Healthcare accountants see lack of consumer awareness

Published on December 23, 2015 by Crawfords Accounting

Our healthcare accountants have seen reports showing that consumers often have little to no clear plan to pay for their own care in later life, even among those who are nearing retirement or are already of pensionable age.

The figures from Partnership, a provider of financial solutions for people with health conditions, show that 30% of Britons believe the government will pay for any of their care costs, a figure that actually rises slightly to 31% of 55-74 year olds.

Among over-75s though, the stark reality quickly sets in, as only 12% of this group now believes they can turn to the government for help with their care costs – down from 44% just three years ago and 22-25% in the past two years.

Despite this, many people have no clear plan for how to cover their own care costs, and are approaching the wrong people for advice, as 49% say they would ask their social worker or local authority and 28% would seek financial advice from their doctor.

Just 9% said they would consider the assistance of an independent financial advisor, despite the fact that these may have the greatest depth of knowledge about the funding options available at any given time.

Partnership’s director of corporate affairs Jim Boyd said: “With the typical care home in England costing £29,558 per year, this is a significant amount of money to find for an indefinite period without any prior planning or knowledge.

“So it is vital that industry and local authorities take the opportunity presented by this interest to inform and educate people about their options.”

Of course, there is a further concern for the industry, as a lack of planning could ultimately lead to people being unable to pay for the residential and medical care they receive in retirement, with clear consequences for the providers of that care.

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