Aged Care Fees

Aged care homes, like houses, come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. The challenge is finding the right option for your needs, budget, and preferences. 

There are a number of costs associated with aged care homes and getting an idea of how they impact your finances can be difficult. The information below relates to the ongoing costs of care. For a more detailed explanation of accommodation costs, please click here.

  1. Basic daily fee

This fee helps pay for your day-to-day services such as meals, cleaning, facilities management and laundry. Everyone is expected to pay a basic daily fee to cover these services.

The basic daily fee is 85% of the single person rate of the basic age pension. The government sets the price on 20 March and 20 September each year, changing in line with increases to the age pension. Prices are published on the Department of Health website here.

Based on current rates, the maximum basic daily fee is $52.71 per day, or $19,239.15 per year.

You pay your basic daily fee directly to your aged care home, generally on a fortnightly or monthly basis. The fee applies for every day you are a resident, including days when you might be away overnight; for example, on holiday or in hospital.

  1. Means-tested care fee

The means-tested care fee is an ongoing fee that you pay towards the cost of your personal and clinical care. Personal care can include help with bathing, dressing, grooming, and going to the toilet. Clinical care can include services like specialised nursing services, medication assistance, or catheter care.

If you have assessable income and assets over certain thresholds, you may be asked to contribute more towards the cost of your care through a means-tested care fee (MTF). This reduces how much the government pays on your behalf. The exact amount you will pay is determined through a means assessment.

There are daily, annual and lifetime caps on means-tested care fees. The maximum an aged care home can charge you is: 

  • a daily cap of $256.44 per day
  • an annual cap of $28,338 (once reached the MTF reduces to zero for the rest of the year) and
  • a lifetime cap of $68,012 (once reached the MTF reduces to zero for the rest of your stay in care).

Note: Fees current as at 12 April 2021.

These caps are indexed in March and September each year. The cap amounts that apply to you are those that are current at the time you reach them.

  1. Extra service fees

Some aged care homes have “extra service” status. This means that they can provide residents with a higher standard of hotel-type services (including specialised menus, higher quality linen or particular room furnishings). This extra service status can apply to the whole home or just to individual rooms.

Aged care homes with this status can charge a regular extra service fee, which pays for a bundle of extra services. If you agree to enter an extra service room, you will have to pay this fee, whether you use the full bundle of extra services provided or not. The fee will be covered in your Extra Service Agreement.

Extra service fees are not subsidised by the government. You will have to pay the full costs.

You can ask your aged care home if they have extra service status and whether they charge a fee or use the Find a Provider tool. If your preferred home is an extra service place, ask for their list of bundled services. That way, you will know exactly what you are entitled to receive for your extra service fee.