We have discussed previously the Arizona Long Term Care Partnership Program (LTCPP) when it first became available in 2008. This was intended to incentivize people to in invest in long term care insurance, rather than rely solely on government assistance. Unfortunately, we had not yet seen the fruits of this program until recently. Finally, we are excited to say that we are beginning to see cases that could benefit from this program.

The LTCPP applies to Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS) applicants who have qualifying long term care insurance policies purchased after July 1, 2008. Applicants may obtain a resource exclusion equal to the amount of their policy paid out. This applies to countable assets, including real property. For example, if a person used $300,000 of his long term care insurance policy, then he could have $300,000 in countable assets and may still qualify for ALTCS benefits.

Another benefit is that the same amount excluded for ALTCS resource eligibility is excluded from Estate Recovery. Normally the State will claim any funds remaining in the ALTCS customer’s estate (if over age 55, unmarried, and no children under age 21 or disabled). However, in our previous example, if the customer had assets in his estate, including his home property, up to $300,000 of it would be exempt from Estate Recovery.

Until recently, I have not run into any cases where someone was in need of additional assistance from ALTCS and had actually used a long term care insurance policy recently enough to qualify for the LTCPP. Usually those actually in need of long term care are too late to obtain long term care insurance. Now that eight years have passed since the LTCPP’s inception, there are more ALTCS cases arising where the person in need of long term care has either used up his insurance or cannot afford his care even with the insurance (he does not have to wait until his insurance is used up).

If you have further questions about Arizona’s Long Term Care Partnership Program, please contact the qualified elder law, ALTCS, and estate planning attorneys at Bivens & Associates.