CLASS Act, Payroll Deductions for Long-Term Care, Likely to Remain Part of Final Healthcare Overhaul

The CLASS Act, the part of the federal healthcare overhaul that creates a payroll deduction for long-term care similar to Social Security, may survive to make it into the final version of a combined congressional bill and become law, writes James Oliphant in the Los Angeles Times.“Government Insurance for Long-Term Care Likely to Slip Into Final Healthcare Bill,” http://www.latimes.com/news/nation-and-world/la-na-health-longterm31-2009dec31,0,4138098.story.

Members of both the Senate and House of Representatives support the act, which is voluntary and requires payment into the plan for five years before a participant is entitled to receive benefits. The CLASS Act is also controversial.

Proponents, particularly those who lobby for the elderly and disabled, praise the act because it allows people the option to remain in their homes, paying for in-home caregivers without depleting the resources and energy of family members. Opponents believe the act won’t pay for itself and will require a government bailout to remain functional.

We believe the discourse about long-term care insurance – whether through the government plan or private insurance – is a necessary discussion to alert this country about a very important aspect of planning for the future. Whether the CLASS Act is the right solution, and whether it will even survive the House, remains to be seen.

Either way, it’s our opinion that for the time being insurers need to reformulate their offerings and claims paying practices in order that people can obtain and afford, and then realize the benefits they need.

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