Improvements to Long Term Care (LTC) CLASS Act Would Encourage More Enrollment

Long-term care advocate and blogger Howard Gleckman weighs in on the CLASS Act, the federal government’s long-term care proposal included in pending health care legislation, for Kaiser Health News. See “Will People Buy Government Long-Term Care Insurance,”

Gleckman predicts that significantly more people will purchase government LTC coverage than those who currently purchase private insurance, but it still won’t be enough to solve the nation’s long-term care challenges. To increase purchasers, Gleckman suggests the following:

First, make coverage mandatory and require all major employers to offer it. If employees are allowed to opt out, impose tough penalties on both employers and workers who don’t participate.

Second, do more to encourage young employees to buy coverage. Determine premium amounts by age at enrollment and never increase (or only moderately increase) premiums, while providing more benefits as policyholders age. That way, workers would enroll while they are young and healthy to avoid costly premiums when they need coverage.

Third, the government could give employers financial incentives to match worker contributions.

Let’s see what, if anything, the ultimate health care bill will contain on the Long Term Care question.

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