What fees are payable?
Aged Care Fees
Each home sets its own pricing, depending on factors such as the location of the facility and the size of the rooms. The amount you pay for your accommodation depends on your eligibility for government help.
Government help with accommodation costs
If you can afford it, you are expected to pay for your room. However, help with some or all the accommodation costs is available to those that need it. This is determined by a means assessment, but as a general guide:
• if you have income below $27,840 and assets below $50,500, the Australian Government will pay your accommodation costs.
• if you have income above $70,320 or assets above $171,535.20, you will need to pay for the full cost of your accommodation, negotiated and agreed to with the aged care home.
• if you need to pay for part of your accommodation, the Australian Government will pay the rest.
Self-funding your accommodation
If you’re not eligible for government assistance, the amount you pay will depend on:
• the type of room you choose.
• your price negotiations with your aged care home.
The type of room you choose
If you are not eligible for government assistance, the price you agree to pay will vary depending on what type of room you choose. For instance:
• whether you choose a single or shared room, or opt to have a shared bathroom or ensuite
• the size of the room
• the geographical location of the aged care home.
While there is flexibility in how you pay for your accommodation, it’s still important to choose a room within your budget.
Your price negotiations
Whether you have to pay towards your accommodation or not, everyone entering an aged care home needs to agree on a room price in writing with their aged care home. Aged care homes are required to publish their maximum accommodation costs for their various rooms on this website. You and the home can negotiate and agree to a lower price, but you cannot be charged more than the maximum published price.
Do I have to pay the full cost upfront?
No, you have a choice as to how you can pay for your accommodation. The options available are:
• a refundable lump sum amount
• rental-style daily payments, or
• a combination of both.
If you choose to pay an amount as a lump sum, the balance is refunded when you leave the home.
2. Basic Daily Fee.
This fee helps pay for your day-to-day services such as meals, cleaning, facilities management, and laundry. Everyone is expected to pay a basic daily fee to cover these services.
The basic daily fee is 85% of the single person rate of the basic age pension. The government sets the price on 20 March and 20 September each year, changing in line with increases to the age pension.
You pay your basic daily fee directly to your aged care home, generally on a fortnightly or monthly basis. The fee applies for every day you are a resident, including days when you might be away overnight, for example, on holiday or in hospital.
3. Means-tested Care Fee.
The means-tested care fee that you pay will be between $0 to $256.44 per day.
Not everyone will have to pay a means-tested care fee. The exact amount you will pay is determined through a means assessment.
The means-tested care fee is an ongoing fee that you pay towards the cost of your personal and clinical care. Personal care can include help with bathing, dressing, grooming, and going to the toilet. Clinical care can include services like specialised nursing services, medication assistance, or catheter care.
Annual and lifetime caps
There are annual and lifetime caps on means-tested care fees. The maximum an aged care home can charge you is:
• $28,087.41 per year, or
• $67,409.85 in a lifetime.
These caps are indexed in March and September each year. The cap amounts that apply to you are those that are current at the time you reach them.
4. Additional Service Fee.
Many aged care homes offer additional hotel-type services that you have to pay for. These services may include things like a preferred brand of toiletries, access to paid TV services, or arranging a hairdresser.
Some homes allow you to pick and choose what additional services you would like so you only pay for what you use. Others may have a package of additional services they provide and some of them must be agreed to as a condition of living in the home.
5. Extra Service Fee.
Some aged care homes have “extra service” status. This means that they can provide residents with a higher standard of hotel-type services (including specialised menus, higher quality linen or particular room furnishings). This extra service status can apply to the whole home or just to individual rooms.
Aged care homes with this status can charge a regular extra service fee, which pays for a bundle of extra services. If you agree to enter an extra service room, you will have to pay this fee, whether you use the full bundle of extra services provided or not. The fee will be covered in your Extra Service Agreement.
Extra service fees are not subsidised by the government. You will have to pay the full costs.