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Government proposes national elderly care service

The Government has proposed the creation of a national service that would offer some financial aid to all people who need elderly care.

This afternoon the Department of Health has released its green paper into the funding of long-term elderly care. It has proposed three options to be consulted on.

The first option would be a partnership service, where the state would offer a proportion, possibly a quarter or a third of the cost of elderly care, and the individual would fund the rest privately.

The second would be a voluntary insurance scheme, where people invest into a scheme before they have to be taken into care, with the state part funding the programme. The Government says around 20 per cent of people could take up this option.

The third option would be a possible compulsory ‘comprehensive model’ where all those over 65 contribute to a national scheme that would, if necessary, offer everyone full state funded healthcare.

The paper says both a fully state funded scheme and a fully privatised programme would not be recommended.

Health Minister Andy Burnham says the Government has calculated that the partnership scheme would cost an individual around £22,000, the insurance scheme could cost between £20,000 and £25,000 as a lump sum, and he says the ‘comprehensive scheme’ would cost between £17,000 to £20,000.

He also says these proposals would not result in an increase in National Insurance and says the White Paper will include details for those who are currently in need of care.

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