When does the CLASS Act (Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act) become effective?

There is a lot of confusion about when the CLASS Act becomes effective.  Many reputable sources have erroneously stated that the CLASS Act starts on January 1, 2011, including Kaiser Health News, The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), and even major news organizations.

The Department of Health and Human Services will only begin to hire actuaries and administrative personnel, in January 2011.  They will start to develop the details of the CLASS Act program.  However, the Dept. of HHS has until October 2012 to decide on:

  • how enrollment will be handle,
  • how the benefits will be tiered (depending on one’s level of disability), and
  • how much it will cost to participate in the program.

Once the details are released (sometime in 2012), there will be a 90-day period for “public comment”.  Then enrollment will begin (probably in the first quarter of 2013.)

Since the CLASS Act requires that premiums be paid for 5 years before any benefits can be received, the earliest any claims can be made by enrollees will be somewhere around 2018.

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

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

The 3 big disadvantages to the CLASS Act