CLASS Act Halted

The Obama administration has put an end to the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program after failing to find a way to make the program financially self-sustaining.

In a letter to Congress released last Friday, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrote, “Despite our best analytical efforts, I do not see a viable path forward for CLASS implementation at this time.”

HHS had been working on plan design options for 19 months, hoping to find a way to meet the health care law’s requirement that CLASS be both actuarially sound and financially solvent for at least 75 years. Their failure to find a solution may have centered around projections that not enough young healthy people would sign up, creating a vicious cycle of higher and higher premiums and fewer and fewer healthier people willing to pay them.

Sebelius pledged to continue to pursue the goal of “making sure Americans can get the long-term care they need ” by offering viable options for those “unable to access private long-term care insurance.”

Sources: ABC News.com; CNN.com; HHS.gov

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