How much does help at home or facility care cost?

Some services provided by the Home and Community Care program are subject to a client rate, which may be partially or fully subsidized, depending on your income. The structure of client charges is set by the Province of BC.

During your initial contact with the Home Health / Community Services office, you will be advised of the anticipated costs, dependent on the services you need. A financial assessment will help determine what client rates are applicable. If unable to afford the fee for services, your financial situation can be assessed to see if you qualify for a temporary reduction in fees. Your case manager will assist in this process.

At the time of the assessment, you will be asked if the need for services is due to an illness or injury for which a third party is liable. It is your responsibility to inform the Home Health case manager of the existence of, or possibility of, a third party liability claim (such as WorkSafe BC, ICBC, Veterans Affairs, First Nations Inuit Health Branch, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, etc).

The following information will provide a basic guideline of the client rate structures.

Information on client rates for services

Assisted living

Clients are assessed by a case manager for eligibility. Assessments include a review of the financial information to determine the cost for assisted living. The cost to clients of assisted living is calculated at 70 per cent of after-tax income, divided by 12 to establish a monthly contribution subject to the minimum and maximum rates, as determined by the Ministry of Health Services. Assets are not taken into consideration, unless they produce income.

Individuals receiving pensions through the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction (MSDPR) pay a pre-determined rate. For more detailed information, please contact a case manager.

Your monthly assisted living payment provides you with rental accommodation, hospitality service and personal care services.

Clients are responsible for the cost of personal items, such as Pharmacare premiums, medications not covered under Fair Pharmacare, personal laundry, hairdressing, dry cleaning, personal toiletries, breakfast and snacks, telephone, cable and internet. 

Full details on costs will be provided by the case manager during the assessment visit.


Day programs for older adults

Day programs usually charge a nominal daily rate, up to a maximum of $10, to assist with the cost of transportation, meals, and other sundries, such as supplies for crafts.


End-of-Life/Palliative care in a residential care facility

Palliative or end-of-life care clients coming from the community or hospital, and receiving short-term residential care for palliative care or end-of-life care, will pay the minimum established daily rate. If unable to afford this fee, application can be made for partial or full waiver of the fee.


End-of-Life/Palliative care in your home

Clients deemed palliative by their physician, who are in the last six months of life, don't pay a fee for home support services, and may be assessed on an ongoing basis by the health authority to determine eligibility.


Family care homes

The cost for family care homes is the same as for long term care facilities.


Group homes

Clients in group home settings do not pay a client rate for services, but would be responsible for living costs, such as shelter, food and utilities.


Home support services

Clients receiving home support services for personal care on a short-term basis, after discharge from a hospital, will not be assessed a fee for the first two weeks. 

Clients receiving services on an ongoing basis may have a daily charge, depending on the clients’ annual income. Clients with low incomes often pay only a very small fee, or no fee. Clients deemed palliative by their physician, who are in the last six months of life, do not pay a fee for home support services. Palliative or end-of-life clients may be assessed monthly by the health authority to determine on-going eligibility.


Long-term care services

Publicly subsidized long-term care services are provided by the health authority. Rates are adjusted every year based on changes to your annual income. Assets are not taken into consideration, unless they produce income. The monthly rate is payable on admission and at the beginning of each month. Your case manager will also advise you of other typical living costs while in long-term care, such as personal needs (like haircuts, special therapies, personal hygiene and grooming products).

Long-term care clients will pay a monthly charge of up to 80 per cent of their after-tax income, subject to the minimum and maximum rates, as determined by the Ministry of Health Services.


Professional services

Services by home health professionals, such as home care nurses, case managers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers and dieticians, are provided at no charge to clients. If you are needing professional services that are part of 3rd party liability, contact ICBC or WCB first before accessing services. 


Respite care (caregiver relief)

Charges depend on the type of respite care required, such as home care or long-term care. For respite services in the home, home support rates will apply.


Short term residential services

Respite (caregiver relief), convalescent care (short term care service for older adults with a chronic illness who need more time to recover following a stay in the hospital, before returning home) or palliative/end-of-life care in a residential care facility will have a daily rate set at the minimum provincial rate (see client rates for long-term care above).