FEES ANNOUNCEMENT- Earlier this month Red Deer MLA Mary Anne Jablonski

Province announces cap for accommodation fees

Long-term care providers in Alberta will have to make do with smaller hikes to accommodation funding effective next February.

The maximum increase to accommodation fees will be limited to 3%. Two years ago, the increase was 7%.

Mary Anne Jablonski, Red Deer North MLA and minister of seniors and community supports, said there are ongoing reviews of the rates throughout the year. She said balancing the needs of clients with increases in expenses is also a continual challenge.

“We’re very careful when it comes to allowing increases,” she said. “This fee increase carefully balances the need for operators to address rising costs of delivering quality accommodation and related services, while ensuring fees paid by residents are reasonable,” said Jablonski.

“We will continue to assist low-income residents to help offset the fee adjustment.”

Jablonski said that accommodation fees in long-term care facilities are meant to reflect the actual cost of providing room and board and costs for housekeeping service, meals, maintenance and utility costs.

She said that Alberta’s fees will continue to be among the lowest in the nation. She said that Alberta residents will also continue to have among the highest ‘minimum’ disposable income amounts after they pay accommodation fees.

Seniors and AISH clients will have a minimum monthly disposable income of at least $265.

As of Feb. 1, 2011, the maximum accommodation fee operators can charge in long-term care facilities will increase by 3% or a maximum daily increase of $1.65.

The adjusted rates will raise the maximum accommodation fee that operators can charge to $55.90 for a private room, $48.40 per day for a semi-private room and $45.85 per day for a standard room.

In B.C., the maximum accommodation rate stands at $96.40 daily for a private room. Manitoba’s rate is $73.40, New Brunswick’s rate is $83 and Newfoundland and Labrador’s rate for the same service is $92.05.

Jablonski said the province will also continue to help low-income residents with fee adjustment by providing assistance through the Alberta Seniors Benefit (ASB) and Assured Income for the Severely Disabled (AISH) programs.

About 8,100 of the 14,700 Albertans in long-term care facilities receive financial help through the ASB and AISH programs.

mweber@reddeerexpress.com

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