Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion drops ef­forts to im­ple­ment CLASS Act

Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS -

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion aban­doned its ef­forts to im­ple­ment the CLASS Act, a long-term-care pro­gram out­lined in the Pa­tient Pro­tec­tion and Af­ford­able Care Act. The pro­gram as con­ceived in the law would al­low work­ers to pay a monthly premium for a num­ber of years and then be el­i­gi­ble for a ben­e­fit to help pay for long-term care. The law stip­u­lated that the pro­gram must be sol­vent for 75 years, which HHS de­ter­mined wasn’t fea­si­ble. “Every­thing mak­ing this more sound moves us away from the le­gal risks of the pro­gram,” As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary for Ag­ing and CLASS Ad­min­is­tra­tor Kathy Green­lee said in a call with re­porters. The agency re­leased a nearly 50-page re­port de­tail­ing the anal­y­sis, which HHS Sec­re­tary Kath­leen Se­be­lius sum­ma­rized in a blog post. “Over the last 19 months, we’ve ex­am­ined the long-term-care mar­ket, mod­eled pos­si­ble plan de­signs, and stud­ied the CLASS statute, con­sult­ing at ev­ery step of the way with out­side ac­tu­ar­ies, in­sur­ers and consumer groups,” Se­be­lius wrote. “When it be­came clear that most ba­sic ben­e­fit plans wouldn’t work, we looked at other pos­si­bil­i­ties. Rec­og­niz­ing the enor­mous need in this coun­try for bet­ter long-term­care in­sur­ance op­tions, we cast as wide a net as pos­si­ble in search­ing for a model that could suc­ceed. But as a re­port our depart­ment is re­leas­ing to­day shows, we have not iden­ti­fied a way to make CLASS work at this time.”

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