Aged Care 101

Aged Care Fees: Did you know?


  • • RAD (formerly Bond) amounts can be negotiable!
  • • Some daily care fees are negotiable too!
  • • Concessional fees are available if your assets are under a certain threshold!
  • • You can minimise the means tested care fee!
  • • You may qualify for tax offsets?
  • • If you run out of money to fund your daily fees there are ways to fund the shortfall!
  • • You can avoid a decrease in Centrelink/DVA benefits with the right professional advice!
  • • Some aged care facilities are charging a draw down on your RAD or a general fee called a maintenance, refurbishment or capital upgrade fee. However, some of those fees have been revoked by the government!
  • • Want to avoid a decrease in Centrelink or DVA age pension and pay a higher means tested care fee. There are some terrific options available that allow you to obtain these concessions.

To minimise your means tested care fee and maximise social security benefits, please call us today.


  • • Aged care fees and costs along with the income and assets are often not accurately reflected when “aged care calculator’s and programs are in the wrong hands, so BEWARE.
  • • Be careful with the timing on completing the income and assets assessment form. Sometimes, it is best to complete this form as a ‘current’ admission, as it could save you thousands of dollars in means tested care fees.
  • • In the last two years, residents entering aged care may have their rental income assessed from the family home under the means tested care fee.
  • • And may have the rental income count for Centrelink’s income test threshold. After two years the home could count as an asset.

Call PrimeCare today for accurate specialist Aged Care financial advice on 1300 853 875.

Should I sell or keep the family home?

To keep or sell the family home is a very personal decision and sometimes the best financial outcome may not suit the family - so you should not feel pressurised to keep or sell the home.

If you do decide to keep the family home, then the amount you need to borrow for the room has to be considered.

Lump sum RAD's (bonds) are usually hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you do not have enough savings to pay the RAD off, you can pay the DAP (aged care term for interest). The periodic interest rate is set by the government and is quite high. You may have a substantial deficit, where your income will not cover your aged care invoices. So, you need to be very careful on how you manage this situation. If you do decide to rent the home, the Government introduced significant changes for all new residents entering aged care from January 1, 2017, which could impact on your Centrelink or DVA pension. After two years the home will count as an asset.

If you decide to go to a third party lender, then the compounding interest and fees can be significant over just a couple of years. Often the family home is in disrepair and may not be rentable without spending a lot of money. Some family members may also have had bad experiences with tenants and do not wish to worry about a rental property. If these are concerning issues, then sale of the home may just be the best for the family.

Prior to making such a large financial transaction such as selling the family home, you should know the implication on your Centrelink/DVA payments and the means tested care fee.

PrimeCare Financial Planning will ensure that you do not make a costly financial mistake, which can have significant implications on the longevity of your loved ones capital.

Call PrimeCare today on (03) 9006 1736 your Aged Care Specialists!

Tax offsets available on Aged Care fees

 A tax offset is available for taxpayers who have net medical expenses over certain limits. As the costs for aged care can accumulate to a significant amount during the year and if the resident is also paying the means tested care fee, tax relief is available. This is particularly relevant for self funded retirees.

The tax offset can include a range aged care fees,but does not include the accommodation deposit. 
Please call PrimeCare Financial Planning on 1300 853 875, for more information on this tax offset.
Disclaimer: The information above is for general use only. It is not intended for personal financial advice. 


Are my Aged Care costs negotiable?

YES, you can negotiate a RAD (formerly Bond) with any facility but it will be up to the facility to accept your offer. RAD's are usually based on the location and the size of the room, views etc. Be careful with aged care facilities who request to see your assets assessment before you know the RAD or DAP amount.

This is like showing a shop keeper how much you have in the bank before they determine the price of the article. You would not accept this from the shop keeper, so why would you accept these requirements from the the aged care facility!
Most daily fees are negotiable with the facility apart from the means tested care fee, which has a set formula and is determined by a person's income and assets after threshold are applied. 

Is your means tested care fee too high?

The means tested care fee, is another fee which has income and asset implications. The principal home if assessed, has a component assessed as an asset for the means tested fee. The aged care means test and the aged care homeownership exemptions are different from Centrelink’s/DVA means test and homeownership exemptions. Be careful, the means tested care fee can change significantly when you sell the principal home.

From 1 January 2016, residents who entered care in that year will have the rental income assessed from the home under the aged care means tests.

Supported Resident aged care Supported Places

Can you access 'Supported Care'? Formally known as 'Concessional Care'.

Primarily, 'supported care' means that you receive a discount on the accommodation costs as part of the accommodation contribution. To be eligible you must complete the income and assets assessment booklet which most facilities and hospitals or Centrelink will give you. Beware though there are 146 questions you may need to answer, PrimeCare can assist with your Centrelink and DVA requirements. If your assets fall below the first asset threshold you could be eligible for support from the government as part of a co-contribution or you may qualify for full support if your assets fall below the asset free threshold.

Aged Care Definitions

Aged care on a medical care basis will still have low to high care needs stipulated for residents. However, financially there is now no distinction between low or high care level. Accommodation costs and fees remain the same for both low and high care needs as residents age in place.

Supported Accommodation:

• Accommodation Supplement also known as Daily Accommodation Contribution – if assessable assets are over a minimum threshold.
• Basic Daily Care fee
• Means Tested Care fee generally not applicable for fully supported residents
• Refundable accommodation contribution (RAC)

Beware of Aged Care Fee Calculators

Be aware of "aged care fee calculators" offered on websites or operated by unqualified &/or unathorised personnel, as they can be wrong by thousands of dollars and give you a very misleading answer!

These calculations often won't consider all you individual circumstances! They can misguide you by thousands of dollars and you may end up paying more in means tested care fees and/or possibly miss out on Centrelink or DVA benefits, so BEWARE!

Many fees, income and assets are very often not accurately reflected or entered in "aged care calculators", so please don't get caught out.