Retirement planning gets trickier when some of the things you may have counted on disappear.
Class Act, the long-term care provision of the Affordable Care Act, was unceremoniously deep-sized last week because the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services said Class Act couldn't be made to work under the provision that required it to be actuarially sustainable in order for it to be implemented. In other words, there was no way that the amount of money the program was slated to charge was enough to put it on sound financial footing.
There are other provisions of the Affordable Care Act that could benefit people living in retirement that are potentially expensive but have so far escaped the knife. Katherine Swartz, professor of health policy and economics at the Harvard School of Public Health, thinks Affordable Care will survive. She particularly applauds the provision that would provide access to insurance as well as financial help to people -- particularly those between the ages of 45 and 64 -- who earn less than four times the poverty level. A family of four could earn up to $88,000 and still get some assistance.
This provision doesn't take effect until Jan. 1, 2014, but Swartz says there is a lot of support for the measure including some from hospitals that provide significant amounts of uncompensated care to people who don't have insurance -- and who can't buy it because of pre-existing conditions even if they could afford it.
"I think people who are opposed to the Affordable Care Act are speaking up loudly, but there are an awful lot of people who have already benefited from it and who will benefit further between now and 2014," Swartz said.