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Audit report will warn public not to bet on free LTC

An independent report from the Audit Commission will highlight the need

for IFAs to warn clients not to gamble on the state providing free

long-term care.

The report, published this week, shows that individuals can end up paying

the same for state care as they would for private care.

Long-term care insurers say the report is a classic example of the

confusion surrounding the issue and means IFAs need to encourage clients to

consider LTC insurance seriously.

The commission&#39s report also shows that local authorities are relying

increasingly on individuals paying to provide “home care” – services such

as shopping and cleaning – plus help with the activities of daily living

such as washing and dressing.

Charges accounted for 12 per cent of home care costs in 1999, up from 8

per cent in 1993.

PPP Lifetime Care advertising and PR manager Paul Bennett says: “There is

a strong IFA message in the report. It forces people to confront the fact

they will have to pay for care even if they believe they won&#39t.”

CGU long-term care strategy manager Sandy Johnstone says: “This highlights

that IFAs need to be conscious that the concept of &#39state help&#39 does not

mean &#39free help&#39. It is a classic demonstration of the confusion

surrounding the issue and how this makes financial planning difficult.

“Even if a client suggests they do not have to worry, IFAs need to be

aware that care might not be free. We welcome a resolution of the issue in

the Government&#39s comprehensive spending review this summer.”


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