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To wonder why you can't get social care insurance?

(71 Posts)
coconuttella Tue 16-May-17 07:00:00

The cost of social care for the elderly is increasing inexorably as more of us live to old age, but whilst healthcare is free at the point of delivery, social care isn't.

Why can't we have a voluntary social insurance scheme. If you pay in then your social care costs will be covered, and you would be exempt from massive charges that many with even quite modest income and wealth are charged. Premiums may be quite high but I reckon many would prefer that than be faced with the prospect of losing their home and savings if they're unlucky enough to require long term residential care at the end of their life - I definitely would look to purchase it. I can see some issues such as the length of time you'd need to pay a premium in order to qualify for all your care to be covered, but I don't see why these type of issues couldn't be ironed out. It would save a lot of elderly people a lot of the anxiety and guilt they currently feel and not cost the taxpayer a penny. It would be voluntary - if you didn't pay, the current arrangements would continue.

Obviously raising taxes is another solution but the Tories are reluctant to do this and Labour have alreadt made substantial promises.... and besides, it could be done in conjunction with more investment from the Government, it's not an 'either/or' thing.

Why is no one doing this?

scaryteacher Tue 16-May-17 07:25:53

I think it is available.....have a a Google.

Cutesbabasmummy Tue 16-May-17 07:37:18

I don't know if it's available or not but the general idea is that the insurance companies take a gamble on you not needing to claim and they make money. As the vast majority of us will need care when we get older, and the cost is extortionate I can't see them making much money out of it.

coconuttella Tue 16-May-17 07:44:47

As the vast majority of us will need care when we get older, and the cost is extortionate I can't see them making much money out of it.

I disagree... The amount of social care you will need will vary wildly.... Many people will need none - they die after a short illness. Some will need huge packages. Set the premium right and I can't see why it wouldn't be a viable proposition.

CMOTDibbler Tue 16-May-17 07:47:03

It is available, but is incredibly expensive. Better to use the money you have at the end of your life when you can't go out and enjoy it than spend loads on an insurance you might never need.

rararaa Tue 16-May-17 07:48:28

It does exist. My grandma has told me she has it. for her at least it covers visiting carers. She is now blind but manages with a cleaner and gardener so hasn't dipped into it yet. I have no idea how much it costs but it gives me peace of mind as she would really hate to move to a home but also feels very strongly that she doesn't want to burden family.

SynysterGates Tue 16-May-17 07:51:00

adult social care is not just about the elderly. my dd who is in her 20's needs it.

coconuttella Tue 16-May-17 08:03:59

I've had a look but only thing I can find (yet) is an amount you can pay as you go in residential care which caps the cost (though if you die quickly you -or your family- lose out). I was thinking of something you could start in your 40s (i.e. my age)...: can't find anything like that.

coconuttella Tue 16-May-17 08:05:19

adult social care is not just about the elderly. my dd who is in her 20's needs it

True... the insurance would be from any age.

harderandharder2breathe Tue 16-May-17 08:06:14

It's something I think will only get more important. However I agree that the insurance companies are probably wary of something that a) more people will claim than not, and b) the claim costs could spiral exponentially if the person develops complex care needs (unlike life insurance or funeral plans that are for a fixed amount). I suspect if the care cap comes in (can't remember if it's officially a thing yet), plans to cover up to the capped amount will be developed, as it's easier for insurance companies to plan around a fixed pay out cost. The other thing is it's something people are only likely to think about seriously when they're older, maybe when parents are going through it, so maybe in their 50s or so? That's not very long to pay premiums for, so cost would be high

SynysterGates Tue 16-May-17 08:09:57

really. so how the hell would someone with a disability afford it?

goodnessidontknow Tue 16-May-17 08:13:03

There used to be an earnings based scheme that covered social care and even gave you a guaranteed small pension. It was called National Insurance.

coconuttella Tue 16-May-17 08:17:40

really. so how the hell would someone with a disability afford it?

It's not aimed at those who are currently disabled and need social care. The Government should fund that (and I know they aren't sufficiently).

It's those people in middle or early old age who have assets, and want to protect their inheritance from the risk of having them removed if they need significant social care as they get old.

As for complexities, the US health insurance market manages to deal with this so it can't be impossible.

coconuttella Tue 16-May-17 08:19:55

goodness

Yes, I know.... and it worked in the days when life expectancy was in the 60s. I know raising taxation is an option.... this is an alternative that I'd have thought would appeal to Tories and Labour alike.

makeourfuture Tue 16-May-17 08:22:47

As for complexities, the US health insurance market manages to deal with this so it can't be impossible.

Really?

coconuttella Tue 16-May-17 08:25:29

Yes... I'm not advocating that we have health insurance like the US. I'm saying that if health insurance in the States can deal with complexity, then social care insurance here can.

obviousnamechange1 Tue 16-May-17 08:33:36

I work in the insurance industry; it does exist although not widely available.

Mainly as PP have said the costs involved and the statistical likelihood of care mean that for the insurance company to have any chance of making a profit the premiums are pretty expensive and out of reach of most consumers therefore meaning it isn't worth investing money into developing as a proposition.

HopelesslydevotedtoGu Tue 16-May-17 08:33:44

have assets, and want to protect their inheritance from the risk of having them removed if they need significant social care as they get old.

Surely it makes much more sense to use your assets to fund social care, if you won't be using them anymore, eg moving into residential care or downsizing. Accumulate assets in your working life, spend them in retirement, it makes sense.

Instead you are proposing that people pay insurance during their working life when they have other important demands on their money eg raising children, university fees, building up assets and buying a home.

You are focusing on passing on your assets as inheritance but, assuming you die when your children are in their 50s+, the inheritance won't make a huge difference to their life. Having more available money when they are growing up or in their 20s could make a large difference to their live trajectory eg spending more time with them, better school, better area, supporting through university, house deposit.

makeourfuture Tue 16-May-17 08:36:30

Yes Hope.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Tue 16-May-17 08:36:57

I imagine that for most people the costs would be such that you are better off investing in some long term fund so you can either draw on it if you need it for care or pass it on if you don't. Or give money away to your children while you are young and invest in their futures so they don't need to wait for you to die to benefit.

obviousnamechange1 Tue 16-May-17 08:37:52

This article from the Telegraph gives some info about what is available...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/insurance/longtermcare/10735051/Care-home-fees-should-you-insure-against-living-too-long.html

Cheby Tue 16-May-17 08:38:56

This was the current government's plan, wasn't it? Except it's not financially viable so no one stepped up to provide cover.

user1471134011 Tue 16-May-17 08:41:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

obviousnamechange1 Tue 16-May-17 08:42:59

TBH I think the days when children can expect an inheritance are over. DP & I both have relatively well off parents but I'm working on the assumption that we won't have any inheritance and if we want or need something we'll need to get that ourselves.

Over time I have come to believe that this is actually right...it levels the playing field in this respect between working class and middle class people. If none of us inherit then we all have to work for what we want. No handouts of house deposits or whatever.

I realise this isn't the only middle class perk that exists but it's one; and why should DP & I inherit two large houses we haven't worked for?

I'm in favour of parents spending their money...

makeourfuture Tue 16-May-17 08:44:03

This was the current government's plan, wasn't it? Except it's not financially viable so no one stepped up to provide cover.

The Tory way: public expense...private profit.

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