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Aged Care Changes

Today the federal government announced major changes to Aged Care, most of which take effect from 1 July 2014. Accommodation contributions will increase significantly.

An unusual fee formula is proposed which adds both income based and asset based fees. This is unlike the age pension means test which is an “either assets or income” based test. Single residents in aged care accommodation look like paying more than cash flow available from assets plus any income to meet these new charges.

This suggests aged persons will indirectly be forced into sudden sale of the home unless family members can come to the party with extra cash. This is contrary to the approach favoured by the Productivity Commission which had a more transparent recognition of family home assets and a longer transition time for aged persons and their families to consider acceptable management of the aged person’s assets.

The net financial effect on government funding appears to be claw back of $1.6bn over 5 years from aged care operators to pay for pay increases recently granted to aged care workers, leaving the operators free to recover this from higher accommodation charges to residents.

The following is the link to the government site. http://www.livinglongerlivingbetter.gov.au/

Posted Friday, 20 April 2012


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