How to cover the cost of long term care

The cost of long term care can be high and not everyone is prepared for the expense.

Critical illness and private medical insurance policies are designed to cover acute medical conditions from which a recovery is expected. However, with long term care, recovery is usually unlikely, so the costs are expected to be sustained and ongoing.

If you haven’t planned for care, or if you can’t afford it from your income alone, there are a number of ways to cover the costs. Each comes with its own benefits, risks and limitations.

State-sponsored care

You may be eligible for financial help from the Government if you meet certain criteria. Qualification for help towards care fees is usually determined by your specific care needs as well as how much money you have and the total value of your assets.

If you have a care need which has, or is expected to, last for 6 months or more you may qualify for Attendance Allowance or Personal Independence Payment depending on your age. These benefits are not means tested, and eligibility is dependent on your care needs and ability to carry out every day activities. Details can be found on the Government’s website www.gov.uk/benefits-adviser

In addition to the above state benefits, in certain circumstances you may qualify for financial assistance towards your care costs from your local authority. Not everyone is eligible to receive state-sponsored care and the level of help available varies from one local authority to another, so you may need to consider funding your care yourself.

Find out more about state-sponsored care and see if you qualify.

Funding your own care

If you don’t qualify for state benefits or the amount you receive doesn't cover the full cost of your care, there are other ways you can cover the costs. These include:

  • ‘immediate needs’ plans
  • equity release plans
  • savings and investments

Choosing how to pay for your long term care is a big decision. An independent adviser – especially one who specialises in long term care funding – can help you explore all of your options and choose the one that’s best for you. If you don’t have an adviser, you can find a specialist later life adviser local to you at http://societyoflaterlifeadvisers.co.uk/

Find out more about your options for self-funding your care.