A Universal Benefit that Assists with Long-Term Care—Not in the U.S.


All taxpayers in Jersey (not New Jersey, and not any U.S. state) will soon be contributing towards the high costs of residential nursing facility and home-based care, after a vote by politicians. Ideally, this means that home owners in Jersey (part of the Channel Islands) will not have to sell their property or use other hard-earned assets to pay for long-term care, if they end up needing it.
One in four people are expected to need long-term care at some point in their lives. According to Senator Francis Le Gresley, Social Security Minister of Jersey, “the money would help remove the worry many people currently face of paying for their care in later life.”
Under the plan, the maximum contribution will start at 0.5% in 2015, rising to 1% in 2016 and will be 3% by 2044. Not all will need it, but all who pay income tax will be contributing towards it.
How will it work?

  • The use of the fund will be available for people who may have value in their property, but a low income. These people will be able to borrow from the fund to cover care costs.
  • People needing support will get help paying for long term care after they have contributed the first £50,000 ($68,745) towards the cost of their own care.
  • The payment will not cover everything, as nursing home residents will be expected to pay £300 ($412.47) a week for accommodation and living costs. People receiving care at home will not be subject to this co-payment.

There is no similar system on the horizon in the U.S. to help prevent Americans from being impoverished by catastrophic long-term care costs. In the U.S., for seniors over the age of 65, Medicaid has become equivalent to federally-subsidized long-term care insurance, just as Medicare is federally-subsidized health insurance.  

In the U.S., health insurance covers most diseases. However, health insurance (including Medicare) effectively discriminate against persons with certain illnesses — such as Alzheimer’s disease or other types of brain diseases causing dementia or loss of the ability to function independently. Anyone who gets one these “wrong types of diseases” must sadly become officially “impoverished” under federal and state Medicaid rules in order to gain access to the basic care that they need — all because our health care system says that the care these persons need is not health care, but long-term care.

For this reason, Medicaid planning is not only ethically justified — it is often imperative to the individual’s quality of life.  Please read our webpage and watch our video on ”Why Medicaid Planning is Ethical” for more details.

If you have not done Long-Term Care Planning, Estate Planning or Incapacity Planning (or had your Planning documents reviewed in the past several years), or if you have a loved one who is nearing the need for long-term care or already receiving long-term care, call us at our Virginia Elder Law Fairfax office at 703-691-1888 or at our Virginia Elder Law Fredericksburg office at 540-479-1435 to make an appointment for a consultation.

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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.