You can get your care free even if you’re rich – so why does no one know about it?

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You can get your care free even if you’re rich – so why does no one know about it?

Postby dutchman » Fri Nov 12, 2021 11:04 pm

Boris Johnson has capped care costs at £86,000 from 2023 – but you could reduce them to zero

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Everyone knows that care costs a lot of money, and I mean a lot. But almost no one knows that, in the right circumstances, the fees can be borne in their entirety by the NHS – irrespective of how wealthy you are.

For obvious reasons, most people only try to navigate the maze of Britain’s social care system when they really have to, yet even those with family in a care home are unaware of the loophole, known as “continuing healthcare”.

Seven in 10 over-45s who had experience of finding care for someone else had never heard of CHC, according to new research from Just, a pension company.

The average stay in a care home is around two years but, at just under £1,000 a week for the average nursing home, a typical bill runs to more than £100,000 (although Government’s proposed cap on costs is £86,000).

Until this comes into force, in October 2023, many will pay far more. Fees for the roughly 160,000 self-funded residents are more than £1,100 a week on average, and higher still in the South East. CHC, which can also cover care received in the home, can reduce that bill to zero.

Odd isn’t it, that virtually no one knows that potentially tens of thousands of pounds and endless worry could be eliminated at a stroke.

Part of the problem is that the funding is not controlled centrally, but through local bodies known as “clinical commissioning groups”, meaning the same application could be approved in Hertfordshire but rejected in Buckinghamshire.

Eligibility is not based on a particular diagnosis or condition, and if your care needs change, the level of NHS funding might change, too.

Steve Lowe, of Just, called the scheme the “best-kept secret in care financing” and suggested the political debate around how the Government should fund care had pushed it off most people’s radar.

But families have also missed out because other parts of the health service haven’t told them about their options, according to Mr Lowe.

“Just 3pc of people found out about CHC through their GP while other health and care professionals were found to have missed people who may have needed an assessment,” he said.

The crucial thing to do is complete an eligibility assessment as soon as possible. An initial check list may indicate a full assessment is required and, if needs are severe enough, a fast-track assessment can be ordered within 48 hours.

If you or a relative are turned down for funding, you can ask for the case to be reviewed, though the process is time-consuming. It is even possible to make a claim after the death of the person receiving care.

Law firms have sprung up to help guide people through the many complexities, but they can charge hefty fees that are recouped through any refunds they help secure.

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Re: You can get your care free even if you’re rich – so why does no one know about it?

Postby dutchman » Sun Nov 21, 2021 12:12 am

Social care changes will hit most pensioners

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Most pensioners will lose out from cost-saving changes to the government’s social care cap and many will still be forced to sell their homes to pay for care, the architect of the reforms has said.

Sir Andrew Dilnot told MPs that he was “very disappointed” by changes to flagship reforms announced yesterday, saying that they would hit the north hardest and mean the poorest now not benefiting at all.

He said that the changes “remove a central element of progressivity” from the government’s cost cap, with only the wealthiest 40 per cent of pensioners now benefiting fully.

Dilnot described the alteration as “a big change” which “finds savings exclusively from the less well off”. MPs are likely to vote on the change next week, setting up another potential clash between red wall and southern MPs.

He also said that spending on social care had been “crazily low” and that taxpayers would have to pay more than currently planned for the next three years to keep the system going.

Last night the government slipped out a technical change to plans announced by Boris Johnson that would cap the amount older people had to contribute towards their care at £86,000. Under a reformed means test, anyone with assets worth less than £100,000 would receive government help towards this cap, while those with less than £20,000 would pay nothing.

However, yesterday the government said that it would change the means test system so that far more people would have to pay up to the full £86,000 cap even if their assets dipped below £100,000.

Dilnot told MPs on the Treasury select committee this morning that the 60 per cent of pensioners with assets of less than £186,000 would pay more as a result. Some will have to use up 80 per cent of their wealth to cover care costs, instead of a maximum of half under previous plans.

“That would mean you certainly would have to sell your house,” he said. “Those people with less valuable houses but facing significant care journeys, they will be much less protected against catastrophic risk and the sale of the house.”

The 30 per cent to 40 per cent of pensioners with assets of less than £106,000 would be hardest hit and only the wealthiest would be unaffected, he said.

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Re: You can get your care free even if you’re rich – so why does no one know about it?

Postby dutchman » Mon Nov 22, 2021 3:24 am

Boris Johnson told: dump plan for social care charges or face Tory rebellion

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Senior Conservatives on Saturday urged Boris Johnson to ditch plans that would see many of England’s poorest pensioners paying more for their social care – or risk being forced by his own MPs into a humiliating U-turn.

The prime minister, still reeling from sleaze allegations and fury among “red wall” MPs over scaled-back rail investment in the north, is facing another potentially damaging Commons rebellion at the hands of an increasingly mutinous party.

The Observer has learned that several northern Tory MPs took part in an emergency call set up by care minister Gillian Keegan on Friday afternoon, during which she was said to have been “monstered” by backbenchers complaining that the plans were unfair and had not been fully explained or thought through.

According to MPs in on the call, former Tory chief whip Mark Harper challenged Keegan to produce more detailed analysis of the plans – which neither she nor two civil servants present was able to do. Harper then said it would not be good enough for her to produce details on the day of the vote, which is expected to be Monday or Tuesday.

Tory whips are understood to have been told by several senior Tory MPs that they are considering voting against the plans, or abstaining, unless they are amended to make sure pensioners would not be forced to sell their homes to pay for their care, as Johnson previously promised.

Jeremy Hunt, former health secretary and current chair of the health select committee, said it was “deeply disappointing” that the new plans were “not as progressive” as those put forward by Andrew Dilnot, the economist who drew up the original plans for a cap on individual contributions. He said it would now be up to government to improve entitlements once the cap had been introduced.

Damian Green, the former Tory cabinet minister, who was also on the call, told the Observer that the government should drop the plans and adopt a system that would guarantee that people could retain a percentage of their housing wealth.

“I would urge them to adopt a different approach,” Green said. “I think it would be infinitely preferable to guarantee that people can keep a percentage of their housing wealth rather than having a flat rate applying to the whole country.”

Tory WhatsApp groups were said to be full of comments from MPs – including many in red wall seats – talking about a potential rebellion unless the government backed down.

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