Back to Resources
Does Arizona Offer Medicaid for Assisted Living?

Does Arizona Offer Medicaid for Assisted Living?

Warm sunshine is beckoning you to explore the beautiful landscapes of the mountains and desert of Arizona. Pairing the vistas with the rich cultural history and vibrant lifestyle, Arizona has a lot to offer.

Here at Solterra Senior Living Communities, we want to allow our residents to explore and enjoy that lifestyle. It’s often a surprise to many that Solterra Communities are covered under Arizona Medicaid assisted living. Arizona has created a medical program that enables many people to qualify for services, even if they have their own home. 

Keep reading to find out more about these systems and how they work.

Medicaid in Arizona

Medicaid is a federal program jointly funded by federal and state dollars and run by individual states. In Arizona, they created the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS). The AHCCCS was created in 1982 and has programs for healthcare and other services that assist Arizona residents with specific income and asset requirements. Individuals and families that meet the requirements receive health care and other services. 

Federal law allows states to expand these health care and services. Under Medicaid, assisted living, specifically room and board, is not typically covered. The AHCCCS used a waiver to create a program in order to allow Medicaid funds to cover certain services provided in an assisted care living facility, also known as long-term care. 

Arizona Long-Term Care Program

AHCCCS created the Arizona Long-Term Care System (ALTCS). This state Medicaid program covers long-term care at little to no cost. The ALTCS program works like an HMO, which will work with doctors, assisted living facilities, hospitals, pharmacies, and more to provide care. This insurance program is for people age 65 or older or who have a disability and who require an advanced level of care. The ALTCS program includes medical services, behavioral health services, and other services.

The services that are covered under ALTCS are what Solterra Assisted Living provides. These services are activities related to daily living. Whether that’s a helpful hand with a morning routine or more management medical care, these types of assistance make a big difference. Our Living Well program includes activities such as fitness and wellness classes, art and music, and other enriching opportunities. We take care of the housekeeping so that our residents can enjoy their time as they wish, taking in a movie or enjoying a game in our game rooms. Daily excursions to shopping and other activities in the area are just a few of Solterra’s amenities. 

How to Apply

This resource guide tells you how to apply for the ALTCS Program. You will need to gather several financial and medical records to apply. You can also have someone help you with the application process. The application takes about 45 days, according to the website, and you can start an application by calling ALTCS toll-free at 888-621-6880.

Once qualified, a registered nurse or social worker meets with you to conduct a medical interview to determine medical eligibility. After you have met the eligibility requirements, you are enrolled with a Program Contractor and assigned to a case manager. The case manager meets with you and your family to develop a service plan for covered services, such as assisted living.

Income and Other Qualifications for the Program

Basic qualifications for accessing the ALTCS include: Being an Arizona resident, citizen, or qualified immigrant, having a Social Security Number, applying for all the cash benefits of a pension or VA benefits, and requiring an assisted living level of care as determined by AHCCCS. There are also financial qualifications and spousal income and eligibility considerations. 

There are exceptions for income considerations for spouses that are not receiving care, such as the Community Spouse Resource Deduction (CSRD). This allows the spouse to keep up to 50 % of income or assets if under a specific dollar amount. According to the ALTCS website, several options are available, and your ALTCS Benefits and Eligibility Specialist can help guide you in the right direction. 

Income is considered from wages, Social Security, disability or retirement pensions, and other supplemental income. They also consider your personal resources available, like bank and investment accounts like stocks, bonds, certificates of deposits, and other financial assets. 

However, they do not consider your home (unless it is held in a trust or over a certain value), one personal vehicle, burial plots, irrevocable burial plans and funds designated for burial, household and personal belongings, or any financial accounts excluded by federal law. More specific information about financial considerations can be found on the ALTCS website

Financial Costs 

Solterra Communities make Arizona Medicaid assisted living supportive and affordable. Our services, chef-crafted meals, and daily activities are designed to uplift and support our resident’s independence, health, and well-being. While we keep the costs down and the quality of life high, there is a shared cost of the program and other factors to adhere to according to Medicare rules. 

In short, your monthly gross income is totaled, and then the following allowances may be allowed: personal needs, spousal needs, family needs for dependents still in the home, medical insurance premiums, and medical expenses like hearing aids, eyeglasses and dental that ALTCS does not pay for. The remaining goes towards the cost of assisted living. 

There is also what is called the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program. This will attempt to reimburse Medicaid for the cost of long-term care. While there are a few exceptions, certain steps must be taken to protect any homes or assets for surviving family members or spouses. More specific information is available on the ALTCS website

Here at Solterra Senior Living, we give you the care you need and the dignity and respect you deserve. We are here to support you in enjoying life to its fullest. We’d love to meet you and give you a tour so that you can experience the Solterra lifestyle for yourself.