By Paul Geisel - Aged Care Specialist
If the topic of Aged Care wasn’t confusing enough already, a number of large aged care facility providers have introduced an additional layer of fees in a move that could increase the cost of nursing homes, therefore making it harder to compare costs between providers.
As reported in the Australian Financial Review* on 14th June (Aged care providers hike fees by thousands), Estia Health, one of the largest owners and operators of aged care facilities in Australia introduced an $18 a day charge on 6th June for residents who meet the cost of their accommodation upfront, rather than paying in installments. Rival Regis Aged Care introduced a similar fee in April, while Aged Care Services Australia Group (ACSAG), part of Japara Healthcare, established a new fee last year. Estia’s levy, known as an asset replacement contribution fee, is the highest of the three.
I, along with other senior Australians am concerned at the new fees, which appear to encourage seniors to pay for their rooms in installments rather than through a lump sum. Aged care experts said they feared other providers would add similar payments.
In addition to the extra fee for residents who pay for their room through a so-called lump sum refundable accommodation deposit (RAD), experts have also reported that more aged care facilities are forcing clients to pay for additional services, such as hairdressing, wi-fi, excursions and wine with their meals.
Estia’s asset replacement contribution fee amounts to an additional $6500 a year that must be paid by residents who wish to pay for any part of their accommodation via a RAD, whereas residents who choose to pay for their accommodation through a daily accommodation payment (DAP) are not affected.
Whilst these changes are only recent, I am already seeing an increase in the number of queries received from individuals who, without significant research and understanding of the aged care system and all the constantly moving variables within it, are finding it difficult to make sense of the information in front of them and make an informed decision for either themselves, or their parent/s.
Having met with most of the aged care providers in Queensland, and understanding their structures, costs and requirements, I am able to simplify the details, determine their relevance to personal circumstances, and provide, in writing, my determination and with options for the client to work consider
To find out more, or see how the above points may relate to your situation, contact Paul Geisel on firstname.lastname@example.org or 3721 4413.
*Source: Australian Financial Review, 14 June 2016. Aged Care providers hike fees by thousands’ http://www.afr.com/personal-finance/aged-care-providers-hike-fees-by-thousands-20160609-gpfgns .