Arizona pays for in-home care through its Family Caregiver Support Program. Also known as Arizona Long Term Care Services (ALTCS), this program pays caregivers an hourly rate for providing in-home care services for program beneficiaries.

What Services Does ALTCS Pay For?

ALTCS pays for several levels of senior care. Program participants can use the program to help with the cost of nursing home care, but it also supports home care and in-home health care services. The program also pays for various senior living supports to help enrollees age in place, such as transportation assistance and home-delivered meals. ALTCS also provides for limited outpatient medical services, such as office visits and some prescription coverage, though this is mainly a supplement to seniors’ Medicare Part D benefits.

How Does ALTCS Work?

ALTCS is a flexible waiver program that lets beneficiaries choose between two models of care: “Agency of Choice” or “Self-Directed Attendant Care.” Enrolled seniors who choose the agency of choice model can sign up with an ALTCS-approved home care agency and have a caregiver assigned to them at no cost. In this model, the beneficiary is effectively the client of an agency with state-mandated hiring and training standards. Under the self-directed care model, enrollees can hire their own caregiver, who can be a friend or a family member, and authorize ALTCS payments to them for hours worked. This effectively makes the beneficiary an employer for the caregiver, and it provides for more control and flexibility in care services.

Who is Eligible for ALTCS?

Seniors in Arizona may be eligible to participate in ALTCS if they qualify for Medicaid and score at least 60 on a medical exam assessing how well they can function in a home environment. To qualify for ALTCS, Arizona seniors must be at least 65 years old, earn no more than 300% of the Federal Benefit Rate and have a mental, physical or age-related disability that limits their ability to safely age in place at home. As part of the intake process, a caseworker meets with the applicant and performs a home inspection to assess their needs.

A comprehensive plan of care is developed and caregiver hours assigned according to the senior’s individual needs. A medical examination and doctor’s referral is typically required as part of the application process, along with proof of income and assets, residency in Arizona and U.S. citizenship.