ALTCS (pronounced Altecs) is an acronym for the Arizona Long Term Care System. This is a state-administered insurance plan for Arizona residents who lack the financial means to pay for long term care. ALTCS is one program of the larger-reaching Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, or AHCCCS (pronounced Access).

ALTCS is a hybrid program which combines federal Medicaid monies with state and county contributions in an insurance pool that is used to pay for all aspects of care for long term care for clients who qualify for the program. Each county has a contracted program manager that oversees the program, provides case management services for clients, provides local provider contract services and client education programs to improve the quality of health care of its members.

Eligibility for ALTCS is not automatic. Applicants must provide detailed financial statements and complete a written application. Additionally, applicants are assessed for care requirements through an interview and a medical record review process. This process takes time, so ALTCS planning should be something that a person starts well in advance of the anticipated need.

While searching for an assisted living provider, you should ask about the facility’s ALTCS acceptance policy. Many facilities are not contracted with ALTCS. With the miracles of modern medicine, people are routinely outliving their insurance and retirement plans. When the money runs out, families are forced to conduct a new search for placement – something that is a difficult process for everyone involved, especially the resident. Any plan for assisted living should include contingency plans for ALTCS. To inquire about which facilities currently accept ALTCS, contact your county’s program manager listed on the AHCCCS website.