Health Care Reform and Long Term Health Care Insurance

Long term health care insurance helps pay for care that regular insurance plans and Medicare don’t cover. Here’s what long term care insurance covers:Long term health care insurance helps cover the costs of long-term care services like assisted living, daily activity assistance, transportation costs to and from medical visits, services inside your home, and even training of a loved one to act as your care provider.Before Obama’s Affordable Care Act of 2010, Medicare didn’t cover a lot of these costs. Also, Medicaid typically only covered the cost of nursing homes.Here are some of the changes you’ll see because of the act:-The new law encourages states to allow Medicaid to pay for in-home care services and attendants as well as nursing homes.-A new insurance program for the elderly will go in to effect starting January, 2011. It is called the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act, or “CLASS.”CLASS is a voluntary insurance program that will be supported by your workplace. You’ll be able to deduct money from your paycheck to pay for your premiums. If your employer chooses to participate, you will be automatically signed up for the program.One of the best parts about the program is that you’ll be able to cash out once you’ve deposited money for five years. You can use this cash out program if you can prove you are unable to perform at least two or three daily living activities, and then you can use the money to pay for your in-home care or other type of assisted living services.You would receive at least $50 per day in benefits under the new act. You can use this money for your health care as you see fit, whether it be for personal assistance, home care, home modifications, transportation, or technology that will assist you in your day to day lifestyle.However, it is important to view CLASS as a way to offset your long term health care insurance costs, not cover them completely. Fifty dollars per day will not pay for nursing home care or lengthy personal care attendant visits.The best idea is to invest in CLASS if your employer will sign on as well as look into finding a long term health care insurance policy that is right for you.

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