HHS Halts Implementation of the CLASS Program
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced plans today (October 14, 2011) to halt implementation of the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act. The CLASS Act is a voluntary, federally administered long-term care insurance program introduced in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The program would have provided benefits to purchase long-term services and supports. Details regarding implementation and enrollment were to be announced by October 1, 2011.
Secretary Sebelius sent a letter to congressional leaders today noting no “viable path forward for CLASS implementation at this time.” The ACA conditioned implementation of the CLASS program on certification that the program would be actuarially sound and financially solvent for 75 years. However, HHS actuaries and the Congressional Budget Office could not find a way to meet these contingencies
Secretary Sebelius emphasized the continued need for affordable long-term care services and the lack of viable options in the current market.