The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act
Long-term care insurance
Here’s a detail that we haven’t heard much about in the media:
TITLE VIII of the Affordable Care Act is the ‘‘Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act’’ or the ‘‘CLASS Act’’. Starting in 2013 Americans will be able to buy a kind of long-term care insurance from the government at initial premiums estimated to be between $100-$200 per month.
Anyone who pays premiums for five years and who works at least ¼ time for three of those five years is eligible to receive benefits* of not less that $50 per day to purchase nonmedical services and needed to maintain independence at home or in another residential setting of their choice in the community, including (but not limited to) home modifications, assistive technology, accessible transportation, homemaker services, respite care, personal assistance services, home care aides, and nursing support.
Benefits can be used to compensate a family caregiver.
No taxpayer funds shall be used for payment of benefits.
Administrative costs are limited to 3%
There are no underwriting requirements. This means everybody gets it who wants it no matter what their medical condition is. But remember that you have pay into it for five years first, and you have to earn income during three of those five years.
Having experienced the death of two parents from Alzheimer’s, this seems an answer to several prayers of mine: that I won’t have to leave home should I start to fail, or at least not immediately; that my husband will not have to divorce me in order to keep the house; that there will be some choice for us should I require care. Or should he.
This type of insurance is being phased out by the major private insurance companies, because they can’t make enough profit on it. Of course not. Family members who want to keep their family members at home can do it for a lot less than assisted livings and nursing homes. And they are willing to, because they are not motivated by profit, but by love.
The Act also sets up an Independence Advisory Council calls for the establishment of long-term care training programs.
This one is a thumbs up for me. At least it will be if I can work until I’m 68. Just in time for me. What do you think?
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*This is my interpretation. The act says that an eligible beneficiary ‘‘(i) has paid premiums for enrollment in such program for at least 60 months; ‘‘(ii) has earned, with respect to at least 3 calendar years that occur during the first 60 months for which the individual has paid premiums for enrollment in the pro- gram, at least an amount equal to the amount of wages and self-employment income which an individual must have in order to be credited with a quarter of coverage under section 213(d) of the Social Security Act for the year; and ‘‘(iii) has paid premiums for enrollment in such program for at least 24 consecutive months, if a lapse in premium payments of more than 3 months has occurred during the period that begins on the date of the individual’s enrollment and ends on the date of such determination.