Arizona participates in the long-term care partnership program. The program provides dollar-for-dollar asset protection for those who own qualified LTC Insurance. Plus, a wide variety of care providers offer services throughout the state.
While many qualified care providers are available when you need long-term health care services, the costs are rising due to the increasing demand.
The variety of quality care options available throughout Arizona for those who require long-term health care services include:
- adult day care centers
- assisted living facilities
- continuing care retirement communities
- home health care providers
- memory care facilities
- rehabilitation facilities
- traditional nursing homes
Top insurance companies have several insurance options to help residents safeguard income and assets, protect lifestyles, and preserve a legacy. Plus, policyholders will have access to quality care options giving loved ones the time to be family instead of caregivers.
Plus, all tax-qualified Long-Term Care Insurance policies in Arizona have several consumer protections in addition to federal tax benefits.
Federal Partnership Program
The State of Arizona participates in the federal/state partnership program. This program provides additional asset protection. In the event that you exhaust your benefits from a qualified Arizona Partnership Long-Term Care policy, the state will provide you dollar-for-dollar asset protection. This would allow you to qualify for Medicaid long-term care benefits while retaining more of your assets than what Medicaid would typically allow.
For example, your policy pays out $425,000 in benefits but you are still alive and require care. You earn a Medicaid asset disregard that allows you to shelter that same amount over the asset level you would otherwise be forced to meet in order to be eligible for Medicaid’s Long-Term Care benefit. The Partnership Program also protects those assets after death from Medicaid estate recovery.
Most states have reciprocity with other states' long-term-care partnership programs including Arizona. This means if you move from or to Arizona your partnership asset protection follows you as well.
Arizona's Medicaid program will pay for long-term health care if an individual has little or no income and assets. The Long-Term Care Medicaid spend down is $2,000. A spouse’s minimum asset allowance is a minimum of $27,480 up to a maximum of one-half of countable assets up to $137,400. Your spouse’s minimum monthly income allowance is $2,177.50. * The home equity limit is $636,000.
For more information about the Medicaid program visit www.medicaid.gov
Arizona Medicaid Estate Recovery Program
When a person applies for Medicaid and requires long-term services and supports, their estate will be subject to the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program, otherwise known as MERP.
Under the Arizona Estate Recovery Program, the assets subject to recovery will include your home and other real estate, bank accounts, other financial assets, vehicles, cash, and even household goods.
Remember, Medicaid will provide long-term care services only if you have little or no income and assets. However, the state will never require a living spouse to move out of their home.
The state has a broad estate recovery program that is heavily reliant upon recording a lien upon any real property in which the patient has an ownership interest. The purpose of the lien is to recover the cost of Medicaid benefits provided after the individual's death upon the property or transfer of the property.
The state may "look back" up to 60 months before application for Medicaid long-term care services to determine when income was reduced and resources were transferred.
If a person had a qualified Partnership Long-Term Care Insurance policy, the total amount of benefits paid by the policy would be sheltered from asset recovery.
You can learn more here - ARIZONA HEALTH CARE COST CONTAINMENT SYSTEM (AHCCCS)
State Resources for Aging and Long-Term Care in Arizona
There are a variety of state resources available in Arizona to help residents and their families with issues of aging and long-term health care. Many of these services benefit low-income families.
Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) is a statewide network of seven regional agencies that address the needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities and their families and caregivers.
There are a variety of available services that benefit both the older adult and their families and caregivers. The services include caregiver training and support, education on healthy aging, in-home care options, adult day care services, and more.
AAA offers a 24-hour helpline staffed with professionals who can direct you to the correct information, assistance, and resources to meet an individual's specific needs - 602-264-4357.
Adult Protective Services are available for vulnerable seniors dealing with abuse, neglect, and exploitation. The agency can authorize immediate home & community-based services even if there is a waiting list to stabilize the situation.
In Arizona, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman office works through the regional AAA offices. The Ombudsman's office assists care recipients and their families with concerns with the day-to-day care provided in long-term care facilities, including health and safety matters.
Arizona's SHIP program offers free health benefits counseling services for those with Medicare. Their goal is to empower, educate, and assist Medicare-eligible individuals, their families, and caregivers through objective outreach, counseling, and training, to help individuals make informed health insurance decisions that optimize access to care and benefits.
Those on Medicare with limited income and resources may qualify for assistance with paying their Medicare monthly payment. Qualified individuals may get help with Medicare prescription drug costs, doctor and hospital visits.
The Arizona Caregiver Coalition is a community-based nonprofit group supporting people who are caring for older loved ones. Their resource line is available to assist family caregivers and learn about available resources.
They also offer no-cost respite care in an adult day care setting, as well as vouchers for families that need in-home respite care. They also run the Family Caregiver Reimbursement program that helps seniors pay for assistive technology or home modifications.
AzTAP offers technology assistance that helps older Arizonans stay in their homes. Their mission is to connect people with disabilities, including seniors, with the assistive technology they need to participate as fully as possible in activities that matter to them. Their staff will help in deciding the technology that best fits the situation.
Seniors can have access to about 4,000 devices, including telephone handset amplifiers and TV magnifying glasses. The program also offers transfer boards, sliding bath benches, and other devices to assist caregivers.
Smile on Seniors offers services for older people in the Phoenix area. The group provides volunteers who visit home-bound or lonely seniors in their homes, assisted living facilities, and hospitals.
These volunteers provide an opportunity to socialize with someone other than their caregivers and develop new friendships. The group also offers a support group called CAREful for family caregivers.
Rate Stability Rules
In addition, Arizona consumers enjoy additional peace-of-mind as the state has adopted Long-Term Care Insurance Rate Stability Rules. These rules, developed the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, makes it much harder for an insurance company to get an approved rate increase.
Products Approved in Arizona
A variety of affordable products are approved in Arizona for Long-Term Care Insurance planning. These options include tradition policies, including partnership certified policies, limited-duration plans, and asset-based “hybrid” policies.
No state tax incentives exist for Arizona residents at this time. Federal tax incentives do apply.
Reverse Mortgages in Arizona
Reverse mortgages are available in Arizona. A reverse mortgage is a home equity loan where the borrower does not have to make payments.
This type of mortgage can increase monthly income, eliminate mortgage payments, and even fund Long-Term Care Insurance. However, Arizona has many rules on these mortgage products, and you should seek the help of a qualified and licensed mortgage broker.
If you have significant equity in your home and you and your spouse are at least 62 years old, you can get a reverse mortgage to turn your equity into funding long-term health care, pay for an LTC Insurance policy, pay bills and add to your retirement lifestyle.
The home must be the principal residence without any tax liens.
Learn more about reverse mortgages by clicking here.
*The federal government sets a new minimum and maximum amounts each year, but states can set their own minimum requirements at any level between the federal limits. This information is based on the best available sources.