Wednesday, March 31, 2010

CLASS Act Information Worth Reading

We have just posted a current and comprehensive explanation of the CLASS Act with questions and answers online and it is well worth reading. The link is below.

President Obama has signed into law comprehensive healthcare reform legislation that contains a program known as the Community Living Assistance Services and Supporters Act (CLASS Act).

If you are an insurance agent, you will be getting more questions from current clients and certainly from prospects.

If you have questions that are not answered, feel free to send me an e-mail and we will look forward to addressing them.

Click on this link: or type, copy and paste this web address into your browser.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Thoughts On CLASS - Next Steps

If you market and sell long-term care insurance, sooner (or later) you are going to hear the following words from a prospect; "I'm going to wait and check out the new federal long-term care plan."

It was inevitable that media coverage of health care reform would shift from "will the bill pass" to "what does the new law mean for you?" That shift is already taking place and the media watch each other and compete.

As a result, it is very likely that we will see continued and growing coverage of the fact that the health care law contains a new "federal government long-term care insurance plan". And, in a world of 15-second sound bites, that's about as much attention as it will be given ... and also all consumers need to hear to once again put any thoughts of planning on the back burner (the way baxck burner).

I will be writing more about CLASS and shortly will be creatintg material for members of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance to use to 1) educate themselves and 2) educate their clients and prospects. Undoubtedly, insurers will be doing likewise and we'll watch for such items and gladly share.

First, it is too early to predict how the CLASS Act will really impact either the individual or the employer-sponsored long-term care insurance markets. The three most important elements are undefined by Congress; (premium) cost to participants, benefit levels and requirements imposed on employers. These may not be available until well into 2011 or 2012 and then it will take time for implementation.

On the positive side, the CLASS Act should create enormous awareness among individuals of the real risk they face and the need to plan. If the plan is priced properly to take into consideration that it is guaranteed issue, then individual (traditional) policies will be able to compete based strictly on more benefits for less cost.

If, however, policies are insufficiently priced (too low to ultimately cover the potential claims risk) it will be more difficult to create differentiation between CLASS LTC insurance and private LTC insurance. Certainly those in positions of responsibility within the industry will work hard to achieve this (but it will not be an easy task).

Because there is a five year plan participation requirement, whatever benefits CLASS ultimately offers will really only have value for those who are currently age 55 or younger. As a result, a significant segment of Americans (those currently between 55 and 65) will fall through the donut hole and fail to have long-term care protection.

Jesse Slome
Executive Director
American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Webinar On The CLASS Act

Many followers of my blog, also are members of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance and have attended our Producer Summits. If you have, you know that Claude Thau and Dawn Helwig are two of the brightest minds in this industry. They are both dear friends and of enormous help to what we do. Allen too!

So I am pleased to share information about a webinar these folks are doing that will deal with the CLASS Act. Here is more information.

The CLASS Act has been included in every major health care reform proposal in recent months, including President Obama's proposal to the Health Care Summit. If you would like to learn more about this long-term care insurance (LTCi) industry-changing proposal, please join Claude Thau of Thau, Inc. and Allen Schmitz and Dawn Helwig of Milliman, Inc. for a WebEx presentation on Thursday, March 11th, at 2:00 Central time.

It will cover the basics of the proposals, as well as several analyses of the program. In addition, we will discuss the ramifications of this bill for the private long-term care industry. Will it create a market for supplemental coverage? Will it increase private LTCi sales or result in further sales decline? Who will the program appeal to and what kind of anti-selection will result?"

They are charging a fee of $25 to participate.

To register for the Webinar, email your name and email address to

Claude will send you a "CLASS Act" invoice from PayPal that will allow you to use PayPal or a credit card to pay the $25 fee. After your $25 fee payment is received, Claude will send you the link for the web presentation and the long-distance phone number for the audio portion.

Claude's phone number and contact information can be found immediately below if you have any questions.

Claude Thau
Phone direct: 913-403-5824
Phone main: 913-384-6300, x2241
WATS line: 800-999-3026, x2241