CLASS Act Repealed by U.S. House - What It Means for Baby Boomers if Repealed in the Senate

April 11, 2012

The number of seniors in the U.S. is projected to increase from 37 million people to approximately 87 million people in 2050. The increase in the number of seniors will mean an increase in long-term premium rates.

In February, the U.S. House repealed a long-term care insurance plan, deciding it was too costly to implement. For a monthly premium, the Class Act, Community Living Assistance Services and Supports, would have provided workers a cash stipend of at least $50 a day if they became seriously ill or disabled and needed at-home care.

The repeal highlights the need for affordable long-term care insurance, especially for Baby Boomers who can't count on someone to care for them when they can't take care of themselves, says Frank N. Darras, America's top insurance lawyer.

The number of seniors in the U.S. is projected to increase from 37 million people to approximately 87 million people in 2050. The increase in the number of seniors will mean an increase in long-term premium rates. "For years seniors have been targeted with rate increases. This pattern is sure to be repeated tenfold as the Boomers become senior targets," says Darras.

Darras also recommends long-term care insurance to singles and women. Women tend to be the primary caregivers for their parents and spouses and usually outlive their husbands. "By the time you're 80, you're worn out, and there's nobody left to care for you," Darras says.

Long-term care can cost as much as $80,000 a year in a nursing home. By 2030, more than 23 million Americans will need long-term care and the costs could reach up to $300,000 annually. "Making sure you, or a loved one, are covered in the event specialized, long-term care is needed is important to securing your future," says Darras.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding when and who you should purchase long-term care insurance from:

  • Consider your age. Long-term care insurance premiums rise in price as you get older. Some financial planners are encouraging their clients to buy as early as age 40.
  • If you need long-term care, who will be there to take care of you? Will they be able to support this care financially without your long-term care insurance?
  • How often has the company requested premium rate increases, and at what percent? Do they promote rate stability?
  • How long has the company been selling their policies? Check their history, particularly when it comes to any legal actions against the company.
  • What kind of media coverage are they receiving? Is it positive or negative?
  • If you need long-term care, where can it be provided? In your home, a senior center or assisted living facility? Make sure your policy allows you the care where you and your family members are most comfortable.

As the American economy works to support the Baby Boomer generation, be careful to ensure you and your family are taken care of if long-term care is needed. "Do your research and consult a professional if you don't understand the fine print. Your family's financial, and healthy, future depends on it," says Darras.