Los Angeles, CA, January 05, 2013 --(PR.com
)-- Congress has formally repealed the federal long term care insurance program, the CLASS Act, as part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 signed into law yesterday by President Obama.
According to Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act, was passed into law by Congress and was envisioned as a voluntary, worker-paid long term care insurance benefits program. "The program never got off the ground because you can not offer a guaranteed issue insurance product on a voluntary basis and still make it affordable," Slome explained. As a result, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius formally announced to Congress that she would not proceed to set up the CLASS Act program because she could see no way to guarantee that the program would be actuarially sustainable.
"Formal repeal simply puts the matter to rest," Slome notes. "Plus, there were several million dollars in promotional dollars that were still able to be used that have apparently now been rescinded by the new law."
The new law signed by the President also establishes a new Congressional Long Term Care Commission that will study the issue and is required to provide a report to Congress within six months after work gets started. "The law stipulates that at least one member of the commission should have some private insurance experience," Slome adds.
Long term care is an enormous issue that impacts millions of America families, Slome notes. "It is an integral part of the Medicare and Medicaid discussions that will be taking place, so it's good that the issue is being discussed," Slome adds. "Hopefully they pick the best and brightest 15 people to address the issue in a fair and balanced way that will benefit the nation and its citizens as opposed to vested special interest groups."
The formal repeal of CLASS will likely increase interest in long term care insurance according to the AALTCI director. "I'm not sure many people were even aware that CLASS was part of Obamacare," Slome concludes. "But, for those who think there is a government solution around the corner, I suppose repeal is an indication that people need to take responsibility for their own personal planning."
Established in 1998 as a non-profit trade group, the California-based American Association for Long Term Care Insurance advocates for the importance of planning for long term care and supports insurance and financial professionals who market LTC insurance. To learn more about long term care insurance costs call the organization’s offices at (818) 597-3227 or visit the Association’s website.