Information on Resident Fees and Charges
The most frequently asked question when persons are considering entering aged care services/homes relates to the cost.
From 1st July, 2014, persons using aged care services who have been assessed by Centrelink as having the financial capacity, are required by the Government to contribute to their care and accommodation.
The following information outlines the various fees and charges that are associated with aged care. These charges will vary depending on individual financial circumstances. Don’t stress however, we are here to assist you and if you wish, we invite you to visit the Beaumont Care Aged Care Information Hub, and we will sit down with you, and fathom through the costs.
Community Care Fees
From 1.7.14, the cost to access a subsidized community care package will increase for those persons who are deemed by the Government to have the financial capacity to pay.
- A Home Care Package after 20 March 2015 may cost you one or both of the following:
- A basic daily fee, equivalent to 17.5% of the single basic aged pension – $136.78 per person, per fortnight (from 20 March 2015 to 19 September 2015). This rate increases on 20 March and 20 September each year in line with changes to the Age Pension. This applies to each person receiving a Home Care Package, even if you are a member of a couple.
- an income-tested care fee if your income is over a certain amount. The Department of Human Services works out the income-tested care fee based on an assessment of your financial information.
- You cannot be asked to pay an income-tested care fee if you have a yearly income below the following:
- Individual person – $25,264.20
- member of a couple but now separated due to illness (individual income) – $24,796.20
- A member of a couple living together (combined income) – $39,202.80
- There are annual and lifetime caps that apply to the income-tested care fee.
- $5,105.74 per year for part-pensioners
- $10,211.48 per year for self-funded retirees.These caps are indexed.
- You will need to complete and lodge an income assessment form.
- If you are a couple, half of your combined income is included in the assessment, regardless of which partner earns the income.
Charges for Accommodation
From 1st July, new residents entering a Home are required to pay for their accommodation according to their ‘means’ as well as for their care and services. All new residents who have the financial capacity may be required to pay a “Bond” (now called Refundable Accommodation Deposit or RAD) or an equivalent Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP), or a combination of RAD and DAP.
All aged care providers have been required by the Government to put a price on their bedrooms, equivalent to a “Bond” (now RAD), and have had to describe the accommodation, care and services which they offer plus the price for accessing accommodation – ‘a bed’ – on a new website – “My Aged Care”. The Government will reduce payments to Aged Care Providers when a resident has the capacity to pay for the accommodation which they choose.
RADs which are paid in full on entry to the Home will be fully refunded when the resident leaves the Home unless arrangements have been made with the home to deduct daily care fees from the RAD.
Charges for Care and Services
Additional to RADs, from 1st July, new residents who have the capacity to pay, are required to pay more for their care and services. The amount which they will be required to pay will be identified by Centrelink via a means tested care fee. For those residents who are assessed as being able to pay for their care and services, the Aged Care Provider will receive less funding from the Government.
These charges apply to older persons who are accessing residential aged care, however an annual cap is applied to these additional care fees – $25,528.71 for people in residential aged care. A lifetime cap of $61,268.92 is also applied. When this cap is reached, the means tested care fees payable by the resident cease.
Older persons will still be required to pay 85% of the full aged pension when they are living in residential aged care.
Additional information is available on the Department of Social Services website.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What will happen to those persons who cannot afford to pay these costs?
Beaumont Care will always cater for elderly folk who are financially disadvantaged. The Government will continue to provide some support for older persons who do not have the level of identified assets and income which requires them to pay these new additional charges.
2. Who is eligible for admission to an aged care facility?
A person must be of pensionable age or in receipt of an invalid pension to be eligible for residential aged care. The resident must also be assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) as requiring residential aged care.
3. How are my Assets Assessed to determine the amount of RAD or DAP?
Centrelink is the government agency that assesses assets when folk enter Residential Aged Care. It is recommended that an ‘Asset Assessment’ is obtained by residents before seeking entry to care. Charges may be subsidised by the Government depending on your asset assessment. You can contact Centrelink on 1800 500 853 to obtain the relevant forms.
3. How is the Basic Daily Care Fee calculated?
All fees are set by the Government. Fees are based on the basic Aged Pension and a percentage of not more than 85% of this sum is charged. This fee is a contribution towards your daily living costs such as meals, cleaning, laundry, heating and nursing care.
4. How is the Means Tested Care Fee calculated?
All fees are determined by Centrelink based on each older person’s income and assets.
The annual cap for these fees is $25,000 with a lifetime cap of $60,000. Once these annual and/or lifetime caps have been exceeded, the Government pays the required care fees to the aged care provider.
A Fee Estimator is available on the My Aged Care Website and will help you estimate the costs your aged care Home may ask you to pay. Visit Residential Care Fee Estimator.
4. When will my fees start being charged?
Fees will be charged from the date of your admission to aged care. If you are required to pay a RAD or a DAP, you have up to 28 days to decide your method of payment to access your chosen room and to advise the aged care provider.
Fees will cease on the day that your room is made available for use by another resident after your discharge.
5. Will my means-tested care fee change over time?
Yes, your means-tested care fee may change. If your income and assets change, your assessment will be updated. The Government will let you and your aged care provider know if your means-tested care fees have changed.
If your fees decrease, you may receive a refund from your aged care home. If your fees increase you may be asked to pay more; however, this will not be backdated.
6. Do I have to pay the fees if away from the facility?
Yes, you are still required to pay the basic daily care fee, accommodation charges and, if relevant, the means tested care fee if you are in hospital or while on a holiday (i.e. while still occupying a room or having it reserved).
7. Can a resident refuse to have their means assessed by Centrelink?
Yes, a resident who refuses to have their income and assets assessed will not be eligible for government assistance with their fees and accommodation. Department of Social Services will write to residents seeking income and asset information. If information is not provided, the resident can be asked to pay the maximum mean tested care fee based on the cost of their care and an accommodation payment agreed with the Home.
If you have further questions, please call Colleen on 0499 77 98 77 or email [email protected]