John Wenzlau and Millie Oakeson

Planning ahead for aging options, especially when considering long-term care planning, is crucial. Radio hosts John Wenzlau and Millie Oakeson of “Successful Aging” on Independent Talk 1100 KFNX strive to answer those questions and more each week by talking with experts on how to live life to the fullest and age well. This week, they talked with Tyler White from Jackson White Law Firm about the Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS) insurance. What came out of the engaging discussion was the fact that when you plan ahead, you reap the positive benefits. 

The topic of ALTCS is confusing and one that most people don’t want to think about until they are in desperate need of solutions and they are figuring out how to afford long-term care. Often, there is the misunderstanding Medicare will take care of those needs when the time comes, but White discussed some of the misconceptions between Medicare and ALTCS. Medicare covers rehabilitative acute care. When you no longer need the acute care, you move into long-term care.

When asked when someone should start planning for ALTCS, White said, “Ideally, five years before you need care, it can save you from making huge mistakes.” 

The ALTCS process is somewhat complicated because income and asset requirements are associated with the application process. Simply giving away all your money has consequences because companies take a look back over the past five years prior to applying to see if you did give your money away in ways that could disqualify you. That is one example of why it is important to consult with an expert before you make those decisions.

To qualify for ALTCS, you must meet the medical requirements and in fact, you can’t apply until you do meet specific requirements: you are no longer able to take care of yourself, you can remain in your own home with in-home care (30 hours per week), or assisted living or a skilled nursing facility that is contracted with ALTCS, the income requirement, which is very strict. But you can still own one house and one car. After discussing the requirements for qualifying for ALTCS, it is very apparent that it is so important to plan ahead and have the conversations long before you or your loved one are in a desperate situation.

Jackson White Law Firm is unique in the fact it employs social workers who can answer many questions free of charge and if an attorney is needed, they will let you know. For information, call 480-464-1111.

For more information on these topics or to listen to the full broadcasts of the weekly shows any time, check out www.successfulaging.info. Tune in each week at 11 a.m. on Tuesday to Independent Talk KFNX 1100, as hosts Wenzlau and Oakeson continue to explore your best options for “Successful Aging.”