Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Implications of the CLASS Act, a national long term care program

The health reform legislation included provisions known as the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act, which establishes a government-sponsored long term care plan. This program is aimed at establishing a basic level of long term care coverage for working Americans.

Key points
• Employers can elect whether or not they offer this program to employees
• Premiums will be paid through payroll deductions except for self-employed individuals and employees who want coverage but their employers do not offer the plan
• Mandatory five-year vesting period before any benefits are paid
• Requires that participants are working for at least 36 of the 60-month vesting period
• Premiums expected to range from $100-$240/month, but may be lower for full-time students and low-income individuals
• Pays a modest benefit of roughly $50-75/day based on the level of Activities of Daily Living (ADL) loss or cognitive impairment
• Only available for working individuals; family coverage is not available

While the CLASS Act is effective on January 1, 2011, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) is not required to define the CLASS benefits until October 2012, with enrollment to follow. For more information, click to access the Kaiser Family Foundation CLASS Act Summary.

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