ALTCS Financial Basics
Medicaid is state-provided health coverage for low-income Americans. It can also cover long-term care. Each state has its own system for providing this coverage. In Arizona, this program is the Arizona Long-Term Care System (ALTCS). In this article, we will cover the basics of what ALTCS covers and the financial components involved with qualifying.
ALTCS is available to residents of Arizona. To qualify you must be over 65 or have a disability like blindness. You must also require a level of care that is only available in a nursing home or intermediate care facility. The types of services that are available include adult day care, behavioral health care, care coordination assistance, community transition services, up to $1,000 in dental care, durable medical equipment, medical supplies, specialized furniture, home health care, home modifications, home nursing, homemaker services, hospice, meal delivery, personal/attendant care, personal emergency response services, physician appointments, respite care, and medical transportation expenses.
There are certain income limitations that must be met to receive care through ALTCS. In 2023 your gross monthly payments cannot be more than $2,742 or $5,484 if you are married. However, there is additional protection for healthy spouses. The unhealthy spouse can transfer up to $3,715.50 a month to the healthy spouse. This is the Community Spouse Monthly Income Allowance. You can also utilize an irrevocable trust known as a Miller Trust to help you qualify by taking income out of your name.
Like your income, to qualify for ALTCS you must also meet certain asset limitations. If you are single, you cannot have more than $2,000 in your name. The amount is $4,000 if you are married. This includes checking and saving accounts, secondary homes, CDs, stocks, bonds, and non-exempt vehicles. However, you can maintain one vehicle, a burial plot, a $1,500 burial ABLE account, and FSA accounts. While you can maintain your main residence, your equity must be less than $688,000 or a non-applicant spouse must live in it. You can transfer up to $148,629 to your non-applicant spouse. This is the Community Spouse Resource Deduction.
Qualifying for ALTCS
To qualify for ALTCS is often complex. If you are unsure if you are going to have issues, meet with a financial planner or estate planner that can help you analyze your situation.
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