Saturday, March 27, 2010

The CLASS Act appears to be a (somewhat) hidden benefit of Obama's Health Care Reform

There is an “AOL News Special Report” called “Health Care End Game” titled “Health Care Reform with Impact Long Term Care”, link (web url) here.

The story refers to” 49 million people” who “care for older family members” as being “hidden in plain sight.” Later it says “the strains of family caregiving can hasten the caregiver's need to be the recipient of care.”

Apparently the Health Care Reform Act (that's not the correct title) provides some provisions for middle class people to prepare for long term care, under the CLASS Act. Neither President Obama, the Congressional majorities and minorities, nor had (in 2008) candidate Hillary Clinton said much about eldercare specifically, but some progress seems to have been made.

The The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act, or CLASS Act, will provide a program to pay more lower premiums to be eligible for in-home (as opposed to institutional, such as nursing home and assisted living) care, being vested in five years. The report did not say when the CLASS act provision starts. The CLASS Act seems aimed to help the middle class, rather than those rich enough to have the savings to pay for long term care, or poor enough (after spending down savings) to qualify for Medicaid, which may become stingier with crimped state budgets (inducing some states to enforce filial responsibility laws).

CLASS would appear to presume that younger relatives will continue to be present to do part of the care or at least personally supervise it.

About 70% of those over 65 will need long term care assistance at some point.

The Kaiser Family Foundation has a brief here.

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