What is Arizona Long-Term Care System (ALTCS)?
The Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS, pronounced ALL-Tecs) is a supplemental health insurance offered, at little or no cost, by the State of Arizona’s Medicaid program, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS, pronounced like “access”).
ALTCS provides long term care services to financially and medically eligible Arizona residents who require a “nursing home level of care.” This includes the basic activities that a person does to take care of themselves on a daily basis, such as bathing, dressing, toileting, and personal hygiene; mobility, including getting in and out of bed, getting in and out of a chair, or walking from one room to another; and preparing meals and eating.
A nursing home level of care may also include medical needs such as assistance with medications, injections, and catheters; cognitive needs for those who have Alzheimer’s disease, or a related dementia and experience impaired judgment; and behavioral issues that may include impulsiveness, aggressiveness, wandering away from home, or other unsafe behaviors.
ALTCS is available for Arizona residents of all ages as long as they meet the financial and medical requirements. The benefit can be used towards an institution, like a nursing home, or in a home or community-based setting, with a home health aide or even a family caregiver – which is who Aidaly works with.
Step-By-Step Guide on How to Apply for ALTCS
To apply, you must first have the State of Arizona’s Medicaid program, AHCCCS. If you don’t have AHCCCS, learn how to apply here.
Step 1: Submit the application
To apply for ALTCS, you must first fill out the application form provided on the AHCCCS website. The form is called, “Request for Application for Arizona Lon Term Care System (ALTCS).” It is seven pages long and takes about 15 minutes to complete.
You will need the basic information of the care recipient to complete the form, including their name, birthdate, contact information, social security number, and AHCCCS number. Additionally, you will need to answer a few yes/no questions about their medical history, authorize a medical release, and select which dates the care recipient will be available for an interview with an AHCCCS case worker.
This form may be filled out by the care recipient or by their authorized representative, spouse, or legal guardian. It must also be signed. You can email this form to AHCCCS at email@example.com or drop it off at one of their six ALTCS locations.
If you need help with this form, feel free to contact Aidaly for help at 623-745-8868 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step 2: Set up financial & medical interviews
A case worker from AHCCCS will contact you a few weeks after receiving the application. They will then set up a financial interview and medical interview for the coming weeks. Unfortunately, no exact timeline is provided for this step, but it is usually between two and eight weeks.
During this time, you can call or email AHCCCS to check in on your status (888-621-6880 or email@example.com). Sometimes this can help expedite your application.
Step 3: Complete financial interviews
A case worker will conduct a financial interview. This is to verify the identification of the applicant as well as their financial need. Often this can be done over the phone.
The financial eligibility requirements are updated every year by the state of Arizona. For 2024, the income and asset requirements for individuals are: a monthly income limit of $2,829, and asset limit of $2,000. For married couples, the monthly income limit is $5,658, and asset limit of $4,000.
Step 4: Complete medical interview
A case worker will conduct a medical interview. Usually this is done in person and consists of a standardized assessment, which tests the care recipient’s ability, or inability, to perform the basic activities that a person does daily in order to take care of themselves, as referenced above (bathing, dressing, eating, basic mobility, etc).
The questions may include how often (how many times per day or per week), how long (for how many minutes or hours), and what types of assistance (physical support, verbal cues, etc) a person requires help. Additional questions around one’s medical needs, cognitive needs, or behavioral needs may be asked, as needed.
Step 5: Notification of ALTCS Eligibility
A case worker will contact you to let you know your ALTCS status. ALTCS can provide home care of up to 50 hours per week, including up to 40 hours per week by a spouse. The number of hours varies per applicant and is dependent on the outcomes of the medical interview. For example, based on their medical needs, some people may receive 10 hours per week, others 40.
Step 6: Select ALCTS insurance plan
Once eligible, the care recipient must select an ALTCS insurance plan through which they will receive the benefit. Presently, there are four options: United Healthcare Community Plan, Banner-University Family Care, Mercy Care Plan, and DES/DDD, plus American Indian Tribal Contractors. The options vary by county. You can see which one is available in your county on the AHCCCS website.
In October 2024, these options will change and include only three options: United Healthcare Community Plan, Arizona Complete Health-Complete Plan, and DES/DDD, plus the American Indian Tribal Contractors. Mercy Care and Banner University Family Care will no longer be contracted at this time; ALTCS will work with its existing members to help ensure a smooth transition between plans.
Step 7: Select agency for family caregiver
If you choose to use the ALTCS benefit for a family caregiver, you will need to complete Direct Care Worker (DCW) training as well as CPR certification, and get enrolled with an agency who can process the claims through ALTCS and the insurance plan you selected in Step 6.
Aidaly can be that agency for you. We provide free training, a $250 sign on bonus, and $20/hour for family caregivers in Arizona. Learn more here. You can also call us at 623-745-8868 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.