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How do I join MLTC?

This article is based on a brochure that provides a step-by-step process for enrolling in MLTC. You can read it online or download this printable version. Scroll to the end to view versions in other languages.

How to use this brochure

You can read this brochure from the beginning if you don’t know anything about enrolling in MLTC. See our brochure “What is MLTC?” to learn more about MLTC.

You can also use the Table of Contents to skip straight to your question.

Telephone handset in a circleIf there’s anything you don’t understand or want more information about, you can always call ICAN at
(844) 614-8800.


Table of Contents

What is MLTC?
How do I join MLTC?
(1) Apply for Medicaid
(2) Conflict-Free Evaluation
(3) What type of plan?
(4) Choose your plan.
(5) Enroll.
How do I get services through my MLTC plan?
Solving problems with your MLTC plan
ICAN can help you.


What is MLTC?

MLTC stands for Managed Long Term Care.

Long term care means services that help you with your daily activities. Examples are home care attendants, day care programs, and nursing homes. You might need long term care services if you need another person to help you clean your home, get dressed, or take a shower.

Many New Yorkers who need long term care get it through Medicaid. And most people with Medicaid must get their long term care through an MLTC program.

The “M” in MLTC stands for managed. MLTC is a type of health insurance called managed care. You must join a plan offered by a private health insurance company to get Medicaid to pay for your long term care. Medicaid pays these companies to provide long term care to their members.

Health insurance pays for medical care like doctors, hospitals and drugs. But most health insurance doesn’t pay for long term care.
Illustration of long term care

To learn more about long term care services, read our “What is MLTC?” brochure.


How do I join MLTC?

If you don’t have Medicare, then you don’t need to join MLTC. Just call your Medicaid plan to request long term care services.

But if you have Medicare, there are five steps to choosing and joining an MLTC plan:

1. Apply for Medicaid

You can only join an MLTC plan if you have Medicaid health insurance. First, apply for Community Medicaid through your local Department of Social Services.

(Note: You can find your Department of Social Services on the NYS Department of Health website.)

ApplicationYou will need to fill out an application form and provide copies of documents. You will need to provide identification and proof of your income and assets. It can take up to 45 days to get a decision.

Applying for Medicaid can be complicated. There are programs in most counties who can help you complete and submit the Medicaid application. Find your county from this list and call the number provided to get help applying.

County Organization Phone
New York City Public Health Solutions 646-619-6759
Nassau, Suffolk Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council 631-656-9783
Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Westchester Westchester Disabled On the Move 914-968-4717
Allegany, Cattaraugus, Clinton, Erie, Essex, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, Wyoming Western NY Independent Living 716-836-0822
Duchess, Sullivan, Ulster Community Service Society 866-614-5400
Livingston, Monroe Coordinated Care Services 585-613-7662
Cayuga, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego ACR Health 315-475-2430
Albany, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie Healthy Capital District Initiative 518-462-1459
Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Otsego, Tioga, Tompkins Southern Tier Independence Center 607-724-2111
Chautauqua Southwestern Independent Living Center 716-661-3010
Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence Massena Independence Living Center 315-764-9442
Chemung, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, Yates Finger Lakes Community Health 800-346-2211
Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery, Warren, Washington Southern Adirondack Independent Living Center 518-792-3537
Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley 518-274-0701

If your county is not in the list, you can contact your Local Department of Social Services (LDSS) to apply for Medicaid. Call 800-541-2831 to find the contact information for your LDSS.

2. Conflict-Free Evaluation

The next step is to ask Medicaid whether you need enough help to join an MLTC plan.

MLTC is not for everyone. Even if you already have Medicaid, you can only join MLTC if you need help with your daily activities. Medicaid decides if you can join MLTC by sending a nurse to your home to meet with you. This is called an evaluation.

(Note: Because of the pandemic, these evaluations can now be done by telephone or video.)

You can schedule the evaluation by calling 855-222-8350. This nurse will come from the Conflict Free Evaluation and Enrollment Center, which is run by New York State.

You can be evaluated by the Conflict Free Center before your Medicaid application has been approved.

On the day of your appointment, the nurse will come to your home or call you and ask you a standard list of questions. The nurse will ask you about your medical condition, your symptoms, how you complete your daily activities, and more. You can have a friend or family member present during this visit. The assessment can take up to 3 hours.

At the end of the visit, the nurse will tell you right away if you are approved to join MLTC. The Conflict Free Center will also send you a letter stating that you have been approved. If the nurse says no, you will get a letter in the mail and the chance to show why you think the nurse was wrong. If you disagree with this decision, you can request a Medicaid Fair Hearing. A Fair Hearing is a change for you to explain to a judge why you think the nurse’s decision was wrong. If you win, Medicaid has to let you enroll in MLTC.

Conflict Free Evaluation

3. What type of plan?

Once you’ve been through the evaluation and approved, you are ready to join a plan. But first you need to choose what type of plan you want. You can use our What is MLTC?” brochure to help you decide which type of plan is right for you.

