Aged care could require more people to pay for themselves if they can as an expert task force considers funding options to secure the sector’s future.
But Aged Care Minister Anika Wells promised no changes would be made without public consultation and community engagement on the matter.
The task force of economic, finance, public policy, First Nations and consumer advocacy representatives was set up to advise the federal government on getting more funding into aged care.
At a meeting on Tuesday, members discussed measures to help Australians stay in their own home for as long as possible.
Ms Wells, who chairs the task force, said setting this out as a first principle of the system was a radical change to current arrangements.
“Australians should be given every opportunity to stay in their home for as long as possible … we are moving to a new rights-based act and it’ll be people-centred,” she told ABC Radio National on Wednesday.
“Whether we adopt changes to means testing … that wasn’t yet settled and that’s on purpose because task force members need to go away and engage with people about what that looks like.
“We’re going to have a big public consultation process and details about that will be out in the next couple of days.”
Ms Wells confirmed the group, which included members from multiple generations, discussed a proposal for an aged care levy and its potential impacts, particularly on younger Australians.
“It’s a transformative thing that we are doing and we’ve got to take everybody with us,” she said.
“We set down some markers yesterday and will now go forward and consult.”
The task force will meet again in August and is preparing an interim report, due in October, before its final report is handed to the government in December.
(Australian Associated Press)