The Department of Health and Human Services plans to issue a rule amending the Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS) program, a top official says.
Kathy Greenlee, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Aging, told reporters Thursday that changes might include increasing minimum earnings requirement for enrollees, indexing the premiums for inflation, and boosting anti-fraud protections. The Affordable Care Act requires that CLASS must be self-sustaining through premiums, and without help from federal tax dollars. The rule is expected in October.
The CLASS Act is a voluntary long-term insurance program that could typically offer a $50-per-day benefit to elderly or younger disabled individuals who can no longer work. The CLASS Act is intended to help beneficiaries receive the care they need in their homes, rather than in a nursing facility. Members of Congress, as well as President Obama’s bipartisan fiscal commission, have called the program’s chances at long-term financial sustainability into question. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has told Congress that she will not launch the program until it is properly modeled to be financially solvent for at least 75 years. Sebelius must outline any program changes before Oct. 1, 2012.