“It’s important to note that the income-tested care fee contributes to your care. It’s not a fee that you pay to the government or your provider; rather, it becomes part of your total Home Care Package funding.”—Claire Watson, Funding Manager, Australian Unity.
- To determine whether or not you need to pay an income-tested care fee, and to understand what’s involved, you can phone Services Australia on 1800 227 475.
- The income-tested care fee is a payment you may be required to make that goes directly towards your own care services.
- The fee is different for everyone because it’s based on how much money you make each year, including your Pension.
If you’ve ever considered applying for a Home Care Package, you may have come across the income-tested care fee – a feature of the Home Care Package.
Claire Watson, Funding Manager at Australian Unity explains that “the income-tested care fee is a payment you may be required to make that goes directly towards your own care services.”
Rest assured, not everyone has to pay it. It’s a means-tested fee, determined through an income assessment and calculated by Services Australia, that simply reduces the subsidy the government contributes towards your Home Care Package.
Claire says that the income-tested care fee is different for everyone because it’s based on how much money you make each year, including your Pension. The more you earn, the more you’ll be asked to pay (and vice versa).
Full pensioners usually do not pay an income-tested care fee and people with an income up to $31,140.20* do not pay an income-tested care fee, either.
The total amount of funding that forms a Home Care Package is made up of:
• the Australian Government contribution (the subsidy), and
• your contribution (the fees you may be asked to pay, which may include an income-tested care fee).
Together, these funds cover your care services, as well as the fees providers like Australian Unity charge to organise and manage your package of care services.
Claire says “it’s important to note that the income-tested care fee contributes to your care. It’s not a fee that you pay to the government or your provider; rather, it becomes part of your total Home Care Package funding.”
The income-tested care fee is paid on a monthly basis and is calculated by the number of days in the month.
Each quarter, Services Australia reassesses your income-tested care fee. If your financial situation changes while you are receiving care, the amount you need to pay can change, too.
Claire says “the good news is that there’s an annual cap on the amount you’ll pay each year – plus, any income-tested care fee you pay while in home care will also be counted towards the annual and lifetime cap if you move into an aged care home.”
It is a good idea to check whether you will be required to pay an income-tested care fee prior to starting on your Home Care Package. To determine whether or not you need to pay an income-tested care fee, and to understand what’s involved, you can phone Services Australia on 1800 227 475.
*Correct at time of publication (see date top left of article)
The good news on Home Care Packages and the income-tested care fee
- You won’t pay more than you need to: The income-tested care fee has a yearly and lifetime cap. And the figures are calculated by Services Australia so no one will pay above the cap.
- More services, more frequent support: A Home Care Package gives you access to more funding per year, a wider choice of services and more frequent support, to enable you to continue living independently.
- Quality support at every stage: If you are looking for more support, we’ll help you apply for a Home Care Package upgrade and can also provide interim services while you wait.
Information provided in this article is of a general nature. Australian Unity accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of any of the opinions, advice, representations or information contained in this publication. Readers should rely on their own advice and enquiries in making decisions affecting their own health, wellbeing or interest. Interviewee names and titles were accurate at the time of writing.