Cap on fees would only benefit a few, says report
Nine in 10 people who pay for their own care in England won’t benefit if the ‘cap’ on care costs, currently set at £72,000, goes ahead. Set at this level, it will take a typical pensioner more than six years to reach the cap, which is double the average life expectancy for someone in residential or nursing care.
However, research from Independent Age, the older people’s charity and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA), suggests that introducing a cap on costs at £100,000 that includes all costs of care (an ‘all-inclusive cap’) will benefit up to four times as many people and within two to three years.
The Government’s proposed lifetime cap on care costs for adults in England is set at £72,000 and the latest plan was for it to come into force in 2020.
The idea of a cap on care costs was first introduced by the Dilnot Commission in 201, which argued that to guard against “catastrophic” care costs, adults should face a lifetime limit set at £35,000. The cap recommended by the Commission was only ever intended to apply to individuals’ personal care costs. It did not take into account the full costs of care, such as Daily Living Costs, which include food and accommodation, and make up a large part of annual care home costs.
This means that many people could continue to pay towards care costs, years after having technically reached the ‘cap’ limit. The Government dropped and then re-affirmed its commitment to plans for the care cap during the 2017 election campaign. But following the ‘dementia tax’ row, it said it would look at the idea in more detail in the long awaited Green Paper on social care.