Below is a summary of the portion of the healthcare reform law, known as the “CLASS Act”.  C.L.A.S.S. stands for:  Community Living Assistance Services and Support Act.

Who can enroll in the CLASS Act?

Anyone who is working can enroll, even the self-employed.  The Secretary of HHS will set up a method for enrollment for those who are self-employed and for those whose employers choose not to participate in the program.

Who canNOT enroll in the CLASS Act?

  • Those who are already retired,
  • those who are unable to work and
  • those who choose not to work (including non-working spouses and domestic partners)

cannot enroll in the CLASS Act.

How will the CLASS Act be financed?

The legislation requires that the CLASS Act be financed solely from the premiums of those who enroll in the program.  No taxes will be allowed to finance the program.

Who is eligible for benefits under the CLASS Act program?

Anyone who has paid premiums for at least 5 years and worked at least 3 of those first 5 years can be eligible to receive benefits.  In order to receive benefits, an enrollee must need assistance with at least 2 of the Activities of Daily Living, or be cognitively impaired.

What are the benefits in the CLASS Act?

That is the big question mark.  The legislation states that the program will pay eligible beneficiaries “not less than an average of $50 per day”, depending upon level of disability.  That means that some beneficiaries may receive less than $50 per day and others more, depending upon how disabled they are (e.g. depending upon how many Activities of Daily Living they need assistance with).  The Secretary of HHS has until October of 2012 to release the details of the benefits, as well as the premium amounts.

Can someone “disenroll” from the CLASS Act program?

Once enrolled, the legislation states that members can only “disenroll” during the “disenrollment period”, which will be once per year.

To learn more about the CLASS Act,
click any of the following links:

How is the CLASS Act better than traditional long-term care insurance

The 3 big disadvantages to the CLASS Act

Why are the CLASS Act premiums projected to be so much higher than traditional long-term care insurance