Slovenia is preparing a major reform of its fragmented long-term care (LTC) system introducing long-term care insurance. A Peer Review held in Ljubljana on 18–19 November brought 12 Member States and stakeholders together to discuss the question on how to ensure adequate and sustainable financing of LTC.
Host Country: Slovenia
Date: 18-19 November 2014
Peer countries: Austria – Belgium – Bulgaria – Croatia – Czech Republic – Denmark – Hungary – Ireland – Latvia – Poland – Spain
At a time when Europe’s population is ageing rapidly, there was strong consensus that LTC should be financed through collective schemes. The peer reviewers felt that any solutions based on private insurance would place an undue burden on lower-income groups, which include the people most likely to need LTC at some stage. Private co-payment should be held at a level that the public regards as fair. There may be a case for including some users’ assets in the financing of LTC, but protection for users’ own homes must then be ensured. While informal carers have a continuing part to play in LTC, the state should not rely on them to shoulder its responsibilities.
Opposition to further increases in taxation and social security contributions may hamper new public LTC financing. One way of tackling this issue could be to increase efficiency and transparency about how the money is spent. Fragmentation of LTC systems creates the risk of inefficiencies and makes it more difficult for the user to navigate around the system. Reducing demand for LTC, through better prevention and rehabilitation, was considered as a crucial part of any coherent financing policy.
Katja Korolkova (ÖSB Consulting GmbH)