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Home Care Packages - Fees and Costs

Paying for Home Care - 4 Levels

There are 4 different Home Care packages available, Levels 1 to 4, which reflect the differing levels of home care available and they involve increasing levels of Government subsidy. The Government subsidies are significant and are paid directly to the home care provider.

In addition, individuals are required to contribute towards these costs through the payment of 1) a basic fee, which everyone is required to pay, and 2) an income tested care fee which is payable depending upon your level of income. Unlike the age pension, the means test does not consider your assets, only your income, and the income-tested care fee is subject to annual and lifetime caps.

Basic Daily Fee

The maximum basic daily fee payable is set at 17.5% of the single basic age pension, and the actual fee payable in individual circumstances will depend on the level of home care package received, as outlined in the table below - effective March 20, 2024.

Package Level
Daily Fee
Fortnightly Fee
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4

Everyone taking up a home care package can/will be asked by their service provider to pay the basic fee, which increases each year on March 20 and September 20 in concert with the age pension.

Income Tested Care Fee

As mentioned above, you may also 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, super or investments. But, if you are a member of a couple, half of your combined income is considered in determining your care fee, regardless of which partner earns the income. Full pensioners will not pay an income-tested care fee.

These are the income-tested care fees applicable as at March 20, 2024:

An income-tested care fee of up to $18.30 per day, if you:

  • Are single earning over $33,027.80
  • Are a member of a couple living together earning over $25,576.20
  • Are a member of a couple living apart due to illness earning over $32,351.80

An income-tested care fee of between $18.30 and $36.60 if you: 

  • Are single earning over $63,559.60
  • Are a member of a couple living together earning over $48,588.80
  • Are a member of a couple living apart due to illness earning over $62,883.60

A change in your income may affect your contribution level, and Services Australia will check for these changes on a quarterly basis - effective 1 January, 20 March, 1 July and 20 September.

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.

Annual and Lifetime Home Care Fee Caps

The annual cap on the income-tested care fees for home is:

  • $6,661.80 per year for people with income whose income does not exceed $63,559.60
  • Up to $13,323.68 per year for people with income above $63,559.60.

There are also lifetime caps applicable to the income-tested care fee; once this cap is reached you cannot be asked to pay any more income-tested care fees.

  • Lifetime cap on income tested care fees in home (and residential) care: $79,942.44

Note that if you’re a full pensioner or have an income up to $33,027.80, you won’t pay an income tested care fee.

These caps are indexed on 20 March and 20 September each year.

For self funded retirees it will not always be cost efficient to participate in the Home Care schemes, particularly at lower package levels 1 to 2; bearing in mind that you will pay the base + income tested fee and a provider’s case management and administration charges can absorb more than 30 per cent of the package budget. Seek advice before participation.

If you would like to arrange professional advice in relation to the above matters, please complete the Inquiry form below providing details and you will be contacted accordingly. You will receive a fee quotation in advance of any advice or services being provided.