Department of Health and Human Services casts a wary eye at CLASS

Long Term Care InsuranceThe U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is currently reviewing a new report concerning the longevity of the Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS) program. The long-term care program has generated controversy lately after the resignation of the program’s administrator and staff. As of now, the program will not receive any federal money in 2012. CLASS is designed to provide insurance coverage for those needing long-term care. The future of the program is currently in jeopardy but the HHS is not inclined to solve any of its problems for the time being.

Officials with the agency note that the report will help the agency form recommendations on what to do with the stunted program. These recommendations will be issued by mid-October, but further action regarding CLASS is not likely to come until the end of 2012. CLASS is currently slated to begin collecting premiums next year, but whether it will be able to sustain itself is unknown.

CLASS is part of the Affordable Care Act, the federal health care reform law at the center of much of the nation’s political turmoil. The law requires that the program be self-sustaining and solvent over a 75-year period, but the report shows that, given current policies and practices, the program may not be able to meet such a lofty goal. The HHS currently has no plans for an alternative to CLASS if the program should be shut down by Congress.

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