How much does aged care cost?

If you can afford to, you’re expected to help with the cost of government-funded aged care. How much you pay depends on things like your finances, the services you receive and care provider fees. There are limits and caps for some fees. Providers must get approval to change fees for some services.

Costs vary for each person

The Australian Government subsidises a range of aged care services for eligible older people.

If you can afford to, you’re expected to help with the cost of government-funded services. How much you pay depends on:

  • your financial situation
  • how many services you receive
  • the types of services you receive
  • where you receive the care
  • the fees the aged care provider charges.

Before you can access government-funded aged care services, you need to apply for an assessment on the My Aged Care website or call the My Aged Care contact centre. This assessment will determine if you're eligible.

Entry-level care in your home

You can receive entry-level support in your home and in the community through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.

You are expected to contribute to the cost of the services you receive, if you can afford to do so. Any fees you are asked to pay will be agreed between you and the service provider before you start receiving services.

Find out more about Commonwealth Home Support Programme costs.

Complex care in your home

You can receive care in your home for more complex needs through a home care package.

You may need to have an income assessment to work out what fees you need to pay. Your care provider may ask you to pay:

  • a basic daily fee
  • an income tested care fee
  • fees for additional services not otherwise covered by your home care package.

Find out more about:

Residential care in aged care homes

You can receive accommodation and 24 hour support in an aged care (nursing) home.

You may need to have a means asessment to work out what fees you need to pay. Your provider may ask you to pay:

  • a basic daily fee
  • a means tested care fee
  • accommodation costs
  • fees for extra services
  • fees for additional services.

After you enter an aged care home, the staff will assess the level of care that you need.

Find out more about:

Short-term care

You can receive short-term care in your home, an aged care home or in the community.

You may have to pay a fee for each day you receive care. This fee is a percentage of the single person rate of the Age Pension. It’s higher if you receive the care in an aged care home.

Find out more about:

How aged care fees are controlled for home and residential care

Maximum amounts and caps

The Australian Government sets a maximum amount for daily fees and accommodation costs.

The Government also sets yearly and lifetime caps for care fees that are income-tested or means-tested. Once you reach these caps, your care provider cannot ask you to pay any more care fees.

Approval needed to charge more

Aged care providers must get approval from the Independent Health and Aged Care Pricing Authority if they want to:

  • increase their fees for extra services such as better accommodation and food
  • charge new fees for extra services
  • charge accommodation costs that are higher than the allowed maximum rate.

Cost to the Australian Government

In 2020–21, the Australian Government spent $23.6 billion on aged care. Of this total amount:

  • $14.1 billion was on residential care
  • $7.7 billion was on home care and support at home services.

These figures come from the 2020–21 Report on the Operation of the Aged Care Act 1997 (ROACA). For more facts and figures, go to aged care research and reporting

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