What Is ‘CLASS’? And Will It Work?

Alicia H. Munnell Josh Hurwitz

IB#11-3

The brief’s key findings are:

  • Long-term care is the major uninsured expense for most retirees.
  • CLASS is a new, voluntary, national program designed to:
    • alleviate the need for families to impoverish themselves to qualify for Medicaid;
    • reduce the burden of care on families; and
    • offset a bias towards institutionalization.
  • The primary challenge to CLASS is adverse selection – participation mainly by the less healthy.
  • To avoid a death spiral of rising premiums and declining participation, major program changes are needed.