Fees and charges

The Australian Government pays for the bulk of aged care in Australia. But as with all aged care services, you may be asked to contribute to the cost of your care if you can afford to do so. You will never be denied the care you need because you cannot afford it.
 
Moving into an aged care home may require one-off payments or deposits, as well as ongoing fees for your care, accommodation and daily living expenses.
 
How much you pay depends on your financial situation. However, there are strong protections in place to make sure that care is affordable for everyone. The Australian Government sets the maximum fees for care and daily living expenses, and there are also rules about how much you can be asked to pay for your accommodation.
 
What you will pay will be set out in a Resident Agreement between you and your aged care provider.

What types of fees are there?

You may be asked to pay one or more of the following fees in residential care: 
  • a basic daily fee: this covers living costs such as meals, power and laundry. For some people this is the only fee they are required to pay.
  • a means-tested care fee: this is an additional contribution towards the cost of care that some people may be required to pay. The Department of Human Services will work out if you are required to pay this fee based on an assessment of your income and assets, and will advise you of the amount. 
  • an accommodation payment: this is for  your accommodation in the aged care home. Some people will have their accommodation costs met in full or in part by the Australian Government, while others will need to pay the accommodation price agreed with the aged care home. The Department of Human Services will advise you which applies to you based on an assessment of your income and assets.
  • fees for extra or additional optional services: additional fees may apply if you choose a higher standard of accommodation or additional services. These vary from home to home. Your aged care provider can provide you with details of these services and the fees that apply.
There are annual and lifetime caps in place to limit the amount of the means-tested care fee you will need to pay. 

Fee estimator for aged care homes

You can use our fee estimator to help you estimate what costs your aged care home may ask you to pay. The Fees for Home Care Packages and Residential Aged Care for People Entering Care from 1 July 2014 information booklet provides more details on aged care home costs.

Financial advice

You may want to consult with a financial adviser about your finances. There are various government services and resources that can help you obtain appropriate financial advice. It's a good idea to do some research to see what options work best for you. 

Are there any provisions for financial hardship?

If you believe you will face financial hardship in paying your aged care costs, you can ask to be considered for financial hardship assistance.