Government long-term care insurance program is scrapped

A part of the new federal health care law that would have set up a voluntary, government-run insurance program for long-term care has been scrapped by the Obama Administration.

The program, known as the “CLASS Act,” would have allowed people to pay monthly premiums for five years, after which they would be eligible for future benefits to help pay for long-term care services that are not covered by Medicare.

But the Administration has concluded that there’s no way to make the program financially self-sustaining, as required by the law.

Because the insurance is voluntary, it’s likely that only those people most likely to need long-term care will sign up for it, Administration officials said. And without a large pool of younger and healthier people paying into the program, the benefits would be too small or the premiums would be too large for it to be worthwhile.

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