This is part 2 of the previous blog, so read that now if you haven’t. We established that individuals and Government have a responsibility to provide care.
The Coalition Government have created a commission to look at the funding of care and support in England. A chief consideration will be creating either a mandatory or voluntary insurance scheme whereby you pay in advance of having care needs and the policy will cover the costs of your support needs that are not met by the Government’s contribution.
So, I pay £20 p/m and then when I’m 75 and need support to live at home or residential care, my insurance company will cover the costs (let’s assume reasonable insurance companies for this blog’s purpose). Sounds simple.
But what if my wife (this isn’t a public proposal Mum) decides that she would like to care for me and doesn’t care that the insurance wouldn’t pay her to do it? We’ve just paid all that money for no reason. This could lead to two things:
1. Fewer people provide care because they feel as though the insurance company, or Government if it is publicly run, should pay for all care
2. People don’t pay for insurance because they expect to receive family provided care
Let’s start with the first scenario. Fewer people caring increases demand on paid care, pushing up costs of the system. This is bad news for a Commission that is trying to create a more sustainable system because of projected funding gaps. If carers currently provide £87bn worth of care, the system could very quickly become completely unsustainable if families stop caring.
But the second scenario doesn’t look good either. This would increase the demands on families to provide care when we already know there is too much pressure on them currently.
The solution to overcome these problems must encourage and account for families who are providing care.
There is no way of knowing how much informal care you will receive whilst paying your insurance, which is generally before you have support needs. So the only way to recognise the caring contribution is by giving rebates to families when they are providing care.
Does this solve the problem? Not quite. How much do you decide to give them?
It’s another ‘to be continued’ as the next blog will look at this question.
Till next time, take care