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Elder-care issues remain complicated without CLASS

The recent decision by the Obama administration to scrap the long-term-care aspect of health care reform presents a number of problems for those concerned with elder care issues in Washington and across the country. Seniors face a whole host of issues, ranging from end-of-life wishes to assisted living and nursing home care. The Community Living Assisted Services and Support (CLASS) Act was designed to address certain elder care needs by arranging an insurance policy to which people could voluntarily pay premiums in exchange for certain long-term care services if needed. But the administration could not find an affordable policy, making CLASS a bust.

Some say the result is a ticking time bomb. The typical 65-year-old couple can expect to pay almost $200,000 over their lifetime for health-related costs. The prospect of nursing home care changes that figure to a low of $260,000 and $570,000 on the high side.

In the aftermath of the abandoned aspects of the government insurance plan, elder care planners must rethink Medicaid and determine to what extent it can help clients with nursing home care and end-of-life wishes. These are hardly easy issues to resolve, especially considering the aging baby boomer population and their diminished financial capacity due to the ongoing national debt crisis. In Washington, those facing long-term care issues or who are interested in devising a workable elder-care plan may do well to seek compassionate legal consultation. Doing so can help clarify a number of options ranging from estate planning, wills, trusts, probate, and long-term care. It is important that elders and family of elders see clearly their financial circumstances and are able to devise a plan aimed at achieving the best results possible.

Source:, "With CLASS dead, making sense of long-term care for your audience," Melissa Preddy, Oct. 28, 2011

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