6. The role of the financial services sector in supporting users, carers and their families

The financial services industry believes it can play a more important role to help people plan and prepare for the costs they will face in older age. The choice and range of financial products, such as insurance, to help people pay for care is currently very limited. Read more about financial services…

What do you think?

a. In the current system, what are the main barriers to the development of financial products that help people to plan for and meet the costs of social care?
b. To what extent would the reforms recommended by the Commission on Funding of Care and Support overcome these barriers? What kinds of products could we see under such a system that would be attractive to individuals and the industry?
c. What else could the Government do to make it easier for people to plan financially for social care costs?
d. Would a more consistent system with nationally consistent eligibility criteria, portability of assessments and a more objective assessment process support the development of financial products? If so, how?
e. Would the reforms recommended by the Commission on Funding of Care and Support lead to an overall expansion of the financial services market in this area? How would this affect the wider economy?
f. What wider roles could the financial services industry play? For example, in:

  • raising awareness of the care and support system?
  • providing information and advice around social care and financial planning?
  • encouraging prevention and early intervention?
  • helping people to purchase care, or purchasing it on their behalf?
  • helping to increase the liquidity of personal assets?

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8 Responses to 6. The role of the financial services sector in supporting users, carers and their families

  1. DavidPybus says:

    Social care budgets should be funded through progressive taxation rather than via companies that want to make a profit for shareholders may not have any incentive to hold their directors and workforce to account. if people think they can do a good job as care workers and managers, let them do it through public service rather than for private profit.

    • Bridget says:

      I was thinking of posting a comment then I read this, and now think ‘I couldn’t have put it better myself’, so I won’t. Hear hear!

  2. Ben Norwood says:

    If you do move to an insurance-based system, there needs to be clear, unambiguous, nationally set eligibility criteria for payouts.

    We do not want a system where insurers can use ambiguous wording in policies as an excuse to not pay out – a situation which could result in the client either going without essential support or asking for state assistance (probably when their condition has deteriorated to the extent that they become eligible) – something that may not have been necessary if the money spent in insurance contributions had instead been saved.

    The other problem with an insurance based solution is that the very nature of insurance means that most people contribute far more than they will ever receive back. While this is beneficial to the insurance company (who, after all, are a profit making business – and particularly if they’re a PLC will need to increase their net profits each year), is it really the best solution for the client?

    Besides which, if contributing to a social care insurance scheme was made mandatory, people may regard it as a tax and demand (a) increased accountability / regulation for the insurance companies concerned, and/or (b) reduced tax / NI to compensate.

  3. Barry Setchell says:

    All Social care should be funded through progressive taxation rather than via companies as a right of citizenship and a mark of a civilised society not for companies who’s role is to make profit for shareholders and are not accountable to the public / society as he have found with the banking incident, It should be a service for and by the public.

  4. Elizabeth Moffat says:

    Rather then hand over funding to private financial companies ( they don’t inspire confidence when looking at annuity track record etc) I support a progressive taxation initiative whereby tax relief is given to self funders for residential and domiciliary care payments to a registered and regulated carer/care agency. I have already forwarded this comment to DoH and HM Treasuryand am supported by my local MP who is going to monitor this when it is raised in parliament.

  5. anne lewis says:

    We have sold the family home to fund our mother’s care home fees of just under £1,000 per week. We have invested the money as best we can in the current climate to help fund these cost, yet we are taxed on the savings interest we can accrue. Only if you buy a ‘care home fees policy’ ,which when we looked into was prohibitively expensive as our mother was relatively young (75 years old when she needed a care home due to dementia) does the government give tax relief.
    Self funders are already paying higher costs to help ‘fund’ the short fall of the lower price paid by local authorities for their clients in care homes.
    If we are to make our capital last as long as possible so that our mother does not ‘cost’ the government anything then help with tax relief now would help us achieve this objective.

  6. Natasha Muirhead says:

    6) The role of financial services

    What sort of financial products and services would be useful for carers and people who need care?
    At the moment I need to obtain clarification on whether or not I would have to pay anything for the cost of my own care and I need to know what exactly is meant by care. I need information on things like owning my own home, inheriting money and how this can be done legally without it affecting the benefits I am entitled to claim so that I can weigh up my options and make informed decisions about courses of action.

    7. Do you have any other comments on social care reform, including the recommendations of the Commission on Funding of Care and Support?
    What would be the implications of different options on the outcomes that the Commission hoped to achieve?
    I think that it could lead to decreased choice and availability, which would then affect the quality of the provision of services, loss of quality services that can be provided. THIS will then affect people’s health and wellbeing!
    What do I consider to be Bad Autism Practice?
    • being supported by staff who do not understand what autism is, who do not know how to support someone with autism to be able to lead as fulfilled, rewarding and independent a life as possible, which then severely reduces their quality of life
    • care providers not giving their staff good autism training
    • Senior staff not taking bullying seriously when I was at Secondary School
    • Not being referred to the most appropriate professional. e.g., a psychologist with the right level of expertise to offer counselling to someone on the Autism Spectrum. It would have been better for me if my GP had been able to use a database of professionals who did have the necessary skills, qualifications and experiences of working with people with autism, so that someone like myself would not have had to go through the experience of being to see numerous professionals who were unable to help me.
    • Support staff not understanding my needs e.g. with travel training I need to be given landmarks to look out for and have the whole route and process broken down into steps for me
    • Inaccurate information and inappropriate support e.g. I was given wrong information about budgeting and my support worker failed to recognise that I needed a written procedure to help me remember how to use price comparison sites for future reference
    • Staff not listening to my preferences e.g. advising me of appropriate clothing without listening to the length of skirt I had specified
    • Being put under pressure because support workers were trying to meet their monthly targets so were urging me to make decisions about further studies before I was ready to do so
    • Not conducting regular reviews to make sure the support I am getting is in line with what I want and need
    • Not recognising my inability to see the difference between what want and what I need. As a person with Asperger’s Syndrome I may not always be aware of what I need. In the past I have needed some someone to point out to me that I have not been dressing appropriately and I was very grateful that they did tell me, otherwise I felt that I could have been making myself even more vulnerable than I already am. In other words I need my support workers to be proactive and not just be reactive but this would require training and understanding of my disability which my current support workers do not have
    What do I consider to be Good Autism Practice?
    • being able to understand autism
    • knowing what to do help and support an individual to be able to live as independent, rewarding, and fulfilling a life as possible with minimal support from others. This includes helping to reduce the individual’s levels of anxiety and helping them to take as much control as possible over their own lives and therefore maximising the quality of life that they are able to have.
    • Regular reviews to how the person with autism is, so that any potential or existing problems can be identified as early as possible and resolved.
    • The individual with autism knows who to go to when they have a problem or concern and knows how to get in touch with the appropriate person
    • Ongoing practical and emotional support with life changes e.g. moving out of the parental home into my own flat
    • Appropriate advocacy support e.g. contact with landlord, utility providers
    • Individualised support with a range of things e.g. shopping, medication, personal hygiene and health, including attending appointments with me
    I think that one of the most important things my support workers from Autism West Midlands helped me to do was to help me to cope with and understand my autism better. They helped me to make my own timetable to make my time more structured. They helped me to draw up checklists of what I needed to take with me when I went out e.g. when I went to work. They helped me to learn how to travel independently to and from work by doing some travel training with me.

  7. Guildford Soroptimists says:

    This is entirely entangled in the pensions and benefits debate. The financial services sector need to provde packages which are effective in providing sufficient funds for care over and above that provided by the state.

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