Financing systems of care for older persons in Europe

Aging Clin Exp Res. 2002 Aug;14(4):293-9. doi: 10.1007/BF03324453.


The growing demand for long-term care is placing significant pressure on traditional funding for health and social services in the European Union. In countries where the social security system is based on the Beveridge model, dependency is essentially community-managed through local services; in some countries in which social protection is based on the Bismarck model, dependency has been recognized as a new risk; in southern Europe and Belgium, dependency leads to tax-funded social assistance. Related positions have been adopted: individual contributions are increasing, and while recourse to private insurance remains marginal but is developing, the need for public financing is not being questioned. The choices made regarding home-maintenance, local intervention levels and caregiver assistance will determine the degree of risk coverage in Europe. If the various European countries adopt similar policies, there can be a convergence of the models of social protection for dependency.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Community Health Planning
  • Europe
  • European Union
  • Financing, Government*
  • Health Services for the Aged / economics*
  • Humans
  • Models, Organizational
  • National Health Programs / economics*