The Scottish Parliament’s rejection of calls to fund all long term care (LTC) costs north of the border has been welcomed as removing a “shadow of uncertainty” over insurers and IFAs.
Liberal Democrats, Scottish Nationalists and Conservatives had called for Royal Commission LTC recommendations to be implemented in full, with Scottish local authorities paying for both nursing and personal care.
This was widely predicted to cut LTC insurance premiums relative to England and Wales, where only nursing care costs are to be state funded. But earlier this month the Scottish Executive opted to follow the English model.
Health Minister Susan Deacon said funding personal care costs would have only helped a small number of Scots.
Insurers are relieved, as they believe it would have been impossible for England and Scotland to run two different systems. However, they point out that uncertainty still remains over how nursing care costs on both sides of the border would be funded and believe there is a need to educate the public about the limitations of state support for LTC costs.
Scottish Provident product marketing manager Roger Edwards said that although he was disappointed that personal care would not be funded, he was relieved that the “five-year shadow of uncertainty” over the selling of LTC plans had now been lifted.
He said: “It would have been impossible to run two different systems. People would have started popping across the border when they needed care. It might even have raised a question mark over the future of care funding in England. Now IFAs can put LTC insurance back on the planning agenda.”