Long Term Care Insurance Crisis: The Failure of the Class Act

After becoming president, Barack Obama set out to make good on the promises he made while on the campaign trail. Now, as we near the end of his first term, the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is still open for business and running strong. There are still tens of thousands of U.S. combat troops in Afghanistan with no end in sight. The unemployment rate in the country is still high, despite all the optimistic talk; the economy is nowhere close to recovery. So what promise was he able to keep? Just a couple of years ago, President Obama was able to make good on one of his grandest campaign promises by passing a health care reform package. Though for the most part it has not “kicked in” yet, it at least did make it through the legislature and onto the president’s desk.

Now, with less than a year remaining on his term, Obama’s health care policy has suffered a major setback due to the House and Senate. If you are starting to zone out because having a good health insurance plan you think health care reform has nothing to do with you, think again. The latest killing blow to the plan deals with insurance for long term care. Private Pflegeversicherung is the insurance that 3 out of 4 Americans will need to help them with the activities of daily living or ADLs. (grooming, dressing, feeding, toileting and walking) Often it’s a result of a debilitating illness, an accident or simply the effects of old age. With Americans living longer than ever, more and more of us will at some point in our life need at least a certain amount of long term care.

Part of Obama’s health reform was a program called the Community Living Assistance Services and Support program, commonly called the CLASS Act. This program allowed Americans to contribute to a fund that would draw interest and be available to them should they ever become disabled or unable to care for themselves. The program was seen as a way to provide a long term care insurance package to the Americans who need it most, namely the middle class. Wealthy Americans can afford to pay out of pocket for long term care and impoverished citizens can receive long term care assistance from Medicaid. Middle class Americans are left to fend for themselves. Work hard and do the right thing in 21st century American and you are destined to suffer. That seems to be the message congress wants to convey by gutting a non-tax funded program designed to provide people with affordable long term care insurance.

These policies are affordable and might one day mean the difference between you remaining in your home and having to move into an assisted living facility or nursing home. If you’ve worked hard all your life, don’t let it all slip away due to the costs of home care assistance. Most Americans do not realize that medicare does not pay any costs associated with long term care and medicaid only pays after you have exhausted all your resources and have an income that does not exceed around $2,000 per month.

If this is the way the government wants to operate, and all indications suggest that’s true, you absolutely must take matters into your own hands and secure a private long term care insurance policy or face a uncertain financial future for you and most importantly for your family.

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