Social care  

Just relaxes care plan requirements

Just relaxes care plan requirements

Just Group has loosened the requirements for its care funding plans to help support advisers during the coronavirus crisis.

From today (April 8), Just has temporarily suspended the requirement for advisers to submit a full GP report for their client before providing a guaranteed care funding plan quote, with the company instead using information provided on its care fees plan questionnaire to underwrite the policies.

The firm has moved away from hard copies of documents and will instead accept scanned copies or photographs of key documents such as application forms and powers of attorney where it is confirmed they are copies of the originals.

All policy documents and cancellation notices will be issued by email.

Just will also obtain medical evidence from care providers using telephone interviews rather than requiring a written report.

The group said this will help ease pressure on GPs as well as advisers and clients during the ongoing lockdown.

Stephen Lowe, group communications director at Just, said: “It is important that we do what we can to help the health professionals dealing with the full impact of coronavirus.

“These steps will minimise the call being made on family doctors to supply information while still making sure customers can receive the reassurance that care fees will be covered for as long as necessary.”

The firm has called on funding providers to co-operate on information gathering during this time so that quotes are made available as soon as possible.

Mr Lowe added: “We believe it is important for all providers to adapt their approach to ensure guaranteed quotations are available as quickly as possible.

“For example, we have teamed up with Morgan Ash who work with Legal & General which is another of the three key players in this market. The more we can work together, the more we can minimise the impact on care professionals’ resources while securing the information needed to provide comparative quotations.

“In those cases where a care provider cannot provide all the necessary information, for example if the client has not yet moved into their care home, we will still provide an illustration based on the care fees plan questionnaire although we will need more information to be provided later.”

Just’s care funding plan is a type of annuity which provides an income for life to help savers avoid running out of money for their future care.

Because these plans are considered long term contracts, and cannot normally be cancelled once they have been purchased, Just only sells the plans through regulated financial advisers.

Where the income is paid to a registered care provider, it is tax free.

amy.austin@ft.com 

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