CLASS Act has potential to transform long-term care to insurance-based system, report says

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A new report highlights the potential impact of the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act on the future of long-term care.

It is likely that, if the CLASS Act succeeds, it will transform long-term care in the United States from a welfare-based system to an insurance-based system, according to the latest installment of the National Academy on an Aging Society's Public Policy & Aging Report. Many long-term care recipients must first demonstrate a certain level of poverty before qualifying for Medicaid. The CLASS Act would shift long-term care funding away from that type of system, according to the report, which was funded, in part, by the SCAN Foundation. 

The CLASS Act, which is part of the healthcare reform law, will be set up as a voluntary long-term care and disability insurance program. Beneficiaries are expected to receive a set amount of money per day from the federal government in the event of a disability to help pay for long-term care costs. The program proved to be controversial during discussions leading up to healthcare reform's passage. Many lawmakers said it would unnecessarily contribute to the deficit. Program proponents said that the program would be self-sustaining. The report about the CLASS Act is available for purchase online at www.agingsociety.org.