As the adult child of aging parents, there are few things more devastating than realizing your loved ones can no longer live on their own safely. The situation is especially stressful if you feel like you can’t afford a nursing home for your parent or grandparent. Fortunately, you can secure reliable, compassionate long-term care for relatives even if you have no money. Keep reading to learn about the various options available if you have to pay for long-term care in Arizona.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance is one of the many ways by which Arizona residents pay for assisted living or nursing home care. The odds are that your loved one’s basic medical insurance doesn’t cover long-term care. Similar to life insurance, long-term care insurance protects people who develop illnesses or injuries that necessitate prolonged help. Additionally, these benefits pay for medical testing and procedures, prescription drugs, and physical therapy. Purchasing long-term care insurance now is a great way to protect your health and finances as you age.
Affording Long-Term Care Without Insurance
Families often make the mistake of assuming that they need to be wealthy to afford long-term care. While paying for care is certainly easier if you have insurance or private wealth, the truth is that you have options when it comes to supporting your loved ones. Depending on your family member’s financial situation, they may qualify for aid through Arizona’s Medicaid agency, also known as the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS).
Understanding the AHCCCS and the ALTCS
The AHCCCS supports residents in need of long-term care through the ALTCS, or Arizona Long Term Care System. Available services include acute medical care, skilled nursing, behavioral health, and assisted living, among others. The program was designed to aid Arizona residents who are medically and financially eligible for care. Along with supporting the state’s elderly population, the ALTCS helps those who are blind or developmentally disabled. Individuals in need of long-term care for themselves or a loved one can apply by contacting their local ALTCS office.
What Are the ALTCS Eligibility Requirements?
Not everyone qualifies for long-term care through the ALTCS. To receive aid, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Live in Arizona
- Be a citizen or qualified immigrant
- Reside in your own home, an AHCCCS-approved facility, or another qualified living space
- Require nursing home-level medical care
- Meet certain financial regulations
- Apply for all possible pensions, VA benefits, and other funds
It’s important to note that the ALTCS imposes certain restrictions with regard to salary and assets. To qualify for care, Arizonians must have less than 300 percent of the SSI Federal Benefit Rate (FBR) in monthly income. In other words, applicants who are single must earn less than $2,382 gross each month. For applicants who are married, the total of both individuals’ monthly salaries should be less than $4,698.
Arizona also keeps track of applicants’ countable and exempt assets. While countable assets refer to bank accounts, second homes, and stocks, exempt assets include primary residences worth less than $595,000, cars, burial plots, and a small sum of cash reserves. In some cases, it may be possible to convert countable assets into exempt ones so you can still qualify for long-term care.
Trust JacksonWhite With Your Long-Term Care Needs
Navigating a long-term care situation can be complex. That’s where JacksonWhite comes in. We specialize in helping families receive the maximum ALTCS benefits available to them. Contact our team and let us help you protect the assets of you or your loved one when applying for ALTCS.
Contact the JacksonWhite Elder Law team today at (480)467-4337 and learn more about estate planning and long term care.
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