In Australia, we are fortunate to have access to quality Aged Care that is subsidised by the government. This means everyone, regardless of their financial circumstances, receives the care they need.

However, depending on your situation, Aged Care services aren’t completely free and if you’re in a financial position to do so, the government expects you to make some contribution towards the cost of your care.

Home Care Package Fees

The Income Tested Fee

If you are receiving a Home Care Package you may be required to pay an income-tested fee towards the cost of your care. This fee is an extra contribution you may be asked to make, depending on your financial circumstances. Your contribution is determined through an income assessment, based on your individual income, including your pension. This assessment requires you to answer a series of detailed questions about your personal and financial circumstances. The actual fee you end up paying will depend on how your income has been assessed, the level of the package you have been allocated and the fees your provider plans to charge you.

The Basic Daily Fee

The Basic Daily Fee is set by the government and is a percentage of the single basic age pension. This fee is relevant for both Aged Care Homes and Home Care Packages. If you’re in an Aged Care Home, the fee is 85% of the pension. The fee varies depending on the level of your Home Care Package, but ranges between 15.68% – 17.50% of the pension. The Basic Daily Fee adjusts twice a year, in line with the age pension changes.

The Basic Daily Fee and the income-tested fee are paid for every single day your Home Care Package funds are assigned to you. You may be asked to pay these fees on a fortnightly or monthly basis.

For an estimate of what your Home Care fees are likely to be, there is a handy ‘Home Care Fee Estimator’ on the government’s My Aged Care website.

Exit Fees

If you decide to end your agreement with your Home Care provider, they may deduct an exit amount to cover administration costs. Not all providers charge an exit fee and it’s something you should check before signing an agreement with them. If they do charge an exit fee, they must let you know upfront. You can also negotiate exit fees with a provider before signing an agreement with them. They may be willing to waive the exit fee, or at least reduce the amount.

Residential Aged Care Fees and Charges

There are a number of fees and other costs associated with Aged Care Homes that you need to be aware of before you enter into an agreement with a Home.

Basic Daily Fee

There is a basic daily fee which helps pay for day-to-day services, such as meals and cleaning. All residents are expected to pay a certain amount to cover the costs of these services. This fee is calculated at eighty-five per cent of the single person rate of the basic age pension. This fee is paid directly to your aged care home and applies every day you’re a resident there, including days when you’re away. 

There is detailed information about the fees and charges you’ll be required to pay when you go into residential care on the government’s My Aged Care website. You can use the ‘Residential (nursing home) Fee Estimator’ to help you work out an estimate of the costs and fees you’ll be asked to pay when going into residential care.

This estimate is based on answers you provide to a series of questions about your personal and financial situation, such as whether you have a partner, whether or not you own your home, the value of your home and the value of any other assets you may have. 

Accommodation Payment

How much you pay for this depends on your income and assets on your financial situation when you go into residential care. If you have more than $50,000 in assets or annual income, you will be required to make this payment which varies according to the type of accommodation you choose. You have various options when it comes to paying for your accommodation, whether that involves an upfront, refundable payment or daily payment. It’s important to understand how each payment option works as well as your rights and responsibilities under the agreement you’re entering into.

For expert advice on fees and charges associated with Home Care Packages and Residential Aged Care Homes, contact CareAbout on 1300 036 028.