How much will you pay
Aged care costs (nursing home costs) are the range of fees and charges you need to pay to receive aged care services. The Federal government subsidise a range of aged care services in Australia, but if you have the means, you will be expected to contribute to your aged care costs.
Aged care costs vary depending on the nursing home and type of accommodation, but the Government has regulations in place to ensure everyone can afford to enter aged care.
Basic daily fee
This fee is used to pay for your everyday living costs, such as meals, cleaning and laundry. It is charged at 85% of the single person rate of the Age Pension, even if you are part of a couple.
This rate increases on March 20 and September 20 every year in line with the Age Pension. When you go into aged care, you will receive a letter from the Department of Human Services confirming what your fee will be.
Means-tested care fee
This is an additional fee some people have to pay based on their income and assets that is determined by the Department of Human Services. If you are part of a couple, half of your combined income and assets will be used to decide your fee.
There are annual and lifetime caps applied to the means-tested fee so once you have reached these, you cannot be asked to pay any more. The current cap is set at $25,939.92.
The costs of your accommodation are based on an assessment of your income and assets.
If you have less than $46,500, the Federal Government will pay your fee in full. If you have more than this, you will have to pay some or all of the costs of your accommodation. If you are part of a couple, half of your combined income and assets will be used to assess if you are eligible for Government help.
This can be paid as a Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD), a single payment which is re-paid in full to you or your estate when you leave the nursing home; or as a Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP), a fee which is calculated on a daily basis and is not refundable.
You need to agree how much you will pay for your fees with your nursing home before you move in, but you have up to 28 days after you enter to change your means of payment.
Fees for extra services
You may also have to pay extra fees to cover accommodation or additional services. These are regulated and nursing homes are required to publish these fees on the my aged care website and their websites and promotional material.
Other additional care and fees are not regulated and are agreed between you and your nursing home.
There are services and resources available to advise you on aged care costs, as well as assistance if you are facing financial hardship.
My aged care has a Residential Care Fee Estimator that helps you estimate the costs you may be asked to pay for your nursing home.