What is a Home Care Package?
A Home Care Package delivers affordable care and support services in the home that enable elderly Australians to stay living at home for longer.
A Home Care Package works with a set amount of money for care services, determined by your level of need, that is paid to an approved provider of your choice. You and the provider work together to decide how best to spend the money and coordinate the services you need.
The home care services delivered through a Home Care Package provide a consumer-directed care approach, tailored to individual needs and goals. This means that you have choice and control over the types of service you receive, who provides the service and how and when the service is provided.
Given the variety of providers, determining which one is right for you can often be a challenging task. At Aged Care Decisions, our team of aged care specialists can guide you through this process, providing phone support and personalised service to ensure you receive relevant information and advice. Click here to get in touch and learn more.
While entry level support services are available through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, Home Care Packages differ as they are designed to meet more complex needs. Packages are approved at different levels depending on your assessed needs.
What do the different Home Care Package levels mean?
There are four levels of Home Care Packages, each with a different level of funding. Depending on the level of care you are assessed for, the service provider you choose is paid a subsidy to arrange care services to meet your needs. The Packages cover basic needs through to high care needs.
Level 1 Home Care Package– approximately $9000 a year
Level 2 Home Care Package– approximately $15750 a year
Level 3 Home Care Package– approximately $34250 a year
Level 4 Home Care Package– approximately $52000 a year
Based on your care needs, your home care provider will work with you to decide on the most appropriate ways to spend your Package funding.
What can I receive as part of my Package?
There are a range of services available to Home Care Package recipients. While the amount of assistance is determined by the level of your Home Care Package you have been assigned, the main categories include services to keep you:
- Well and independent (eg. allied health, personal care, nursing services)
- Safe in your home (eg. cleaning, assistive technology, home maintenance and modifications)
- Connected to the community (eg. social support services, transport)
Click here for more detailed information on the services available through a Home Care Package.
What services are not included as part of a Home Care Package?
Home Care Package funding can only be used for the services outlined in the previous section. The funds are directly linked to your care needs and cannot be used for more general expenses or costs that are covered by other government schemes. The following expenses are examples of what cannot be paid for with Home Care Package funds:
- Payment for permanent accommodation (eg. rent, mortgage payments)
- Home modifications that are unrelated to your care needs
- Holiday travel and accommodation
- Entertainment costs (eg. club memberships, tickets to events)
- Purchasing food (unless to meet enteral feeding requirements)
- Items and services already covered by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme or the Medicare Benefits Schedule
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How much will I need to pay towards my Home Care Package?
The Australian Government subsidises Home Care Packages, paying the providers directly. Although it’s subsidised, there are other fees associated with Packages that you may be asked to contribute to cover the cost of your care.
- Basic daily fee (maximum $10.85 a day as of 2 March 2021)
- Income-tested care fee (maximum $31.14 a day as of 2 March 2021)
- Additional fees (any other amount you agree to pay for extra care and services not covered by your Home Care Package).
Your financial situation won’t affect your eligibility for a Package however a financial assessment is required to determine how much you may be asked to contribute. Use the My Aged Care fee estimator here to get an idea of the fees you may be asked to pay. For more information on fees and how to use your Home Care Package funds, please click here.
Am I eligible for home care services?
To be eligible for a Home Care Package you must be 65 years or older (50 years or older for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people) and requiring coordinated services to be able to stay at home. A face-to-face assessment is conducted to determine your care needs and your eligibility.
How long will it take to receive the services?
Once your assessment is completed, you will receive a letter from My Aged Care advising you of the outcome. If you receive approval for a Home Care Package you will also be advised which level you have been approved for. At this point, you will go on a waiting list until a Package at your approved level becomes available. While you wait for this, My Aged Care may offer you a Package at a lower level. As of 28 February 2021, the expected wait times are:
Level 1 3 – 6 months
Level 2 12+ months
Level 3 12+ months
Level 4 12+ months
The urgency of the service to be delivered can impact how long it may take to receive a Home Care Package as more urgent or higher needs are prioritised.
When a Package at your approved level (or below) becomes available, My Aged Care will write to you advising that you have been assigned a Home Care Package and at what level it has been assigned. If you choose to accept the assigned Home Care Package, you have 56 days from the date on the letter to appoint a home care provider. The appointed provider will then liaise with you to organise your care and services.
How do I choose my home care provider?
Providers vary in the way they deliver their services and the costs they charge. To choose a provider that best meet your needs, it is important to consider the services they are offering, the standard of care they provide and the expenses you may need to meet. Aged Care Decisions can help to take the guess work out of this process. We are Australia’s first 100% free placement and support service and using our extensive provider network, we can match you with home care options that suit your location and care needs. Our experienced aged care specialists can also answer your questions, offer advice and help find the right home care provider for you.
To learn more about Home Care Packages or to receive assistance in choosing a home care provider, please click here or call us on 1300 775 870 to access our free service.