Changes are afoot on the horizon of healthcare in America, there is no denying that.  And regardless of how you feel about the healthcare bill that is moving through our government, the reality is that the changes are real and will impact the way Americans receive and pay for healthcare in the future.

The key part of the reform package that directly impacts the Long Term Care industry is the CLASS (Community Living Assistance Services and Supports) Act.  This piece of legislation provides a national insurance program to help cover the cost of long term care.  The costs are expected to be lower than for private plans and existing health problems will not stand in the way of gaining coverage.

The CLASS Act is intended to provide assistance for Americans who are neither rich enough to cover the cost of their own care, nor poor enough to qualify for Medicaid. Ideally this will nullify the existing practice of spending down retirement savings to qualify for Medicaid funds and will cost far less than private programs that can be several thousand dollars per month.

The impact of this legislation will be felt across the board, from insurance companies who have gained a new competitor, to beneficiaries who have a new source of support in their efforts to maintain a reasonable quality of life in their later years.

The cash benefit of approximately $50 per day will not be enough to cover the costs of assisted living facilities, and supplemental private insurance is likely to continue to play a role in the financial planning for most Americans.  However, the benefit could support aging-in-place adaptations in the home, adult day care, visiting nurse assistance or respite care for family caregivers.

The CLASS Act is a legacy of Senator Edward Kennedy and is scheduled to take effect in January of 2011.  There are still a lot of questions surrounding the specifics of implementing the plan, but you can be sure that the expert resources at LTC Administrator are hard at work digging through the details to make sure that the resources you need are available!

28. March 2010 by Ruth Folger Weiss
Categories: Health Care, Long Term Care | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment