Cross-party backing for insurer role in funding elderly care

A cross-party group of former health ministers, backed by some of the most influential voices in social care, have said insurers must play a part in funding social care, the FT reports.

In a paper to be published today they rule out a fully tax-funded system to replace the current means-tested approach to care for adults and the elderly.

Backers include:

Stephen Dorrell, the Conservative former health secretary

Lord Warner, until recently a Labour health minister who is also a former social services director

Baroness Julia Neuberger, the Liberal Democrat peer

Private payment and private insurance will need to play a big role, the paper says.

The paper is being backed by:

The King’s Fund health think-tank

The NHS Confederation

Bupa, the private medical insurer and care home provider

Adass, the social services directors’ association

The Times says the paper proposes a funding model based on contributions from the state and individuals, with the heavy financial burden of future costs shared out through general taxation or an insurance plan.

But it rules out the Green Paper’s option of a comprehensive payment model — where everyone would pay a flat sum towards their care either at retirement or as a levy at death — as a starting point for reform. Such payments could be involved for contributing to an insurance scheme.