Aged Care Fees in Australia are complicated, confusing and complex! Even if you Google the terminology, it can still be overwhelming and difficult to understand and know what is best for your family based on your individual circumstances. Are there financial options and exactly how can you decrease fees and protect your estate? Often it is best to leave it to an expert Aged Care Financial Planner such as MoneyPlan who are able to best guide and assist families of loved ones entering aged care.
The costs can be broken down into 4 components as follows:
- Daily Care Fees– every Resident pays these and they are capped at 85% of the single full aged pension, so currently $60.86 per day and are revised on 20th September and 20thMarch every year.
- Means Tested Care Fee– are calculated using a formula based on the residents income and assets. This can vary greatly because of the rules of what is included and excluded. The fee can vary from $0 to around $400.08 per day. There is a Yearly Means Tested Fee Cap of $32,718.57, and a lifetime Means Tested Fee Cap of $78,524.69 (As of 1st October 2023)
- Extra Services or Additional Services Fees– some facilities charge this fee at varying rates. It could be for services such as a daily newspaper or wine with dinner. Only you can decide if this is worth the cost.
- Accommodation Payment – (this used to be the bond prior to 2016). This can be paid to the facility in whole or in part as either cash which is called a Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD) or as a Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP). The DAP is calculated as an interest payment on the amount of Accommodation Payment that is not paid as a RAD. The interest rate is fixed by the Government and as of January 2024 was 8.38%. The Australian Government is currently guaranteeing all RADs paid to an accredited Aged Care home, such as Homestyle.
You pay some or all of these above fees dependent upon your loved one’s circumstances. Pensions can be affected by the way that aged care is funded and paid. If you want the right advice and the best outcome, it is important to seek advice from a specialist in Aged Care fees. Be sure to do your own research and due diligence as you would with any purchase or service you use.