Government Requirements and Costs

GOVERNMENT CARE REQUIREMENTS

Menarock Life’s residences are all Australian Government accredited. This means we meet the standards set out by the Australian Government and that the government supports our residents by contributing to the cost of their care.

In doing that the government needs to ensure that care is needed so you will need to be assessed by the Australian Government Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS). This service is independent of your doctor and the hospital. They will visit you and go over what level of help you need. This help can be:

  • in your home
  • transitioning from hospital to your home or residential aged care
  • short stays in aged care called respite care
  • permanent stays in aged care

The ACAS assessments will decide what level of care you require. You will be provided with a summary of your needs headed ‘My Support Plan’ which summarises your care needs and details which level of care the ACAS have decided you need.

Along with the approvals you will also be provided with a Referral Code for each level of care for which you have approval. The code is a long one and is in the form N-NNNNNNNNNNN. This is an important number as your preferred aged care residence will need to be given the referral code so it can access a further and more detailed ACAS report called the ‘Comprehensive Assessment’.

So how do you get this assessment and report?

If you’re in hospital or receiving medical treatment the process may be started by hospital social workers, but often you will need to start this yourself.  A good place to start is the Australian Government’s website My Aged Care at: https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/ or you can ring them on 1800 200 422.

GOVERNMENT APPLIED COSTS

The Australian Government wants to ensure that all Australians who need care get it. So as with many other government services it applies a means test to assess what level costs you can be asked to pay.

Essentially there are financially two groups in residential aged care; those who are of low means and those who are not. What is the  significant difference between them? An aged care residence cannot require that a Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD) be paid by a prospective resident who is of low means. Low means residents are often called supported residents, or occasionally concessional residents; so you may hear or read any of these three terms.

Who is of low means?

This is not a straightforward answer as the calculation involves an assessment of both your income and your assets and will often include a valuation for your home. What you should not assume is that being a partial or full pensioner means you will be low means, as at 20 October 2017 if you have assets over $162,815.20 you will not be low means (and a home can be included in the valuation to $162,815.20).

Low means residents can also be asked to contribute a further daily fee called a Daily Accommodation Contribution (DAC). The DAC can go as high as $55.44. In a Menarock Life residence the maximum this fee can be in the October 2017– March 2018 period is $36.13 per day, but how much you pay will be based on your individual circumstances and for many low means residents the DAC is nil.

What about the rest?

If you are not low means you will be required to pay the RAD or DAP and the Daily Fees the residence requires (or you can negotiate).  You may also be asked to pay an additional Australian Government means-tested fee. As with low means residents the calculation includes both assets and income, so high assets / low income residents may have a means tested fee similar to low assets / high income residents.

There are annual and lifetime caps to the means-tested fee. These caps are indexed and for the period October 2017  – March 2018 the annual cap is set at $26,566.54 and the lifetime cap is set at $63,759.75

How do I get my income and assets assessed?

The government assessment form is available at www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/forms/sa457. Failure to complete this form will result in the maximum means-tested fee being charged.

We recommend that you seek independent financial advice.