Q: Will the state health insurance exchanges offer long-term care insurance?
A: Long-term care insurance helps with the cost of nursing home care and assistance at home for the elderly. While the health reform law included something called the CLASS Act, intended to set up a national long-term care insurance program, the federal government recently decided it could not create that program in a cost-effective way, so it was scrapped.
The Community Living Assistance Services and Support program was intended to provide a benefit that averaged at least $50 a day, a relatively small amount compared with the cost of nursing home care.
Long-term care coverage is still available on the open market, though the premiums can get expensive as you age, and few people buy them. Caring for elderly relatives continues to be an unresolved problem for many American families.