Critter Corner: Is There a Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Option?

Dear Commander Bun Bun,
I am 58 and still working. I understand that long-term care insurance through insurance companieis expensive, and that there are risks involved. I was wondering if there is government solution to long-term care insurance. I remember reading something about the CLASS act, which was part of Obamacare, and was signed into a law. Do you know what happened with that?
Thanks for your help!
Payton Foritt

Dear Payton,

The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act (CLASS Act) that you mentioned was a U.S. federal law, enacted as Title VIII of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The CLASS Act would have created a voluntary and public long-term care insurance option for those who are employed.

The CLASS Act had been “a key priority” of the late Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy. Under the CLASS Act:

• Enrollees would have paid a monthly premium, through payroll deduction;
• Enrollees would have been covered on a guaranteed-issue basis;
• Enrollees would have been eligible for benefits after paying premiums for five years and having worked at least three of those years;
• Enrollees would have received a lifetime cash benefit after meeting benefit eligibility criteria, based on the degree of impairment.
The goal of the legislation was to make long-term care more accessible and affordable for those who may need it in the future. According to Barbara Manard, a health economist with LeadingAge, the act would have created “a national insurance trust” with a potential “daily cash benefit on the order of about $50 to $75 a day, depending on your level of disability.”
However, the CLASS Act was never implemented, and was repealed as part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. The repeal presents an indication that people need to take responsibility for their own personal planning and should not rely on government LTC insurance in the foreseeable future. For details on options to pay for long-term care, please see Mr. Farr’s article, “Long-Term Care Insurance: Yes or No?”.

Hop this is helpful!

Commander Bun Bun
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About Renee Eder

Renee Eder is the Director of Public Relations for the Farr Law Firm, and gives the voice to the Critters of Critter Corner. Renee’s poodle, Penny, is an official comfort dog who she and her children bring to visit with seniors who are in the early stages of dementia at a local senior home once a month.

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