The UK government has published a "green paper" (that's a proposed policy) for England suggesting that long-term care be funded from the near future by an insurance system. Not a public system, like National Insurance (which everyone currently living thought they were paying to fund long term care and the basic state pension), but private insurance.
You know, that great long-term care (LTC) insurance like you lucky folks have in the US.
They're accepting public comment, and I've already given my 2 cents of outrage. I would like to offer something more substantive. Care to help?
What's needed is evidence of just what a very bad idea this is. I don't have the facts and figures about LTC insurance, and I've been out of the US for too long to even be able to offer a recent personal anecdote. But I'm sure some of you could help.
I have listed some things I have heard about LTC insurance below--are they true? How do you know? Please reply with info and evidence if you can, I will pass it on to campaigners.
- LTC insurance is sold for premiums that may not cover the actual cost if insurance companies have to pay out. Usually they've guessed right and the buyer has died before creating a loss for the insurer, but some insurers have figured out that they are undercapitalised and up for big losses. Who, how much, and what might premiums be in future would be good things to know.
- Many people who have faithfully paid for LTC insurance get a rude surprise when they actually need it, because of policy exclusions.
- LTC insurance has acted to jack up the cost of nursing home care.
I would also love to know which purveyors of LTC insurance and which nursing home chains have been bribing our current government to back this bill, but not being a Whitehall insider, I have no idea how to find out.
There's not a lot of time to prevent this lousy idea from becoming law (by the way, it also includes provisions to take Disability Living Allowance payments away from all recipients and instead give the money to social services departments around the country. So instead of deciding for yourself that you want to spend your DLA on a new walking stick, ordering groceries online, taking a taxi to the library and, hey, having a nice pint next door while you're there, you'll have to apply to a bureaucrat for every little effing thing.)
The "Shaping the Future of Care Together Green Paper" proposals can be found here: http://www.dh.gov.uk/...