Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System

Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) is Arizona’s Medicaid program, designed to deliver quality health care under cutting-edge concepts of managed care. Over the years, independent evaluations repeatedly have praised the program’s effectiveness. AHCCCS has received national acclaim as a model for other Medicaid programs and the approach has been recommended to other states by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency that oversees AHCCCS.

AHCCCS contracts with health plans and other program contractors, paying them a monthly capitation amount prospectively for each enrolled member. The plan or contractor is then “at risk” to deliver the necessary services within that amount. AHCCCS receives federal, state and county funds to operate, including some money from Arizona’s tobacco tax.

Eligibility is not performed under one roof, but by various agencies, depending on the category. For example, pregnant women, families and children generally enter AHCCCS by way of the state’s Department of Economic Security. The blind, aged or disabled who receive Supplemental Security Income enter through the Social Security Administration. Eligibility for programs like KidsCare, long term care and Medicare Cost Sharing is handled by AHCCCS itself. Each eligibility group has its own income and resource criteria.