Home Care Packages recipients may be asked to pay the following:
- A basic daily fee of up to 17.5% of the single basic Age Pension
- An income-tested care fee if your income is over a certain amount.
The Federal Government subsidises the cost of providing a Home Care Package however they expect individuals to contribute to the cost of your care where individuals can afford to do so.
Basic daily fee
Everyone taking up a Home Care Package can be asked by their service provider to pay the basic fee.
The basic daily fee for a Home Care Package is capped at 17.5 per cent of the single pension. Accordingly if you have a Home Care Package, the maximum basic daily fee is currently $141.10 per person per fortnight (from 20 March 2017 to 19 September 2017). This rate increases on 20 March and 20 September each year in line with changes to the Age Pension. This applies to each person receiving a Home Care Package, even if you are a member of a couple.
As this fee is negotiable between the individual and the provider, Better Living Homecare has a policy not to charge the basic daily fee for a Home Care Package unless the package will need the funds to meet the needs of the care plan.
Income-tested care fee
Depending on your income and assets, you may be asked to contribute more to the cost of your Home Care Package. This fee is called the “Income-tested Fee”.
The Income-tested Fee is calculated by the Department of Human Services following an assessment of your financial situation. If you are a member of a couple, half of the combined income is considered in determining the income-tested care fee; regardless of which partner earns the income. The assessment does not include the value of your home or any other assets.
You can only be asked to pay an income-tested care fee if you have a yearly income above the following approximate thresholds:
- individual person – $25,711.40
- member of a couple but now separated due to illness (individual income) – $25,243.40
- Member of a couple living together (combined income) – $39,925.60.
There are annual and lifetime caps that apply to the income-tested care fee. Once these caps are reached, you cannot be asked to pay any more income-tested care fees.
There are limits on the amount of income-tested care fees:
- Full pensioners pay no income-tested care fees. They can be asked to pay a basic fee.
- For part-pensioners, and people with equivalent incomes, income-tested fees are capped at $5,000 a year.
- Self-funded retirees have an income-tested fee capped at $10,000 a year.
- The annual caps are built into the calculation made by the Government.
- There is also a lifetime cap for income-tested care fees up to a total of $60,000.
Estimate of fees
The Department of Social Services’ website www.myagedcare.gov.au has a fee estimator which can assist individuals to estimate the fees and payments they may be asked to pay for a Home Care Package.
My Aged Care can be contacted on 1800 200 422.