arizona Long Term Care System or ALTCS is Arizona’s Medicaid program for individuals who are in need of long-term care. ALTCS was officially put into place in 1987 to provide long-term care for the elderly and individuals who have physical and developmental disabilities. Since then, ALTCS has been there to assist those individuals in need of long-term care who are having a hard time paying for long-term care services.
Get more information about ALTCS.
Who can apply for ALTCS?
People who are 65 years of age and older or anyone under 65 who has a physical, mental, or behavioral disability can apply for ALTCS.
What are the requirements for applying for ALTCS?
To qualify, one must meet the income and asset limits set by Arizona Medicaid. An individual must not have an income of more than 300% of the SSI Federal Benefit Rate, which is $2,523 a month. For married couples, it should not be more than $5,046.
As with the applicant’s assets, it will be a different story. We have to differentiate between “countable assets” and “exempt assets”. Countable assets include checking and saving accounts, houses other than the permanent residence, deposits, and investments in Stocks.
Exempt assets, on the other hand, are your residence which has an equity interest of not more than $603,000, your primary car, burial plots, and cash which should not exceed $2,000. For couples, they have up to $3,000 in money combined.
What happens when an individual does not meet the income limit?
Individuals may need to have an “income only trust” also known as Miller Trust. Miller Trust holds excess income so individuals may pass the required limit for ALTCS. If the monthly income exceeds the income limit set to qualify for ALTCS, Income Only Trust or Miller Trust comes into place.
See our video “What is an Income Only Trust?
What are the medical requirements in applying for ALTCS?
For an individual to qualify for ALTCS, they must pass a pre-admission screening or PAS to know his or her medical background, lifestyle, and daily activities. This is to ensure that the applicant requires assistance in their daily routine and that they are at a nursing home level of care need needed to qualify for ALTCS services.
PAS has two phases. The first phase will ask about the applicant’s basic information, living arrangements, and medical providers. The second phase will know more about the living condition of the applicant, their life, as well as daily routine, and ability to perform daily activities. In order to pass the screening, the applicant must get at least 60% score.
What should you do before you apply?
Many people do not know how to apply for ALTCS.
1. Gather all doctors’ records and care plans currently used. An applicant needs to make sure that they have copies of medical records as this will be needed for evaluating the applicant’s medical condition and the services they need. It will significantly expedite the process of approval because they already have the documents needed ready.
2. Gather financial records, current bank statements, and stock trade account statements. These documents will be used for assessing financial capacity.
3. Have a copy of the marriage certificate for married applicants. This will be used not only for records purposes but also for assessing financial capacity.
4. Have a copy of the title of one vehicle. This will be used for the exemption of only one vehicle if the applicant has multiple cars. There is no specific value of what car is being exempted.
5. Explanation for all large ATM withdrawals for the past 5 years. If you have withdrawals of as much as $400, you will need to prepare an explanation for those. You may also want to prepare for $100 withdrawals.
6. Prepare a copy of the trust with current schedule of assets – Schedule A.
7. If the monthly income exceeds the income limit set to qualify for ALTCS, Income Only Trust or Miller Trust comes into place. Have this prepared and funded before you apply.
See Income Only Trust on this site.
8. Full explanation of all gifts over $250 in the past 5 years.
The ALTCS Application
We’ve discussed the necessary documents that you should be prepared to provide ALTCS. Take a look at ALTCS Application form. Now, what are the ways to apply for ALTCS.
Basically, there are three ways we may apply for ATLCS; you may do it over the phone, by sending in the application form via their mailing address, or by dropping by at a local ALTCS office near you. Here are their contact details for a phone application, sending in through the mail, or for a query on where is the nearest ALTCS office in your area:
Phone number (Toll-Free): 888-621-6880
Fax number (Toll Free/Local): 888-507-3313/602-253-6385
Mailing address: 801 E. Jefferson Street, MD 3900 Phoenix, Arizona 85034
Going directly to AHCCCS – ALTCS may be a good idea. However, due to inadequate knowledge on how to answer the questions during the Pre-Admission Screening or PAS or not properly positioning their assets, over 79% of those who attempted to apply directly were DENIED.
Because of the high application denial rate, many choose to hire professionals to guide them in preparing the pertinent documents and the application process. They are called Medicaid Planners, some planners are also certified and have earned the prestigious designation of Certified Medicaid Planner™ or the CMP™.
A CMP™ is a professional from the Medicaid planning field who has been certified by the CMP™ Governing Board. Before these individuals are certified, they must meet specific educational and experience requirements. They must also pass a thorough examination to become a Certified Medicaid Planner™.
What do Certified Medicaid Planners do?
They not only assist in the application process, but they help clients protect and preserve assets so that the nursing home doesn’t become their heir.
Read: Can ALTCS take your House?
You got the answer of how to apply for ALTCS. It is a very tedious process that needs planning and preparation.
For some, the process is simple, and the application is approved relatively smoothly.
For 79% of the people that apply, it’s not. They should hire a Certified Medicaid Planner to help them with the process.
Call us for Free Consultation!
Steve Dabbs is a Certified Medicaid Planner who helps people to qualify for ALTCS. Applying for ALTCS is a quite complicated process but Steve Dabbs can save your Money and Time through his Valuable Consultation. He is also a national mentor, trainer, and consultant in VA benefits and Medicaid planning, actively advising financial planners and attorneys throughout the United States.