This year’s Federal Budget did not increase how much we pay for the aged care services that we access; and to address the national aged care crisis, an additional $17.7 billion will be spent to improve our aged care system – which will be fully paid for by the Government. This spend is aimed at increasing access and improving the quality of aged care in Australia.
A quick look at the Federal Budget implications for aged care
With an ageing population and baby boomers heading towards care years, aged care featured as a centrepiece of the 2021-22 Federal Budget handed down by Government on 11 May. The Government outlined a 5-year aged care reform plan, at a cost of $17.7 billion across all areas of aged care including home care, residential care, workforce and governance.
The proposed reforms are aimed at restoring consumer confidence and increasing the quality of care, with the Government accepting and putting into action the majority of the 148 recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
What changes were announced
Key changes proposed include a new Aged Care Act placing the focus on the elderly, and delivering care, dignity, and respect. More transparent and independent governance structures were proposed to enable the government to work towards the Royal Commission’s directives.
|Home care||Residential care|
|• An additional 80,000 home care packages to reduce waiting times. |
• Simpler access, with one assessment pathway and one program combining the current Commonwealth Home Support Program and Home Care Packages.
• Red-tape and administration reductions so that less of the package money is spent on management fees and more can be spent on care.
|• Additional $10 per day per resident to help providers cover costs and improve the standard of living services, with a major focus on nutrition. |
• Mandating a minimum average of 200 minutes of care time per resident per day, including at least 40 minutes with a registered nurse.
• A star-rating system to help choose which aged care provider.
A number of measures also focus on training and attracting quality staff into the aged care industry, with a particular focus on upskilling staff to support people living with dementia.
In the future, retirees may also benefit from other changes proposed in the Federal Budget which included:
- Removing the $450 per month threshold for superannuation guarantee, to increase the number of eligible employees
- Removing the work test for non-concessional superannuation contributions over age 65, to help boost superannuation savings
- Reducing the age limit for downsizer contributions (if selling an eligible home) to 60.
- Allowing limited lump sums to be accessed under the Pension Loan Scheme, which may help with funding home modifications or renovations to stay safely in the home or prepare it for sale if moving
- A two-year window of opportunity to unwind some legacy income stream products without penalty.
We are here to help you with your transition to aged care
Attwood Marshall Lawyers have helped many clients navigate the complex aged care industry, and various care options available. Our lawyers can provide clear advice to help you plan for the future.
For enquiries concerning transitioning to aged care, service agreements or estate planning advice, please contact Wills and Estates Department Manager, Donna Tolley, on direct line 07 5506 8241 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.