Of the four fees payable when a person enters an aged care facility permanently, this one is one that can be difficult to understand. The Means Tested Care Fee is a fee payable by those residents who can afford it. It is intended to be a contribution towards the day to day costs of their care.
The Daily rate will be dependent on their financial means which is determined by The Dept Human Services. It is based on the combined income and assets of the individual. You cannot look only at assets or only at income to calculate this fee - it is a COMBINED income and asset tested fee. So, on the face of it, it may look like low assets, under the asset threshold, that an individual may be gong to be low means and not have to pay a MTCF, HOWEVER, if they have a defined benefit pension of $40,000 pa, even though they have few assets, they will still not be classed as low means.
There are caps in place to limit this fee, both annual and lifetime.
The annual cap is $27,532.59 (anniversary year).
The lifetime cap is $66,078.27.
After the lifetime cap has been reached, no Means Tested Care Fee will be payable.
(These rates apply from March 20, 2019 to June 30, 2019)
The Means Tested Care Fee can start at $1.00 per day and go as high as $270 per day.
It is important to understand the nature of 'low means' residents and when this fee will be applied - as well as how the different fee paying options will affect it into the future. The MTCF will change with different asset structuring after a move to care.