Resident fellow at the Urban Institute, is author of "Caring For Our Parents" and a frequent writer and speaker on long-term care issues.
Since the 1990s, nearly every developed country on the planet has reformed the way it finances long-term care for the frail elderly and adults with disabilities. Among the handful of exceptions: The U.S. and the United Kingdom.
Howard Gleckman wonders how society will provide care to the frail elderly people who rely on the program and account for one-third of its budget.
Congressional critics want to repeal the CLASS act. But without it, millions of disabled adults, frail seniors and their families will be left with only Medicaid's tattered safety net.
Medicaid, the state-federal health program that also pays for nearly half of all long-term care services for the frail elderly and younger people with disabilities, is in big trouble.
CLASS takes a step towards moving long-term care financing from the welfare-like Medicaid program to an insurance-based system. But CLASS alone won’t get there. Private insurance, currently a niche product that covers only about seven million Americans, will have to play an important role as well.
What if your state helped you turn unused home equity into cash to pay for the care you need when you become old and frail?
It is not clear why it’s happening, but some hospice officials blame both a bad economy and Medicare rules that unintentionally discourage doctors from referring all but those who are about to die.
Families should be freed from the whims of politicians and the inevitable battles over government dollars by passing a national long-term care insurance program, such as the proposed CLASS Act.
There are two important lessons from the European experience with long-term care.
Since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid nearly 45 years ago, the government has separated acute medical care from personal assistance and long-term care, placing many of the most vulnerable people in the nation at risk. An obscure provision of the Senate health bill attempts to crack that barrier.