Depending on your level of assets and income, you may be asked to pay a means tested care fee in addition to the other costs associated with aged care. The means tested care fee is a contribution toward your day-to-day care costs such as nursing and personal care. This fee applies whether you are receiving a home care package (based on income only) or you are in residential aged care (based on income and assets).
However, to know that some of the fees associated with aged care are capped may provide some comfort to anyone daunted by the numbers involved. There is a lifetime cap, as well as upper annual limits on the means tested care fee (or income-tested care fee if home care). These annual and lifetime caps are indexed on 20 march and 20 September each year.
How do the caps work?
Home Care – Income Tested Care Fee
If you are single and receiving a home care package (established after july 2014), and you have income below $56,035, the maximum income-tested care fee you will pay is $16.15 per day or $5,879 per year.
If you have income above $56,035, the most you will be asked to pay toward the package is $32.30 per day or $11,759 per year. Once you reach these caps, you won’t be asked to pay any more income-tested care fees until the anniversary of the date you signed up to receive the home care package.
Residential Care – Means Tested Care Fee
The maximum amount of means-tested care fee you can be asked to pay each year is $29,399.
As with home care, once the means-tested care fee annual cap is reached, you won’t be asked to pay any more until the anniversary of the date you became a permanent resident in the aged care facility.
For both home and residential care, there is a lifetime cap on the care fees. This cap is indexed and is currently $70,559.
It is important to note that any income tested care fees you pay while you are receiving home care will count towards the annual and lifetime caps if you then move into residential care.
Once these caps are reached, you will not be asked to pay any more income-tested or means-tested care fees. The government will pay these fees once you reach these caps.
The above-mentioned annual and lifetime caps are as at 20 March 2022.
Matt Kelly CFP®
Authorised Representative (No 314983)