An independent commission on long term care for the elderly is to recommend that care costs should be capped and the means-tested thresholds increased.
Andrew Dilnot, the author of the report, said that in his analysis, the current system of elderly care was "broken".
"At the moment people are frightened about something they ought to celebrate," he told Evan Davis.
"We should be delighted that we're expecting to live longer and longer, and actually people are frightened because the risk of high care costs is the one big risk that all of us face where we have no way of preventing the extreme risk."
"The state doesn't cover you and the private sector won't."
His report recommends a cap of £35,000 - if your elderly care costs rise above that, "the state will kick in".
It also calls for the means-tested limit to rise from £23,000 to £100,000.
The changes would, he said, "target support on the bottom half of the population".
Outlining why he was rejecting other funding options, he said that "the uncertainty is too great" for an insurance market to work and that a free system "simply wouldn't happen" on grounds of cost.
Analysing suggestions that the report would be "kicked into the medium length grass" by politicians, political editor Nick Robinson said he did not think it was "dead on arrival" but that politicians, especially the chancellor, were nervous over the implications of reform.
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