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Aged care homes accommodation costs

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Depending on your income and assets you may be asked to pay an accommodation contribution or accommodation payment. This is for your aged care home accommodation. This is in addition to the:

  • basic daily fee
  • means-tested care fee
  • fees for extra and additional services.

Your income and assets assessment will determine if you will receive assistance with your accommodation costs. Some people will have their accommodation costs paid in full or in part by the Australian Government. Others will need to pay the price agreed to with the aged care home.

If you are eligible for assistance with your accommodation costs from the Australian Government, the Department of Human Services will tell you and the aged care home the amount that you will need to pay based on an assessment of your income and assets.

If you do not complete an income and assets assessment, you will not be eligible for any Australian Government assistance towards your accommodation costs.

This means your aged care home provider may ask you to pay:

  • the maximum accommodation price (agreed with the aged care home before you start care) and
  • the full cost of your care.

Accommodation prices

Aged care homes must publish their maximum accommodation prices on the My Aged Care website, their own website (if they have one) and in other relevant materials they provide to people thinking about becoming residents.

The published accommodation prices are the maximum an aged care home can charge. You and the aged care home can agree to a lower price. You cannot be charged more than the maximum published price. If there is no published price, the provider cannot charge for an accommodation price.

The prices are shown as:

  • the maximum lump-sum refundable accommodation deposit you could be asked to pay
  • the equivalent rental-style daily accommodation payment you could be asked to pay
  • an example of a combined payment method, such as 50% payment by lump-sum refundable accommodation deposit and 50% rental-style daily accommodation payment.

The aged care home must also publish their extra service fees, if any. These are packages of higher standard accommodation, meals and services which the home can provide at an additional cost. Read more about ‘extra’ service fees.

These prices are shown in the aged care homes finder under the name of the aged care home.

Aged care homes must provide details of the type of accommodation they will provide for a particular accommodation price.

This will let you compare the prices of different room types, for example a private room with an ensuite bathroom.

There may be different maximum accommodation prices for different room types in an aged care home.

Aged care homes wanting to charge accommodation prices of more than $550,000 as a lump sum, or as rental-style payments based on a daily rate, must have their prices approved by the Aged Care Pricing Commissioner.

If you enter an aged care home you must agree an accommodation price in writing with your provider before you enter care.

Your income and assets assessment as at the date you enter care determines if you are eligible for Government assistance with your accommodation costs or if you need to pay the price agreed with the aged care home.

Paying for accommodation

If you are eligible for assistance with your accommodation costs, the amount you can be asked to pay for your accommodation is based on your income and assets, and will be one of the following:

  • No accommodation costs: if your income and assets are below a certain amount, the Australian Government will pay your accommodation costs.
  • An ‘accommodation contribution’: if you need to pay for part of your accommodation, the Australian Government will pay the rest. You can choose if you would like to pay your accommodation costs by a refundable accommodation contribution (RAC), daily accommodation contribution (DAC) or a combination of both.

If you are not eligible for assistance with your accommodation costs and need to pay the full costs of your accommodation, you can be asked to pay:

  • An ‘accommodation payment’. You can choose if you want to pay your accommodation costs by a refundable accommodation deposit (RAD), daily accommodation payment (DAP) or a combination of both.

You will need to negotiate your room price directly with your aged care home.

Fee estimator for aged care homes

You can use the fee estimator tool to help you estimate what fees your aged care home provider may ask you to pay. Use the income and assets checklist to help you fill in the estimator.

Financial hardship assistance

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

Aged care home costs if you received care before 1 July 2014

Aged care home costs are different if you entered an aged care home before 1 July 2014. If you were in an aged care home before 1 July 2014, these changes do not apply and you may continue to be asked to pay your current costs.

If you transfer to a new aged care home provider, you can choose to opt into the new arrangements, or you can choose to keep your current fee arrangements.

Booklet

The Fees for Home Care Packages and Residential Aged Care for People Entering Care from 1 July 2014 booklet provides more details on aged care home costs.


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Last reviewed: 12 April, 2017.