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Care Costs Could Rocket

Care Costs Could Rocket

Elderly and Disabled people may end up paying up to £60,000 themselves for their future care.

The figure is almost double a proposed cap of just £35,000 but final details will not be revealed until the Spring by the Government.

A Government consultation – Caring for our Future – took place over three months at the end of last year. And now Department or Health official will continue talks with a variety of groups to develop policy recommendations for a White Paper to be published by April this year.

But already controversy has already erupted over the cost of future care.

Care minister Paul Burstow (above) says the decision on how much the elderly or disabled must pay themselves will not be made until spring.

The Dilnot report proposed a cap of £35,000 but a government working group has suggested that this be increased to £60,000.

Although The Department of Health has refuted claims that it is planning to force elderly people to pay £60,000 for care  it say it remains open minded over recommendations made by a working group.

Mr Burtow said:”It is wrong to say we plan to force elderly people to pay £60,000 for care.

“We are continuing to look at the whole system, which is outdated, unfair and in urgent need of reform, and will set out our plans in spring in the white paper.”

A report from the Caring for our future group said in November 2011 that a cap of between £50,000 and £60,000 on the lifetime cost of care would provide a “tipping point” to “motivate and enable people to plan and prepare”. It also said working adults should use private insurance or equity from their homes to cover future costs – a move that could expand the private insurance market.

A £60,000 cap would be a significant rise on “the most appropriate and fair figure” of £35,000 recommended by the Dilnot Commission in July 2011. Andrew Dilnot, the economist who led the commission, said a £35,000 cap could save the state about £1.7m.

There is no current cap on care costs, with thousands relying on equity from their homes to help meet high bills and many at risk of losing their homes. Under the current system, those with assets of more than £23,250 have to meet the full cost of a care home. The group recommended raising this threshold to £100,000, after which individuals would be liable for full care costs.

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