An article in the NY Times this weekend spoke of the Class Act 's failure. This bill was supposed to provide some relief for the millions of middle class families caring for chronically ill or demented family members, at home, due to lack of insurance coverage or sufficient funds to pay for out of home placement. The bill was first proposed during the Clinton Administration and it seems as if noone has been able to figure out how to pay for this needed insurance. The article reported that less than 3% of people have long-term care insurance. Couldn't a plan for promoting long-term care insurance that is currently available meet that need??
Why don't people buy long-term care insurance? Families provide life insurance for each other, probably for the benefit of minor children, should an early death intervene with savings plans. Couples invest in 401K or 403B savings plans to provide for their retirement, but we don't think long-term care. If one member of a couple becomes disabled and the family is neither super wealthy nor poor enough to qualify for federal aid to the poor(medicaid), the illness could and does deplete the savings of both partners. I guess then the surviving spouse gets his/her nursing home care paid for by the state.
Which is fine, if the surviving spouse survives and develops a handicapping condition. What happens when the surviving spouse is healthy? Then he/she becomes a burden to the children if there are any who are able to provide.