Without crossing into the realm of political opinion of big government vs. small government and the correctness of our entitlement programs, the fact is many Americans believe the Federal government programs come with an official seal of approval. In other words, many people will participate in CLASS Act without fully understanding the issue or the difference between private and the CLASS Act. If it’s run by the government it must be better, right?
Well sometimes reality isn’t pleasant, but CLASS won’t solve the long-term care problem for most people. First, CLASS Act will not enroll its first participant until around 2013, and once enrolled, five years of premiums must be paid in before benefits can be collected. That means anyone older than 57 cannot be eligible to receive benefits until they reach age 65. Considering that 40% of people currently using long-term care services are under the age of 64, CLASS will be too late for you?
CLASS Act will pay a cash benefit of no less than $50 per day based on the number of ADL’s you cannot perform without assistance. That means the minimum annual benefit is pegged at $18,250 per year. Have you looked at the cost of care lately? It varies by the type of care you need or desire and there are large differences depending on the region of the country you live in.
In 2008, the average cost of home care throughout the United States was $20 an hour according to the Metlife Market Survey of Home Care Costs, but if you live in the northeast or other high cost states, the cost is as high as $28 per hour. And if you are in a high cost state like MA nursing homes and assisted living facilities average over $100,000 and $50,000 respectively.
Without education many Americans participating in CLASS will not understand the true nature of the problem and think they are covered with the nominal benefit they’ll be eligible for.
Empower helps employers of all sizes implement long-term care insurance benefit programs in the workplace and conducts workshops & educational classes concerning LTC and the CLASS Act for employers and employees. If you would like to know more about the CLASS Act and how it might impact your company call us.
We also provide Resources, training, and assistance to brokers looking to educate or help their clients with and Long Term Care and understanding the CLASS Act.
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