The fees payable in residential aged care are regulated by government. The range of fees may include the following.
1. Accommodation payment
You will be asked to pay an accommodation payment as either a lump sum (refundable accommodation deposit â€“ RAD) or a daily accommodation payment (DAP) or a mixture of both. This pays for your room and access to amenities available within the service. The amount is set by the service based on a range of commercial factors. The RAD can be converted to a DAP at the current interest rate of 6.15% per annum. You can choose to pay for your accommodation as a RAD, DAP or combination of both.
2. Basic daily care fee
The basic daily care fee is paid by all residents. It is set at 85% of the single age pension (less the minimum pension supplement and the energy supplement) and is indexed every six months (March and September). The current rate (at 12 February 2016) is $47.86 per day. This fee is a contribution towards your living expenses in care which includes meals, cleaning, laundry, electricity and water services.
3. Means-tested care fee
Depending on the combined assessment of your income and assets you may be asked to contribute more towards the cost of your care through a means-tested care fee. To have this fee assessed you will need to complete the â€˜Permanent Residential Aged Care – Request for a Combined Assets and Income Assessment (SA457)â€™ form. If you do not complete this form you may be asked to pay for your actual cost of care up to annual and lifetime care fee caps. This fee is reassessed each quarter based on changes to your finances.
4.Â Additional services fees
You may be able to access additional services for a fee. This can be on a user pays basis or you can pay for a package of items for a set daily fee if offered by the aged care service. This package may come as part of your room (extra-services room) or may be an optional package that you can select. These additional services could include a choice of meals, daily newspaper, glass of wine or beer with meals, hairdressing, physiotherapy etc. You should discuss the options with your aged care service and ask for a schedule of services and fees.
Establishing the means tested care fee
The means tested care fee is an additional contribution towards the cost of care that some people may be required to pay. The Department of Human Services will work out if you are required to pay this fee based on an assessment of your income and assets, and will advise you of the amount.
Everyone moving into an aged care home needs to have their income and assets assessed by the Department of Human Services or the Department of Veteransâ€™ Affairs. To have this fee assessed you need to complete and submit the â€˜Permanent Residential Aged Care – Request for a Combined Assets and Income Assessment (SA457)â€™ form. This assessment will be used to determine the costs you could be asked to pay and the amount of government assistance you will receive for your aged care costs and accommodation costs. The Department of Human Services will advise you and the aged care home of the fees payable for your circumstances.
If you do not complete this document you will not be eligible for any Australian Government assistance towards your aged care home costs, and you will be charged a significantlyÂ higher means-tested fee (up to $208.68 per day paid until the annual cap of $25,731.05 (as at 12 February 2016) is reached).