Local authority care levels and charging for non-residential care are set to continue to vary throug...
Local authority care levels and charging for non-residential care are set to continue to vary throughout the country following the release of the Department of Health's draft guidance for home care charging policies. The proposals will make it no easier for IFAs to calculate long term care benefits.
Although the report states that local councils will be issued with statutory guidance regarding care charges, they are not required to change existing policies if they offer more than the recommended charges. As a result, national variations will continue and IFAs will have to keep ahead of local decision making in order to advise clients on purchasing long term care cover.
Sandy Johnstone, long term care manager at Norwich Union, said the report fails to stop fluctuating charges, making it difficult for insurers and IFAs to give guidance on State support. He said: "Local authorities will continue to make local decisions on the level of financial support and charging through their own decision making principles. This means insurers and IFAs must be familiar with the policies around the country.
"The report can be seen as delivering democracy for local councils, but it does mean that advisers will have to do their homework. People in their early 60s considering long term care insurance need to know what levels of care their local authority will deliver."
According to Age Concern, the report is another example of the Government failing to recommend a fair system of charges, as it did last year in its refusal to fund nursing care.
Gordon Lishman, director general of Age Concern England, said: "Older people have been victim to an unfair and complicated charging system for too long. We will continue our campaign to make the Government accept the Royal Commission's key recommendation - to make personal care free."
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