The Pros and Cons of CLASS Act

The health care reform bill opens doorway to more promising program that will overhaul Medicaid and strengthen aid for long term care in the United States. The establishment of Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS Act) - the first nationwide and voluntary financed health program- will change the health care landscape in America starting 2013.

The introduction of CLASS Act in the Congress receives both praise and criticism. However, the pros outweigh the cons. Although it provides very limited daily benefit or coverage, you cannot deny the fact that it will give modest protection for your long term care needs rather than not saving at all. Imagine the cost of nursing homes today swells to $75,000 a month and will eventually increase in the next few years, an ordinary middle income earner would find it hard to budget his or her income or assets to continue care for two or more years; thus, CLASS Act have seen this as threat and come up with ways to offset the problem.

People are discouraged from paying expensive premiums on insurance for long term care, but the CLASS Act allows them to pay nominal amount to about the estimated cost of $120 per month, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The CLASS Act intentionally set less expensive premiums, not to compete with private LTCi, but to encourage more and more Americans from planning their care. Moreover, there are no strict health qualifications to become eligible for CLASS Act unlike what private long term care insurance companies do; meaning to say, anyone with pre-existing health condition or disability may still participate in the program. All working adults, including students and part time employees, are qualified in the program, but they may dismiss their participation or opt out.

Participants may enjoy the freedom of spending the benefits in buying services they want the most. A person may use the benefits to pay for home health aide or neighbour and receive the services in the comfort of his or her home. One can also use the benefits for nursing home care or any chosen facility/. This allows members to take full control of the money on whatever ways they wish to spend it and, at the same time, preserve dignity and independence.

Now it is pretty clear why CLASS act receives acknowledgment from its supporters, but you also need to know why it is under attack of its opponents.

Some financial experts chide on the CLASS Act's finances: there will be no tax money involved to finance the program and smaller premiums are expected to roll out in the insurance pool. There are uncertainties that the nominal premiums are insufficient to dole out benefits for its members in the coming years. However, the legislation already addressed these potential risks by requiring solvency for 75 years to ensure that no taxpayers' money will be involved. The law also requires the program to help reduce Medicaid cost.

Despite all the criticisms and caveats thrown at CLASS Act, many government officials and the public at large are hoping to push through the program that could be the potential solution to the most troubling problem today and in the future.

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