Fees for people entering residential aged care from 1 July 2014

As a residential aged care provider, you can ask people in government-subsidised care to pay some fees and costs. Fees vary depending on the resident’s financial situation. These arrangements apply to people who first entered care after 1 July 2014.

Current rates

Schedule of Fees and Charges for Residential and Home Care

This schedule applies to residential and home care recipients who first entered care on or after 1 July 2014. It also applies to those who entered care before this date and have chosen to be covered by the 1 July 2014 arrangements.

Post-1 July 2014 fee arrangements

The fees on this page only apply to residents entering your care from 1 July 2014.

The fee arrangements are different for people who entered into a resident agreement before 1 July 2014. See Fees for People who Entered Residential Aged Care before 1 July 2014.

Opting in to the post-1 July 2014 fee arrangements

Residents who entered care before 1 July 2014 and are transferring into your care will stay on their pre-1 July 2014 fee arrangements. They can choose to be assessed under the post-1 July 2014 arrangements before they enter your service.

You must provide some specific information to these residents. These obligations are set out in Section 13 of the User Rights Principles 2014.

If the resident would like to opt-in to the post-1 July 2014 fee arrangements, you must:

Basic daily fee

Everyone who lives in an aged care home can be asked to pay the basic daily fee. This fee is also called a standard resident contribution in aged care legislation. The fee helps to cover the costs of daily living, like meals, cleaning, laundry, heating and cooling.

The maximum fee is 85% of the single basic age pension. The fee amount changes with the pension amount every March and September.

The Department of Veteran’s Affairs pays the basic daily fee for former Prisoners of War and Victoria Cross recipients.

Means-tested care fee

The means-tested care fee is on top of the basic daily fee. The fee is different for everyone because it’s based on their:

Means assessments

Residents can submit an Aged Care Calculation Form to Services Australia either before or after starting aged care. Services Australia will complete a means assessment for them to determine whether they need to pay this fee.

If the resident has a means assessment before they enter your service, they should have a pre-commencement fee advice letter which will say whether they need to pay this fee.

If the resident does the means assessment after they enter your service, Services Australia will let you and the resident know the outcome of the means assessment.

Services Australia will automatically set the fee at the lower amount of the resident’s means-tested amount or their cost of care.

When a person first enters your care, you will receive an interim subsidy until you complete the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI). Once you complete the ACFI, you will be paid the subsidy and primary supplements less the means-tested care fee for the resident backdated to their date of entry to your service.

Services Australia will either:

  • deduct subsidy amounts already paid from future payments if you owe money
  • add subsidy amounts to future payments if they owe you money

This information booklet has worked examples of the means assessment.

Information Booklet on Fees from 1 July 2014 – Residential Aged Care and Home Care Packages

An information booklet on fees for Home Care Packages and residential aged care, for people entering care from 1 July 2014.

Means not disclosed

The resident can choose not to disclose their information to Services Australia. If they choose not to, they will have means not disclosed status. If this is the case, Services Australia will notify you, and you can ask the resident to pay their full cost of care.

You can also ask the resident to pay the agreed accommodation price.

A resident may have been given the means not disclosed status before you complete their ACFI. If this is the case, the means-tested care fee is set to the maximum possible subsidy reduction for:

  • activities of daily living – high
  • behaviour – high
  • complex health care – high
  • oxygen supplement
  • enteral feeding supplement – non-bolus

Once ACFI is known, Services Australia will amend the resident’s means not disclosed amount to the ACFI amount and backdate it to their date of entry to your service.

The DHS will either:

  • deduct subsidy amounts already paid from future payments if you owe money
  • add subsidy amounts to future payments if they owe you money

Annual and lifetime caps

Annual and lifetime caps limit how much a person will need to pay in means-tested care fees. This includes residents with means not disclosed status.

Once a resident reaches the annual cap, the amount of means-tested care fee they can be asked to pay is reduced to zero. They start paying the fee again on the next anniversary of the date they first entered aged care.

Services Australia will let you know when the resident has reached their annual cap.

Once a resident reaches the lifetime cap they will no longer have to pay any means-tested care fees. The Government will pay the full cost of their care.

A resident may have paid an income-tested care fee for a Home Care Package before they moved into an aged care home. The amount they have paid in income-tested care fees will count towards their annual and lifetime caps.

The caps only apply to means-tested care fees. Residents may still need to pay the basic daily fee and any accommodation costs.

Means-tested care fee reviews

Services Australia reviews residents’ means-tested care fees quarterly. This ensures each resident is paying the right fee for their circumstances.

