Feb 092011

On Monday, February 7, 2011 Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius provided an update on the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program, created under the Affordable Care Act. The CLASS Act establishes a voluntary insurance program for people who are unable to perform two or more “functional activities of daily living,” such as the ability to feed or dress one’s self without assistance. Unfortunately, such impairments typically accompany the progression of Alzheimer’s and other diseases such as Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis (MS).

The program will help eligible individuals pay for non-medical services and supports to enable them to remain as long as possible in their homes and communities. Those who choose to participate in this voluntary program pay premiums while they are working and become eligible should they become functionally impaired, regardless of age. Adults who meet the eligibility requirements will receive a cash benefit of no less than $50 a day to purchase services such as adult day care and transportation services.

The Secretary is working on several key CLASS program benefits and enrollment issues before the program becomes officially available in October 2012. During her remarks, Secretary Sebelius emphasized the agency’s continued efforts – ranging from increasing public awareness about long term care services, to ensuring benefit flexibility for eligible individuals. The Alzheimer’s Association supported the CLASS program and its passage as it specifically includes within the eligibility requirements people who develop substantial cognitive impairment. This new voluntary insurance program will help individuals with Alzheimer’s disease remain as independent as possible – living in their homes and communities for as long as possible.

While we continue to work toward the day when we will have treatments that stop Alzheimer’s in its tracks, in the meantime CLASS can serve as an important part of an individual’s overall plan to be as prepared as possible to cope with Alzheimer’s impact.

For more information on the CLASS program, please visit:




Robert Egge
Vice President of Public Policy, Alzheimer’s Association

  16 Responses to “CLASS Act Update”

  1. As my mother had early onset Altzheimer's (about the age I am now) and eventually, after the family could no longer care for her at our homes, she had to be placed in a nursing facility! This disease is devasting & I'm so happy about this new provision in the CLASS Act. Mom might've been able to stay at home a bit longer had there been this help! After had this degenerative disease for almost 15 years – I'm hoping my mom is smiling down from Heaven knowing that people DO care! Amen! And thank you!

  2. yes. there are people that care.

  3. the Australian Government provides this service through a Commonwealth grant, but it is then limited to the number of people it can fund. I wonder if I could get help from AA England to have our Government look at this so that more people can be covered by the services. Indeed if we get to the stage where it is diagnosed in advance we will want to pay the insurance ourselves, I certainly would want to as I am helping with my mum and fear the disease myself

  4. My mother was diagnosised with dementia with lewy bodies. Dementia and alzheimer's diseases are so devistating. My mother declined rapidly from 2001 until her death on September 2, 2010. It was heart wrenching to watch her fight the battle that she lost. My sister and I placed her in adult daycare, and then finally hired a nurse to care for her in our home. The expenses of this disease are astronomical. We depleted our savings keeping our mother at home, but we would not have it any other way. I realized that my mother would never remember who I was while she was alive, but now that she is in heaven, she knows that I am her oldest daughter, and that she will continue to watch over me until we join. I hope a cure is found in my life time.

  5. My mother passes away two and a half years ago from this horrible disease. It was a struggle every step of the way to get information to help her and my father ( who was her primay care giver.) The last 6 months of her life were spent in a nursing home. THe last three weeks were in hospice care. I know my mom is in a better place now and I am sure she clearly remembers us now. If this provision had been around then we would have been able to keep her at home longer. Love you Mom.

  6. CLASS Act is wonderful news. My mother lost her battle with Altzheimer's approximately 5 months ago. Her biggest fear was to placed in a nursing facility. Our family pulled together and gave her around the clock care for the past few years. The last year was the hardest as she was no longer able to walk nor function without our assistance. Our entire family became her nurses. I realize that not all families are as fortunate as ours to be able to adjust daily work schedules to accommodate our loved ones needs. This program will be so helpful to so many. A job well done.

  7. My husband and I pay over $300 / month for long term care insurance for both of us. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2007 and is physically very healthy. He may or may not eat when I'm away but otherwise, can still perform the activities of daily living so it is unlikely that this program would provided benefit at this juncture. He is anxious while alone and can not be counted on to use good judgement. I will come home with the thermostat set to 80 degrees and windows open, which is costly but harmless. However, he has to be watched as he starts fires.

    Our long term care policies do not pay for companionship. I have stopped working to become that companion. Not having had regular employment since 2008, I am now spending down my IRAs while I continue to pay over $300 / month for LTC insurance which may never become usable. . The long term economic prospects for caregivers are not good. I am likely to survive him but will no longer have a career or the financial security I thought I had built.

    This program sounds like a good starting place. However, without having first hand experience with the disruption of caregiving, most people will not elect the program.


  9. I am helping my boyfriend care for his mom who has dementia and alzheimers for about 4 years now. We have had to a couple of visits to the hospital ER where they were telling us that she needed to be in a nursing home. We fought that and still have her at home and she is much healthier now. She was sick, which was the need for the ER visit and they wanted to quickly place her in a home. She doesn't need one, she functions just fine. We assist her in her hygeine, making sure she eats, and getting some form of excercise, be it a walk up and down the halls in the house because it is too cold outside or up and down the driveway when it's nice out. Her and her husband do not have the funds to do a daycare but this is definitely something that would benefit her, just to be able to get her out of the house once in a while. I like this program and am looking forward to hearing more about it and reading up on what it will do to help those in need. I fear this horrible disease myself, just because I have watched by boyfriends mom deteriorate over the last 2 years.

  10. On February 8th of 2011 my mother lost her battle with Alzheimers. Although we are all heartbroken we wouldn't have her come back to us in the condition she was in. 3 years ago this June we lost my Mother in Law to Alzheimers as well. We pray for a cure and for peace!

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  15. As the commission notes, good home care is that it allows a patient to

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