On Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) halted implementation of the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program, known as the CLASS Act, because it could not simultaneously meet 3 important criteria—that it be self-sustaining, financially sound for 75 years, and affordable to consumers—says a Kaiser Health News article.
Scrapping the long-term care program does not affect the rest of the health care law, although it does remove more than $70 billion in expected federal budgetary savings over 10 years. The savings would have come from having policyholders pay premiums for the first few years but not receive benefits until 2017.
The program would have allowed working adults to apply for insurance that would provide up to $50 a day in cash benefits if they became disabled. The money could be used to help with in-home assistance or nursing home care. Under 1 scenario shown in a report sent to Congress Friday, administration analysts said a basic CLASS insurance plan with a $50 a day benefit might have cost $235 to $391 month. That might have been more than consumers would have been willing to pay based on the benefit. If enough people did not voluntarily enroll, the program would not have been self-sustaining, says the article.