Paying for Home Care
When you accept a Home Care package, you may be required to pay one or more of the following fees:
- A basic daily fee of up to 17.5% of the single basic age pension, and
- An income tested care fee if your income exceeds a certain amount
Basic Daily Fee
Everyone taking up a home care package can/will be asked by their service provider to pay the basic fee. As mentioned above, the fee is a percentage of the single basic age pension, which increases each year on March 20 and September 20. Based on current pension rates, the basic fee is currently $141.45 per person, per fortnight.
Income Tested Care Fee
You may be asked to contribute more than the basic daily fee, depending upon your current income. Unlike the means test within residential aged care, the assessment only takes into account your income, not assets such as the family home. But note that if you are a member of a couple, then half of your combined income is considered in determining your care fee, regardless of which partner earns the income.
You can only be asked to pay an income-tested care fee if you have a yearly income above the current, 1 July 2017, levels below:
- individual person – $26,176.80
- member of a couple but now separated due to illness (individual income) – $25,708.80
- member of a couple living together (combined income) – $40,471.60
Just as in the case of residential aged care, you can use a Government home care fee estimator to help you estimate what costs your Home Care Package provider may ask you to pay.
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. Figures effective 20 March, 2017 are provided below:
- Annual cap on income tested care fees in home care: $26,380.51
- Lifetime On income tested care fees in home care: $63,313.28