Governor Doug Ducey Announces AHCCCS CARE Program

News Release

August 3, 2015

PHOENIX - Governor Doug Ducey today unveiled his plan to modernize Arizona's Medicaid program - AHCCCS - while increasing personal responsibility, encouraging wellness, expanding health technology, protecting taxpayers and promoting quality health care at an affordable price.

The program, "AHCCCS CARE," ensures Choice, Accountability, Responsibility and Engagement. Eligible members would make contributions to an account -- similar to a Health Savings Account -- that could be used for services not currently covered by Medicaid, including dental, vision, weight loss and more. 

"Arizona can and must do better than Washington when it comes to delivering quality, cost-effective health care," said Governor Ducey. "This program does that while allowing Arizonans to take charge of their own health, providing enhanced services not currently offered under the Medicaid program to meet those requirements, rewarding personal responsibility and protecting the taxpayers by cracking down on fraud, waste and abuse in the system. This is a truly innovative, one-of-a-kind Arizona approach to health care, and it sends a loud signal about our steadfast commitment to caring for the most vulnerable in our state."  

To be eligible for an AHCCCS CARE Account, members must:

  • Make timely payments

  • Meet at least one Healthy Arizona target that promotes wellness (e.g., check-ups, mammograms or tobacco cessation) or manages chronic disease

  • Participate in AHCCCS Works, a program through which individuals must demonstrate employment, or that they are actively seeking employment or attending school or a job training program.

The governor's plan would allow individuals who move off the Medicaid program to take the leftover money from their savings account with them, which will ease the transition off of Medicaid and help them acclimate to the private insurance world's deductibles and co-pays. 

Additionally, the governor, working in collaboration with AHCCCS, is instituting a modernized communications approach to Medicaid through the use of apps, texts and more. With the use of innovative technology, patients would receive reminders about upcoming appointments, access chronic disease management tools, find primary care doctors or urgent care locations at the touch of a button and manage all aspects of their account online. These features will ensure patients get the timely care they need and better manage their illnesses - while protecting taxpayers from paying for missed appointments, unnecessary emergency room visits and avoidable hospitalizations.  

"We are truly and fundamentally transforming the way we deliver health care in Arizona," said Tom Betlach, director of AHCCCS. "By asking all Arizonans to share in the responsibility of ensuring quality and affordable care for all, incentivizing the use of Medicaid as a temporary pit stop and encouraging individuals to be proactive in their health care, everyone stands to benefit in the long-term."

To see the Governor's full AHCCCS Plan, visit: