CLASS Program Suspended By HHS But LTC Financing Needs Continue
Posted: October, 2011
From the Family Caregiver Alliance.
After several weeks of speculation, Secretary Sebelius announced earlier this month that the CLASS program was being suspended after 19 months of analyzing models and ways to make the program work within the parameters of the law. The accompanying report explained the various models and assumptions that were considered. These include increasing the minimum working periods (from three to five years); increasing the minimum income required to participate (from $1,120 to $12,000 annually); only providing the $50 daily benefit for up to five years, then reducing it to $10; increasing the benefit to a maximum amount of $150 if a person went without claiming benefits for a number of years, and other program changes. The report focuses on the legal issues with changing the program and the potential negative effects on enrollees if eventual lawsuits ended the program. Republican lawmakers have suggested that CLASS should be repealed, while messages from the White House about the future of CLASS have been less clear. While the future of CLASS remains unclear, there is near universal agreement on the need for improvement to the current system of financing long-term care. For more information, visit:
NPR's On Point: The Future of Elder Care