Some types of plans are not available in all counties. Call ICAN to get the latest list of plans in your county.

Illustration of long term care

To learn more about your plan choices, see our “What is MLTC?” brochure.

What kinds of MLTC plans are there?

There are six different kinds of Medicaid health insurance that include long term care. Which kind is right for you depends on whether you also have Medicare.

If you have Medicaid but not have Medicare, then you are probably either a Mainstream Medicaid Managed Care (MMC) or Health And Recovery Plan (HARP). You can get long term care services through your MMC or HARP. You do not need to enroll in MLTC. The rest of this brochure does not apply to you. Call ICAN if you need help getting long term care through your plan.

If you have Medicare and Medicaid, then you can choose whether to get all of your services through the same plan, or to have an MLTC plan that’s separate from your Medicare.

If you want to keep your Medicare and Medicaid separate, you can join a Medicaid MLTC plan.

If you want to have one plan that includes all of your medical care and long term care, you can choose from three kinds of plan:

Each kind of plan may cover different services. But all plans of the same kind must cover the same services.

4. Choose your plan

Once you have been approved for Medicaid and for MLTC, you must call a plan to find out if it is right for you. Here are some questions you should ask to help you decide:

  • How many hours of home attendant services will I get?
  • What other services would be given to me?
  • Will I be able to keep the aide who is helping me now?
  • Can I direct my own care?*
  • Will I be able to get care in my own home, or only in a nursing home?
  • Will my dentist, podiatrist, audiologist and optometrist be covered?
  • Will my doctors, hospitals, and drugs be covered? (Only for PACE, MAP, and FIDA-IDD)
* MLTC includes a service called Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP), where you can choose your own aides instead of using a home care agency.

To answer these questions, the plan will need to send another nurse to your home to assess you. You need to have this home visit even though you already had one from the Conflict Free Center.

(Note: This process will soon change. Plans will no longer do these nurse assessments. Instead, the plan will use the evaluation from the Conflict Free Center. This means you will only need one nurse assessment to enroll, instead of two.)

You can have friends or family with you during this home visit. You can ask questions and tell the nurse anything you want about your needs. Before the nurse leaves, be sure to ask what services and how many hours the plan would approve. If you like this plan, you can join right away.

You do not need to join the first plan that visits you. You can call another plan and ask them to do an assessment. You should pick the plan that will give you the services you need and that you like the best.


5. Enroll

Once you have chosen the plan that best fits your needs, you may enroll by signing an enrollment form provided by the plan.

If you enroll by the 20th of the month, your services will begin on the 1st of the next month. If you enroll after the 20th, your services will not start until the following month.

The entire process, from applying for Medicaid to enrolling in a plan, will probably take about 3 months.

If you need home care services more quickly, you may be able to get them approved by your local Department of Social Services instead of MLTC. This is called immediate need home care. If approved, these services are only temporary. Within a few months, you will need to join MLTC. Call ICAN to learn more about this option.

This can be a difficult process, so please call ICAN for help: (844) 614-8800.

You can also call the enrollment broker, NY Medicaid Choice, at (888) 401-6582.


How do I get services through my MLTC plan?

Once you are enrolled in MLTC, you will be assigned a care manager.

Your care manager will call you every month to make sure you are getting the services you need. They will visit you in your home every six to twelve months.

If you want a new service, or want more of an existing service, you should call your care manager. This is called a service authorization.

When you ask for a service authorization, your MLTC plan must send you a written notice of their decision within 14 days.*

Care Manager

* As fast as your condition requires, or within 3 days of receiving all necessary information, but no more than 14 days.


Solving problems with your MLTC planQuestions

Your care manager should be able to help you solve most problems you might have with your care.

But if you don’t like a decision your MLTC plan makes, you can ask for a different decision. This is called an appeal.

If your MLTC plan takes an action regarding your services, you have the right to a written notice and to appeal that action.

There are several different ways to appeal, depending on what kind of plan you have and what the issue is.

The rules about MLTC appeals are very complicated. If your MLTC plan has made a decision about your care that you disagree with, call ICAN.

ICAN can help you decide whether to appeal, and we can even provide a lawyer in some cases.

You can also complain about your care manager or the quality of care you receive. This is called a grievance.


ICAN can help you

We can:

  • Answer your questions about Managed Long Term Care plans.
  • Give you advice about your plan options.
  • Help you enroll in an MLTC plan.
  • Identify and solve problems with your plan.
  • Help you understand your rights.
  • Help you file complaints and/or grievances if you are upset with a plan’s action.
  • Help you appeal an action you disagree with.

Call 844-614-8800.

If you are hearing or speech impaired, you can use the NY Relay service by dialing 711.



ICAN can help.

Illustration showing the different ways ICAN can help: by phone, on paper, in person, and by meeting, explaining, and translating.

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