The Wall Street Journal, February 8, 2011
The Obama administration is looking at modifying a workers' long-term care insurance program included in last year's healthcare overhaul, responding to criticism that the plan is fiscally unsustainable. The Department of Health and Human Services is considering raising the income requirement for participating in the program and allowing its insurance premiums to be raised over time, officials said Monday. The long-term care program, known as the Class Act, is designed to insure workers in the event they become unable to care for themselves, primarily due to injury or illness. Workers who choose to participate and end up needing to make a claim would receive a payout of $50 a day or more to cover services such as home health care, transportation and nursing-home facilities. The program isn't set to begin until at least 2012, and workers must participate for five years before they can qualify for benefits.