Living costs aren't included in the government's cap on how much people will need to pay on their care costs
The Health and Care Bill was passed in the House of Commons on 22 November. It was then reviewed in detail by the House of Lords but several stages must still be completed before it receives Royal Assent, which is expected to be in April 2022. 
The Bill introduces a cap of £86,000 on the payments someone will have to make for their care during their lifetime. 
However, there are concerns that the Bill won’t provide the level of financial protection needed for older people because support payments from local councils won’t count towards this personal limit. Poorer families might have to use the capital they have in their homes to pay for care, before they meet the £86,000 cap. 
Living costs in a care home such as food, energy bills and accommodation won’t count towards the cap which will increase the burden on pensioners following the recent suspension of the state pension triple lock which is intended to protect their income. 
Many people's retirement plans are likely to be affected and some might have to postpone retirement indefinitely. Funds that might have been saved for holidays, hobbies or even simple living expenses, might need to be reserved for care in later life. 
While younger people might be able to start planning for retirement earlier this won’t be an option for many people who are now fast-approaching retirement age. 
How will care provision change? 
The Bill includes new powers over the health and care system and changes to public health, social care, quality and safety. 
Integrated care systems (ICSs) are partnerships that bring the teams that provide and commission NHS services together across a geographical area. They should then work with other local partners to plan health and care services to meet the needs of the local population. 
The Health and Care Bill will introduce a two-part arrangement for strategic planning and wider public health and social care needs. This is intended to focus care in local ‘places’ and neighbourhoods. This would change how the NHS in England is organised although it will be based on an existing framework to flexibly integrate care. 
To have peace of mind that you have protected the interests of your spouse or partner and other family members, it’s important to review the provision you have made in your Will. If you haven’t yet made a Will, it is advisable to make one as soon as possible. 
For advice on making a Will, please get in touch. 
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