Premium room fees are common in residential care. DHB Shared Services describe a premium room as a room "with additional features of a permanent or fixed nature", such as an ensuite, big room or garden access. These fees differ from fees for additional services that can be turned off easily such as a newspaper, phone line in room or Sky TV subscription.
There is no public funding available for premium room fees or additional services. This means that even if you are on Residential Care Subsidy/Loan, you may still be required to pay premium room fees. It is therefore important to be very clear about any extra costs prior to entering care.
Charges for premium room fees are negotiated between the care provider and the resident and must be specified in the admission agreement.
In July 2014 an industry agreed extra costs policy [PDF, 365 KB] was introduced to clarify if and when premium room fees can apply on entering care. It also detailed the process if you no longer wish to reside in a premium room and / or pay premium room fees.
See the Central Technical Advisory Services website(external link) for more information on premium room fees including information on the 10 km rule and how and where it applies.
Facilities cannot charge for services included in the DHB contract (includes GP visits, medications and incontinence products). This applies to residents receiving the Residential Care Subsidy and privately paying residents. Extra can only be charged for items or services outside of the contract.