Posted on 24 February 2011
By Mark Miller
A little-noticed provision of last year’s health reform law created a public option for long-term care insurance. The Community Living Assistance Services and Support plan (CLASS for short) aims to fill the country’s yawning gap in long-term care (LTC) protection by offering modestly-priced coverage that emphasizes more flexible, community-based care over nursing homes.
But the success of CLASS is by no means assured. The law mandates that the plan be self-funded through enrollee premiums, but critics charge it won’t be financially sustainable and will create a long-term drag on the federal deficit. President Obama’s deficit commission recommended reform or repeal of CLASS last December; Republicans in Congress are pushing for the latter option.
Now the Obama Administration is acknowledging the problems, and pledging to make adjustments. Learn more in my report at Reuters Prism Money.