Article by Fabafterfifty
New plans to cap the cost of care have been announced.
For anyone navigating the process of organising care for a family member or wanting to understand the implications for their own long term future, the proposals are explained.
Facts on current care costs and the cap
- Care costs are unpredictable – one in ten people have care costs of over £100,000 whilst one in five have no care costs;
- There is no safety net to protect people them from losing almost everything they have saved up and worked for in their lifetime.
- Individuals with assets of £150,000 face paying up to £120,000 pounds towards their care and support.
- The number of over 85 is set to double by 2030, and cases of dementia expected to rise at a similar rate. This increases the importance of addressing the uncertainty individuals face about their care costs.
The reforms are:
- A cap of £75,000 in 2017-18 prices (£61,000 in 2010/11 prices);
- Extending financial support to £123,000 in 2017-18 prices (£100,000 in 2010/11 prices);
- People who develop care needs before retirement age will have a lower cap;
- People who have eligible care needs before they turn 18 will receive free eligible care in adulthood;
- A contribution from individualsof around £12,500 in 2017/18 (£10,000 in 2010/11 prices) for general living costs in residential care.
The effects of the reforms are:
- Everyone will benefit from the peace of mind – whether they are amongst the 16% of older people who need care costs of £75,000 or more;
- About two-thirds of people who benefit from the cap will pay less than the cap because of the extension to the means test;
- 100,000 more older people will receive financial support from the cap in 2017/18 and extended means test.
For the reforms to be fair, there are clear responsibilities for State and individuals:
Individuals will be responsible for:
- their care costs up to the cap if they can afford it;
- any top-up they spend on care;
- any support that is not in the social care package, such as cleaners and gardeners employed by the individual;
- a contribution to general living cost in residential care, if they can afford it.
The State will be responsible for:
- reasonable care costs once an individual reaches the cap;
- financial support to those with less than the upper capital limit for care and/or general living costs;
- people’s care costs, where they have less than £14,250 (indexed) and do not have enough income to cover their care costs, as in the system now.
The cap is expected to benefit women in particular who are more likely than men to both need care and be a carer. Women make up 68 per cent of service users aged over 65.