Speaking at the Tory party conference in Manchester, Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said the Conservatives would introduce a voluntary scheme with a one-off £8,000 joining fee in return for a guarantee that all fees for permanent residential care would be waived for the rest of their life.
People will be given the option of signing up to the home protection scheme when they reach the state retirement age, currently 65.
Lansley said the proposed scheme would “lift a major weight of worry from the shoulders of all older people and their families”. He added: “In twelve years, Labour have failed to offer older people any hope of a way out of the forced home sales crisis. A vote for the Conservatives is now a vote for a real, affordable alternative to losing your home if you need to enter residential care.”
Lansley said the home protection plan would not require any public money if insurers agreed to run it.
An Association of British Insurers spokesman says: “The ABI has long advocated a partnership between the public and private sectors to deal with the crucial, and costly, issue of providing long-term care for the elderly. This proposal has many merits and we support its aims in principle.
“The details will need to be examined carefully, and we look forward to working closely together on the scheme’s development.”
Aviva global chief executive Andrew Moss says: “Aviva is encouraged by the Conservative Party’s proposals on the very important issue of reforming long term care for the elderly.
“We believe this can best be provided by insurers and the government working in partnership and we look forward to working through the details of the proposal.”