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Care Cap Crisis Looms as Few Understand the Funding Cap

• People now less likely to be aware of the Care cap than they were in 2013
• Half believe that accommodation costs will be included in the care cap
• Free guide for paying for care available – 0800 051 5630 or to download from www.saga.co.uk/ltc

With just a year to go until the introduction of the Care Cap; new research released today to coincide with Carers Week reveals that since it was announced in 2013, awareness of the cap has dropped amongst those approaching or in retirement from 82% to just 76%.
Saga’s latest research of more than 10,000 over 50s reveals that not only are people less likely to be aware of the care cap, only one in 14 (7%) know the level at which the cap would be set.

Perhaps more worryingly is the number of people who simply haven’t thought about care. Despite changes that were intended to encourage people to think about their future needs, one in five over 50s (21%) haven’t thought about it and plan to deal with any care costs when the time comes.

Alex Edmans, head of retirement for Saga Personal Finance commented “This drop in awareness of the Care Cap is extremely worrying. With local authorities effectively being given permission to increase the level at which they fund care to only those with substantial needs, the need to think about your future care needs has actually never been greater.”

Even though there is some awareness of the cap, it appears that there is still widespread confusion around which costs will count towards it, with more than half (59%) believing that accommodation costs would be included. In addition, despite knowing that there were limitations on the cap, more than half believed the calculator would start counting as soon as they started paying for any age related care or support in the home. In fact, 7 out of 10 people did not realise that the care costs only counted towards the cap once the individual was assessed as having substantial care needs.

Alex Edmans continued “It appears that promises to ensure ‘nobody has to sell their home in their lifetime’, the care cap and the promotion of the new upper means test limit may have lulled many into a false sense of security about funding of their care costs. Rather than encouraging people to think about paying for care, it has had the opposite effect. People now seem more likely to think that their care costs and anything else associated with it will be paid for by the local authority.”

Table of items that individuals incorrectly thought would be included within the calculation towards the Care Cap:

Accommodation costs 57%
Food 27%
Haircuts/chiropody etc. 18%
Entertainment (days out etc.) 6%
Clothes 5%

When it comes to awareness of the cap there is a definite regional divide with those in East Anglia being most aware of the cap (80%) closely followed by London (79%) and the South East (79%).

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