Fees and charges
What you have to pay enter Residential Aged Care: costs explained Most of the costs associated with entering Residential Aged Care is paid and subsidised by the Australian Government. However, as with most aged care services, you may be asked to contribute to the cost of your care.
Here is a overview of the costs you may be asked to pay depending on your financial situation.
Basic daily fee
A basic daily fee is used to contribute towards your day-to-day living costs such as meals, cleaning, laundry, heating and cooling. Everyone entering an aged care home can be asked to pay this fee.
The current rate (from 1/7/17) for the maximum basic daily fee for new residents (including respite residents) is up to $49.07 per day. This rate increases on 20 March and 20 September each year in line with changes to the Age Pension.
How is the basic daily fee rate worked out?
For new residents, the maximum basic daily fee is 85% of the single person rate of the basic Age Pension.
Further information on the Age Pension is available on the Department of Human Services website.
If you are a veteran, you may be eligible for assistance from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. For more information, contact Department of Veterans’ Affairs on 133 254 or 1800 555 254 (for regional callers).
How will I know what rate I should pay?
When you enter an aged care home you will receive a letter from the Department of Human Services confirming your maximum basic daily fee.
Does my basic daily fee change or increase?
Yes. Your basic daily fee will change March and September each year and is indexed in line with increases to the Age Pension. The Department of Human Services will let you know when the increases occur but you can also find the current rates of the basic daily fee on the Schedule of Residential Fees and Charges.
Means-tested care fee
You may be required to make an additional contribution towards the cost of care. 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.
There are annual and lifetime caps that apply to the means-tested care fee. Once these caps are reached, you cannot be asked to pay any more means-tested care fees. Any income-tested care fees you have paid in a Home Care Package prior to moving into an aged care home will also contribute to your annual and lifetime caps.
This is for your accommodation in the 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 which applies to you based on an assessment of your income and assets.
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.
What if I entered an aged care home before 1 July 2014?
The costs for aged care homes changed on 1 July 2014. If you entered a home before 1 July 2014 you will continue to pay the costs under the old fee arrangement.
How can I get more information?
Contact David in our Finance Department by calling 02 4935 0300. They will be happy to help with any queries you might have.
You can use the MyAgedCare Residential Care Fee Estimator to help you estimate what costs your may have to pay.