Federal Budget Deep Dive – Proposed Aged Care Changes

As part of the recent Federal Budget, the following proposed changes will impact the Aged Care industry and residents:

Increasing Care Minutes: The average care minutes for residents will increase in two stages, with 200 care minutes per resident per day (including 40 nursing minutes) from 1 October 2023 and a further increase to 215 care minutes (including 44 nursing minutes) from 1 October 2024.

Registered Nurse Requirement: From 1 July 2023 all residential care services will be required to have at least one registered nurse on site at all times (unless an exemption has been granted). The associated increase in staffing costs will be support with an additional $2.5 billion of government funding.

Improved Meal Quality: The Maggie Beer Foundation, which has campaigned for, and trained aged care catering staff on how to provide, better and more nutritional food will be granted $5 million to support these activities.

National Registration Scheme: A national register for personal care workers will be established, including a code of conduct, better employment pathways, and ongoing training and English proficiency training.

Cap On Home Care Administration and Management Fees: The administration and management fees chargeable on Home Care packages are proposed to be capped, along with exit fees to be abolished, to ensure more of the Home Care package funding is available to pay for direct care services.

Merging Of Existing Schemes: The Labour Government has reconfirmed its commitment to merging the Commonwealth Home Support Program and Home Care Packages into a single program, however this has been deferred for another year, dated for 1 July 2024 to allow further consultation.

New Complaints Process: A dedicated Aged Care Complaints Commissioner will be re-established (this was previously combined into the Quality and Safety Commission) and a new independent Inspector-General of Aged Care will be appointed to target systemic administration and governance issues with an aim to improve outcomes for residents.

Please remember, these changes are proposed and are not yet guaranteed to be implemented as stated above. Be sure to discuss the potential impacts of these changes on your circumstances with your Financial Adviser.

For more information on other proposed super and taxation changes be sure to keep an eye on the blog section of our website. The easiest way to do this is to follow us on social media or subscribe to our electronic mailing list.

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