A resident’s means-tested care fee may change when:

  • their financial circumstances change
  • the means testing thresholds are indexed

Services Australia will send you a letter if there is a change to the fee. You may owe the resident a refund as a result.

Residents should contact Services Australia if they have a major change in their financial situation.

Accommodation costs

All residents must agree to an accommodation price before they enter care. Whether you can ask the resident to pay this amount will depend on their means assessment.

Services Australia will let you and the resident know if:

  • the resident will need to pay the agreed accommodation price 
  • the Australian Government will pay some or all of the resident’s accommodation costs through the accommodation supplement

If the resident is eligible for Government assistance with some of their accommodation costs, they will need to pay their contribution as either:

  • a refundable accommodation contribution
  • a daily accommodation contribution
  • a combination of these two

If the resident is not eligible for Government assistance with their accommodation costs, they will need to pay the full costs of their accommodation as either:

  • a refundable accommodation deposit
  • a daily accommodation payment
  • a combination of these two

In the accommodation agreement, you must record:

  • the resident’s date of entry to care
  • the agreed room price for the resident’s accommodation
  • all possible payment arrangements for the resident

Extra services fees

Providers with extra service status can charge extra service fees.

The Aged Care Pricing Commissioner approves extra service fees. These fees must be agreed and set out in an extra services agreement.

Extra services are hotel-type services, such as better-than-average accommodation, food and services.

Providers with extra services status can charge GST for any item included in the extra service package that is not GST-exempt.

View the current list of providers with extra services status.

Additional service fees

With the resident’s agreement, you can charge a fee for services that:

  • you can demonstrate are better than what must be provided under Schedule 1 of the Quality of Care Principles 2014 (the Principles)
  • are not specified care and services in Schedule 1 of the Principles
  • are not covered by the payment of an extra services fee or an accommodation payment
  • are not services you’re required to deliver under your responsibilities as a provider

There are some types of care and services in Schedule 1, Part 3 of the Principles that, with the resident’s agreement, may attract an additional service fee based on the resident’s Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) assessment.

For example, you can charge a fee for extra:

  • nursing
  • allied health services
  • incontinence aids
  • mobility equipment
  • specialised bedding

What you cannot charge an additional service fee for

You cannot charge additional service fees for care and services in Schedule 1, Part 3 of the Principles if the resident:

  • has a high category in 1 or more domains in their (ACFI) assessment
  • has a medium category in 2 or more domains in their ACFI assessment
  • doesn’t have an ACFI classification
  • is a high-care residential respite care recipient

You cannot charge residents for ‘asset replacement’ and ‘capital refurbishment’ type fees. This includes, but isn’t limited to:

  • maintenance inside and outside the aged care home
  • any repairs or replacements necessary because of normal wear and tear
  • general refurbishment of the resident’s room after they have left the aged care home
  • services or activities that would form part of the general operation of the aged care home, or are required in order to deliver residential care to the individual
  • employment of administration staff where the staff member is primarily undertaking activities related to the general operation of the aged care home 
  • capital costs, asset management or replacement

Read more about managing additional service fees, including what to do if you have charged, or are charging fees that aren’t permitted.

When can fees vary?

Fees can vary when:

  • a resident goes on temporary leave
  • a resident gets financial hardship assistance
  • a resident who entered care before 1 July 2014 is transferring into your care and chooses to be assessed under the post-1 July 2014 fee arrangements
  • your accommodation supplement rate changes
  • rates are indexed
  • a resident’s ACFI increases
  • a resident reaches their annual or lifetime caps on the means-tested care fee

Services Australia will advise you of these changes after the next quarterly review.

Residents in financial hardship can apply for help if they need it. You can also apply for financial hardship assistance on their behalf. Financial hardship assistance can help to pay the basic daily fee, the means-tested care fee and daily accommodation payments.

Agreeing on and recording fees and payments

You must:

If you are charging additional service fees, you must provide the resident with an itemised account of the services and their costs.

The itemised account should clearly list the individual services and their costs. It’s not enough to group services together or give an overall cost.

The frequency of providing the itemised account should be:

  • agreed with the resident
  • in a reasonable timeframe — for example, monthly if you charge fees on a monthly basis
  • only while the resident is accessing, and benefiting from, the agreed additional services

Contact

Residential aged care and home care fees contact

Contact us about fees for residential respite care, home care (basic daily fee, income-tested care fee) and residential aged care (means-tested care fee, income tested fee, additional service fees, time extensions to enter into accommodation agreements, accommodation payments, bonds and charges).

FPLBFeesandPayments [at] health.gov.au

View contact

Last updated: 
28 February 2020
Tags: 

Help us improve health.gov.au

If you would like a response please use the enquiries form instead.