How Do I Use Medicaid for Assisted Living in Phoenix AZ?

How Do I Use Medicaid for Assisted Living in Phoenix AZ?

Using Medicaid to pay for assisted living in Phoenix, Arizona, is a pretty straightforward process. Assisted living can be a great option for seniors and elderly individuals who are looking to maintain their independence but would like some extra support or assistance. The monthly cost of assisted living communities can start around $2,000 and range to upwards of $6,000 per month, relative to the location of the campus. While Medicare won’t pay for assisted living costs, Medicaid might. Nearly every state Medicaid program offers coverage that will pay for at least some of the costs of residing in assisted living.

Depending upon when (and where) you’re looking for residences in the state of Arizona, you may come to find that assisted living spots in communities around the state are at a premium. Some cities are certainly more expensive than others (think about living in Tucson versus Yuma), but in Arizona’s capital, Phoenix, there are communities that charge a mid-range cost and offer multiple benefits, such as downtown living and accessibility.

When you’re in the heart of it all with restaurants, museums, and cultural events, finding the perfect community can be a primary focus. Another thing to take into consideration while looking at campuses is thinking about getting around, both in terms of walking distance and public transportation. With Phoenix’s newest light rail expansion, individuals can plan outings and attend events while enjoying both warm weather and good company.

The costs of assisted living care are assessed on a case-by-case basis, but there are some bigger organizations that run programs to help seniors find the right assisted living for them.

Medicaid of Arizona

The Medicaid program in Arizona is called the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS). The system is managed care, commonly called the Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). One of the separate parts of this system is a division called the Arizona Long-Term Care System (ALTCS), and it caters to the needs of both the elderly and the disabled.

One major benefit of Medicaid is that it’ll cover the costs for nursing home care—and this is true of each state. Because assisted living is basically half the cost of a nursing home, Medicaid is usually able and willing to cover the bulk of the costs of assisted living care. Additionally, it will cover limited personal care at home for elderly persons with limited financial means and who have a functional need.

Arizona’s Long-Term Care Service

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It’s the Arizona Long-Term Care Services division that’s responsible for the Medicaid program that provides services for seniors as they look for long-term care. The applicants to the program may have care provided for them whether they live at home, in adult foster care, or in assisted living. With relation to covering the costs of assisted living, it’s important to remember that there aren’t enrollment caps, so anyone who is eligible can apply for the ALTCS and find out whether they can receive coverage.

For starters, there are certain asset limits in order to qualify. Basing the numbers on the 2019 limitations, there’s a $2,000 maximum for individuals and $4,000 for couples. The resources taken into consideration for the caps don’t include the person’s primary home, as long as they’re living in it and the current market value is under $585,000. Additionally, an individual’s car isn’t included in the establishment of one’s financial resources. The applicant must be over the age of 65 and have a health or disability concern that qualifies them for coverage under the ALTCS program.

Assisted Living Coverage: Medicaid

The ALTCS will pay for health care and medical services as they relate to services offered in assisted living communities. That said, it doesn’t pay for room and board. Residents can reasonably anticipate paying around $1,150 per month for the basic living costs of assisted living care.

Other Ways of Paying for the Basic Monthly Costs

In order to cover room and board expenses, there are some alternate programs and ideas that can help potential residents breathe easy. Some assisted living care communities offer private funding options for future residents. Otherwise, if you have long-term care insurance, it can cover part of the costs related to residing in assisted living.

Additional Ideas for Paying for Assisted Living Care

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While there may be other options to help bridge the gap for the cost of care, many individuals find that they’ll have to pay for their care out of pocket. These sorts of costs can be covered through the sale of their home or other real estate holdings. Many seniors have also been saving for retirement and may have a relatively healthy savings account or investments. These are some of the other ways of paying the other costs that Medicaid or private long-term care insurance policies might not cover. Suffice it to say, there are options out there to contribute to, or cover, the monthly costs of living in assisted living.

The Realities of the Application Process

The state of Arizona is a desirable place to retire. The weather is warm, the air is dry, and there’s never a shortage of things to do around town or out in nature. Due to the fact that Phoenix is a popular destination, it’s important to take into consideration that there may be a waiting period to find out if your application is approved. Once the eligibility requirements have been established and an application submitted, it can take as long as 45 to 60 days for the process to be complete.

If you have any questions about how Medicaid and the Arizona Long-Term Care System can work with you in securing a residence and spot in assisted living care, you can trust that BridgeWater Assisted Living is here to help sort through the noise. We’re Medicaid certified and already established as a leader in upscale senior assisted living. 

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