When you move into residential care, you will be asked to contribute towards the cost of your care. The Government also pays a large part of the costs for most residents.
The fees may look confusing as they are divided into four categories, but the reason for this is because each category has a different purpose:
1. ACCOMMODATION PAYMENT
Pays for your room and amenities within the aged care service – paid as a refundable lump sum or a daily fee
2. BASIC DAILY CONTRIBUTION FEE
A contribution towards your cost of living expenses including meals, electricity, laundry, cleaning, nursing care etc.
3. MEANS-TESTED DAILY FEE
You may be asked to contribute more than the basic fee towards your care based on your income and assets. This reduces the amount the Government pays on your behalf.
4. ADDITIONAL FEES
The service provider may offer you a package of additional services for an extra daily fee.
How much you will be asked to pay for your accommodation will depend on the service provider and possibly even the room you choose. You can check the maximum prices on the service's website or at www.myagedcare.gov.au. If you only have low levels of income and assets (and qualify as a low-means resident), the Government will subsidise this cost. This means that you may pay a lower fee than is advertised.
How much you are asked to contribute towards your living and care costs will depend on your income and assets. All residents are asked to pay the basic daily fee, which is set at an amount equal to 85% of the basic single rate of Age Pension. You only pay more than this (as a means-tested fee) if you have income and assets over certain thresholds.
The additional service fees may be mandatory or optional, and are negotiated directly with the service provider as a set daily price.
Before making any decisions, it is strongly recommended that you contact an accredited aged care adviser to talk through the care options available to you, the costs associated with them and the best way to restructure your finances to pay for the appropriate care.
Getting the correct information and advice can help you understand your options and the implications for your cash flow, Centrelink or other concession cards, aged care fees, taxation and estate planning. This will allow you to make the best choices for your future care, security and happiness.
Disclaimer: Prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information in this article, Olive Grove Financial Advice recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Information in this article was correct and current as of 23 May 2022.
Olive Grove Financial Advice is operated by Bill Savellis through The Financial Advisor (Australia) Pty Ltd ABN 72 619 546 431, who is a Corporate Authorised Representative (No. 1278394) of Havana Financial Services Pty Ltd.