Andrew Dilnot, who chaired the independent commission set up by the Government to examine the funding of elderly care, has said the Coalition's planned changes will reduce the "anxiety" at covering costs in later life.
Mr Dilnot described the current system as a "complete disaster".
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he said he "regretted" the Government's expected new cap of £75,000 on the costs people pay for care, having recommended £35,000, but said he accepted public finances are in a "pretty tricky state".
He said the proposals, set to be announced later by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, mean "for the first time you don't have to be terrified of needing care".
He said the changes meant people "are effectively insured by the state, which should make them feel much more comfortable".