Govt Announces Aged Care Changes
30 June 2014 at 1:41 pm
A new means test in residential care to determine a person’s fair contribution to their care and accommodation is just one of the changes to the Federal Government’s aged care system that will begin on July 1.
According to Assistant Social Services Minister Senator Mitch Fifield, the changes will give older Australians more choice, more control, and more of the services they might need to stay in their own home for longer.
The changes include:
Home care packages to allow people to stay in their own home
A choice of how people pay for accommodation and services, including refundable accommodation deposit, a daily accommodation payment, or a combination of both, with 28 days to decide
Transparent accommodation prices and services, with all residential aged care providers required to publish the maximum amount they charge for accommodation and extra services,
A new means test in residential care to determine a person’s fair contribution, if any, to their care and accommodation, based on both their assets and income. New means test arrangements will also apply to home care;
New capping arrangements. A $25,000 annual cap to means tested care fees in residential care will be introduced, and caps will also be in place for home care, set at $5,000 a year for part pensioners and $10,000 a year for self-funded retirees. A $60,000 lifetime cap on means tested care fees across both home and residential care will limit the total cost an individual will spend on their care overall.
“With around 3.5 million Australians needing some form of aged care by 2050, fundamental changes are needed now to ensure the aged care system is sustainable and puts control back into the hands of consumers,” Senator Fifield said.
“The most important thing older people and their families can do is learn about the choices available, so they can plan and make the right decision.
“Consumers will now have access to an unprecedented level of information through the MyAgedCare gateway, where people can compare prices and features in the one place.”
Fifield said there was a free online estimator that could give older people an idea of what they could expect to pay for their care.
“I will be monitoring the impact of the aged care changes closely, and will be listening to the feedback given to me from both providers and consumers,” he said.
For more information on the My Aged Care gateway contact 1800 200 422, or visit www.myagedcare.gov.au