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Q&A: how long-term care reforms affect you
The government has announced its long-awaited care reforms. Here's what you need to know about the three main changes.
by Michelle McGagh on Feb 12, 2013 at 12:59
The government has announced plans to push ahead with a radical reform of long-term care, vowing to protect families from ‘limitless care bills’.
In 2010 the government commissioned economist Andrew Dilnot to review the future of care in the UK and the following year the Dilnot Review made a number of recommendations, including a cap on care costs.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced the government will go ahead with Dilnot’s recommendations, although with some slight tweaks.
Hunt said the social care issue had been ‘ducked by successive governments’ and had led to an unfair system where people were forced to sell their homes to pay for care.
So, what will change?
There are three main reforms to long-term care that will affect the elderly or those with elderly parents who may need care.
Change 1: a cap on care cost
Dilnot’s recommendation: that care costs for individuals should be capped at between £30,000 and £50,000 over a person’s lifetime.
What will be implemented: the government will implement a cap on costs but it will be higher than that recommended by Dilnot at £75,000 over a person’s lifetime.
What you need to know: the cap on care does not include the cost of accommodation. Those who go into care will be assessed by their local authority which will tell them what it will cost to provide care to that person, excluding accommodation.
The cost outlined by the council will count towards the cap, not the added cost of accommodation. So if a person is assessed as needing £300-a-week of care but the cost plus accommodation is £600-a-week, only £300-a-week will count towards the cap.
Change 2: increased care threshold
Dilnot’s recommendation: to increase the means-tested threshold above which people are liable to pay the full cost of care, up to the cap, from £23,250 to £100,000.
More about this:
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- Impose a death tax to pay for Dilnot care reform, says MP
- Care fees cap could be in place by 2017
- Long-term care reform delayed by funding woes
- Forget the cap, here's the truly frightening cost of long-term care
- My day at a care home: the expensive reality
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