From 1 July 2014, there are things you need to know about the fees you may need to pay for aged care. Changes to fees are part of reforms to the aged care system to make it more sustainable and affordable. More information on the aged care reforms is available on the Department of Health website.
How do I access aged care from 1 July 2014?
You will need an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) assessment to access a Home Care Package or move into an aged care home. The ACAT assessment is free and the eligibility requirements have not changed. However, there has been some changes to how long an ACAT approval is valid for.
The costs of a Home Care Package have changed
From 1 July 2014, the rules for income-tested care fees have been strengthened so that people who have the financial capacity to pay will be asked to contribute to the costs of their care. Your income will determine the income-tested care fee you may be asked to pay.
You can use our Home Care Fee Estimator or call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to help you estimate the fees and charges you may have to pay towards your Home Care Package. Before you call you should have your financial information ready, especially details of your various forms of income.
There are annual and lifetime caps in place to limit any income-tested care fees you may be asked to pay.
You can apply for financial hardship assistance if you believe you will have financial difficulty contributing to the cost of your Home Care Package.
Residential aged care fees and payments have changed
The new arrangements mean that your income and assets will be taken into account in establishing the fees and payments you may be asked to pay. The basic daily fee has not been affected by these new arrangements.
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 home. Some people will have their accommodation costs met in full or 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.
You can use our Residential Care Fee Estimator or call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to help you estimate the fees and charges you may have to pay towards your residential aged care. Before you call you should have your financial information ready, especially details of your various forms of income and assets.
When you move into an aged care home, you will negotiate an agreement that will set out the fees and charges you will be asked to pay.
You can apply for financial hardship assistance if you believe you will have financial difficulty contributing to your residential aged care costs.
What if I started receiving aged care services before 1 July 2014?
If you started receiving aged care services before 1 July 2014, you will not be charged any more than your service provider can currently charge you.
However, we suggest you read about the reforms to aged care as they may apply to you in the future. If you change the type of service you receive or if you leave and re-enter aged care, then changes resulting from the reforms may apply to you.