What is the Arkansas Long-Term Care Partnership?
The Arkansas Long-Term Care Partnership is a program authorized by Congress and the Arkansas Legislature to encourage and recognize the efforts of Arkansans to prepare for the financial impact of the need for long-term care. Qualifying for Medicaid normally requires a very low-level of personal assets, often forcing seniors to spend down their hard-earned money to qualify. With a Long-Term Care Partnership policy, you’ll get to keep more of what you’ve worked to earn and save over your lifetime, if you meet other Medicaid eligibility requirements including the income standards. In its calculation of eligibility for Medicaid benefits, Medicaid will disregard or exclude assets equal to the amount of benefits paid under a Long-Term Care Partnership policy. For companies approved to offer partnership policies click here.
- Medicaid eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis by the Arkansas Department of Human Services. Agents will not determine Medicaid eligibility.
- Medicaid eligibility determinations are completed by the applicant’s local Department of Human Services (DHS) county office.
- Medicaid has both financial and non-financial requirements.
- Financial requirements include evaluation of both income and resources.
- Non-financial requirements include Arkansas residency, proof of citizenship and identity, and a Social Security number.
- Medicaid eligibility has specific rules for married couples when one or both are receiving long-term care services.
- Medicaid eligibility has specific rules that apply to home property in which the applicant resides, vehicles, and burial arrangements.
- Medicaid eligibility rules change periodically.
- Individuals who have questions should contact their local DHS county office.
The Long-Term Care Partnership policyholder must inform the Medicaid eligibility worker that he or she has a Partnership policy.
Medicaid is the payor of last resort.
When should an individual apply for Medicaid?
- An individual can apply for Medicaid at anytime.
- A Long-Term Care Partnership policyholder can apply for Medicaid before exhaustion of benefits, but must be in claim status with the Long-Term Care Partnership policy.Example: Mrs. Adams lives In Arkansas, which does not require the complete exhaustion of Partnership Qualified (PQ) benefits before qualifying for an asset disregard. Mrs. Adams applies for Medicaid after using $100,000 in PQ benefits, since she only has $100,000 in countable assets to protect. She is determined eligible for Medicaid evenough she continues to receive insurance benefits under her PQ policy.
How do people apply for Medicaid?
- An application for long-term care services can be completed at the local DHS county office where the applicant resides.
- Applications may be obtained online, by telephone, fax, or mail. Applications may be sent to the local DHS county office by mail, by fax, or hand delivered. A face-to-face interview may not be required.
What does Medicaid cover?
Medicaid provides a full range of benefits to eligible individuals, including, but not limited to, inpatient and outpatient hospital and clinic services, emergency hospital services, laboratory and x-ray services, physician services, home health services, prescription drugs, nursing facility care, non-emergency transportation, and payment of Medicare premiums. The benefits of Medicaid will be discussed during the interview process with an eligibility worker.
Does a Long-Term Care Partnership policy guarantee access to Medicaid?
No. Owning a Long-Term Care Partnership policy does NOT guarantee access to Medicaid - even if the policyholder has exhausted all of his or her benefits. Individuals must meet all other Medicaid eligibility requirements in order to be eligible for Arkansas Medicaid. The Partnership allows policyholders to protect a portion of their assets (what the insurance carrier has paid out in benefits, dollar for dollar) during eligibility determination and estate recovery.
Must benefits of a Long-Term Care Partnership policy be exhausted before qualification for Medicaid benefits?
No. When benefits of a Long-Term Care Partnership policy have been paid at a level such that the equivalent asset disregard will qualify the insured for Medicaid, Medicaid benefits may be paid. Note that Medicaid is still the payor of last resort.
Will Long-Term Care Partnership policies issued in other Partnership states be accepted in Arkansas?
Yes. Arkansas intends to fully cooperate with other Partnership states for both policies and producer training.
What are the requirements for a policy to be qualified as a Long-Term Care Partnership policy?
The policy must be an approved long-term care policy and provide inflation protection for policyholders through age 75. The policy must also be certified by the insurer to the Insurance Commissioner as a Partnership Qualified long-term care insurance policy. You may obtain a list of such policies from the insurer.
What about inflation protection?
Arkansas Rule 13 requires that all applicants for long-term care insurance be offered inflation protection. Arkansas Rule 94 requires that all Partnership policies provide specific inflation protection for policyholders through age 75. Partnership status will be forfeited if inflation protection requirements are not maintained.
What if I have an existing long-term care insurance policy?
Each insurance company will develop its procedure for exchange of existing policies with the prior approval of the Arkansas Insurance Department. Contact your agent or insurer for additional information.
What if I need more information?
If you have additional questions after talking to your insurance agent, you may contact the Arkansas Insurance Department at (800) 224-6330.