Aged Care Placement | Senior Relocation

Means Tested Care Fee - Change to Notification Process

Means Tested Care Fee - Change to Notification Process

Posted 16th September 2018

Centrelink have recently changed the process and timetable of notifying the resident and aged care provider for the calculation of the interim Means Tested Care Fee .

After the resident has entered the aged care home and the admissions coordinator has entered the residents admission details into the Medicare system, a fees notification letter is automatically generated which advises the resident that the “interim” means tested care fee may be charged at a rate of $248/day if the residents or their representative does not submit the Request for Combined Assets and Income Assessment SA457

The resident then has 21 days to submit the Request for Combined Assets and Income Assessment SA457 form; but if they do not then the resident will receive another subsequent letter giving the resident another 14 days to respond with the SA457 form.

If the resident does not provide the completed SA457 form after that total period of 35 days, then Centrelink will assess the resident as “means not disclosed” and the annual cap of means tested care fee will be charged.

Points of Concern

Centrelink has reduced the allowable period to declare assets and income before becoming means not disclosed to 35 days, which is reduced from the previous 2 x 28 days = 56 days

Sometimes families are under huge stress and may not understand the implication of not completing the SA457 form in the stated timeframe – and the first time that they realise this is when they see the invoice/statement from the aged care home with the interim MTCF of $248 per day (ouch), which adds to further distress for the family.

Senior Moves has the experience to help

At Senior Moves, we have recently observed the above and have worked with many families that have found themselves facing this large unannounced bill.

We strongly recommend that the resident submits the Request for Combined Assets and Income Assessment SA457 when it is clear that admission to residential care is imminent – do not procrastinate or leave it till too late.

While some aged care homes will accrue this interim means tested care fee rather than charge residents, Senior Moves are witnessing many aged care homes charging the full Means Tested Care Feeof $248 per day immediately after receiving the letter.

This highlights the importance of having residents and their family representative to seek the assistance of a specialist aged care placement consultant to avoid these excessive fees and the resulting distress that it causes.