How much will you need to contribute towards your Home Care Package or residential aged care room?
Here is an introduction to My Aged Care’s ‘Fee Estimator’ tool, and a summary of aged care costs in Australia.
Australia’s supportive aged care system is government subsidised, and the amount an individual must contribute towards their care depends on their financial situation – specifically their assets and income.
A senior receiving the full aged pension may not need to contribute much extra towards the cost of aged care services, while a homeowner with significant assets and income may be required to pay several fees, contributions, and payments.
My Aged Care Fee Estimator
My Aged Care’s Fee Estimator is an online tool that can help you plan for your future.
It is a simple calculator that can give you a general idea of the aged care fees that will apply to you, depending on your circumstances.
You can use the fee estimator to estimate both Home Care Package costs, or what it will cost you to move into a room at a residential aged care facility.
The calculator will ask you about:
- Your relationship status (are you single, married or in a de facto relationship?)
- Your annual income and total financial assets (combined with your partner if you are in a relationship)
- Your home (if you own one), mortgage/ownership details, and who is currently living in it.
The figures the Fee Estimator provides are approximate. The exact amount you pay will depend on your financial situation when you enter care and the provider you choose.
You can try the My Aged Care fee estimator here to get a general idea of residential aged care or home care package costs: Fee estimator: How much will I pay? | My Aged Care
At Aged Care Decisions we can help you at every stage of your aged care journey. We are a FREE aged care placement service that helps thousands of Australian families each month.
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Aged care fees and charges in Australia
The Australian Government’s Schedule of Fees and Charges for Residential and Home Care is updated quarterly. The current schedule can be found here: Schedule of Fees and Charges for Residential and Home Care
In Australia, fees and charges for residential aged care are broken down into three areas:
Basic care fee:
Every aged care resident pays the same basic care fee. This is a standard fee that is not means tested. The basic care fee covers day-to-day living costs in the facility including meals, cleaning, laundry, and administration. It is usually a monthly or fortnightly payment.
The basic daily care fee is set at 85% of the standard full aged pension and is currently $60.86 per day. If you are on a pension, this fee will be paid from your pension, directly to the aged care facility.
The means-tested fee is calculated based on a resident’s income and assets, including their home if they own one. This is an ongoing fee that contributes to the cost of personal and clinical care.
Means-tested fees are determined by an assessment coordinated by Centrelink or the Department of Veteran Affairs.
The maximum means tested care fee an aged care home can charge you as of 20 September 2023 is:
- $32,718.57 per year, or
- $78,524.69 in a lifetime.
Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD) or Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP):
The Refundable Accommodation Deposit covers the cost of a room in a residential aged care facility. It is sometimes referred to as a ‘aged care bond’.
The RAD is negotiated between the resident and the aged care facility. The average RAD in Australia is about $470,000 but prices can vary greatly depending on location and facility.
The Australian Government will cover the RAD if a resident has income below $32,331.00 and assets below $58,500. A resident with an annual income over $76,096.50 and more than $197,735.20 in assets will be asked to pay the full RAD for their accommodation.
The RAD is normally fully refunded to a family upon exit. This amount can also be elected to be paid as a Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP), which is non-refundable.
Here is some more information about Refundable Accommodation Deposits and how they can be organised and paid: Rad in Aged Care | Rad Payment Aged Care | Aged Care Decisions
Here is more information about the DAP (Daily Accommodation Payment) and how it is calculated: All about the Maximum Permissible Interest Rate (MPIR) (agedcaredecisions.com.au)
Additional or ‘extra’ service fees
In addition to the three categories of fees and charges described above, aged care homes may offer additional services such as hairdressing, pay TV, specialised menus, or custom fittings and furnishings. If you agree to additional services or an ‘extra services’ room, extra fees may be negotiated with the facility. Additional and extra fees are not subsidised by the government.
What does a Home Care Package cost?
Home Care Packages are allocated to Australian seniors across four levels, with fees applicable at each level, depending on the recipient’s income and assets.
Basic daily care fee
This is a non-means tested fee that ranges from a maximum of $11.22 to $12.53 depending on which Home Care Package level you are allocated. Whether you need to pay this fee depends on your provider – most providers recommended by Aged Care Decisions do not charge this fee.
Income tested fee
This fee is determined by Centrelink after you have completed an income and assets test. This fee can be up to $35.95 per day.
Service and management fees
These extra fees are taken out of your package and vary depending on providers.
How are income-tested (or means tested) aged care fees calculated?
If an individual’s income and assets exceed the following thresholds they will be required to contribute to their aged care, over and above the basic daily care fees:
Income: $32,331.00 per year
The income test considers:
- Government income support payments
- Interest earned on your bank accounts or other investments.
- Rental income
- Business income
- Superannuation income
- Overseas income
- Private trusts
- Compensation payments
The assets test considers:
- Deposits with financial institutions
- Managed investments
- Motor vehicles and boats
- Foreign assets
- Your superannuation balance
- Real estate (outside of the family home)
- Household contents and personal effects
- Any special collections or items of value
Using the My Aged Care Fee Estimator
The My Aged Care Fee Estimator is a helpful tool that can give you a rough idea of what aged care will cost you, based on your income and assets.
Seeking professional financial advice is always recommended as everyone’s circumstances are different. To confirm your aged care costs, you will also need to undertake an aged care assessment and income assessment. You can find more information about these assessments here:
How can I find a suitable aged care provider?
This is where Aged Care Decisions can help. As Australia’s leading aged care placement service, we are passionate about helping families through the aged care journey.
We use our custom-built software to match you with current residential aged care vacancies or home care package providers that suit your budget, location, care needs and personal preferences.
We then create a custom aged care Options Report for you, with no fuss, no stress and at no cost to you.
It’s easy to compare aged care options when you have all the information you need in one place.
Our service is 100% free for families because providers pay us a set fee on placement – so we are 100% independent and completely unbiased.