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Home Care Package

5 steps to accessing a Home Care Package

Last updated 20 June 2022

The Home Care Package Program is designed for older Australians who have more complex care needs that go beyond what the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, but want to live independently at home.

With a home care package, you can avail of different types of service, such as food preparation, grooming, cleaning, laundry or more complex ones including physiotherapy and medication. Find out more about home care packages, support services you can receive through them and whether you’re eligible for a home care package.

There are four levels of Home Care Packages that can give you the care and services you need:

  • Level 1 – basic care needs
    A Level 1 package provides an annual subsidy of $9,026.45
  • Level 2 – low-level care needs
    A Level 2 package provides an annual subsidy of $15,877.50.
  • Level 3 – intermediate care needs
    A Level 3 package provides an annual subsidy of $34,550.90
  • Level 4 – high-level care needs
    This package provides an annual subsidy of $52,377.50.

The government contribution changes on 1 July every year; these figures are up to date as at 1 July 2021. Learn more about the levels of home care packages and how they differ from each other.

So, how do you go about accessing a home care package? And what do you do once you get it? Follow the five key steps below that will help you access your home care package and manage it. 

Step 1: Receive the outcome of your ACAT assessment

The Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) will confirm your eligibility to receive a home care package. You can check if you’re eligible for assessment through the My Aged Care website Assessment Eligibility Checker or call them on 1800 200 422.

You may be eligible if you are over 65 years of age and are facing difficulty completing everyday chores or your daily tasks (like toileting or cooking your meal). The eligibility checker will also help you assess your level of ease when going about your everyday tasks. If you have multiple, more complex or ongoing care and support needs, you will be referred for a more comprehensive ACAT assessment.

A member of your local ACAT — usually a nurse, social worker or other health care professional — will make time to come to see you at home. They will talk to you about how you are managing day-to-day and may also ask your permission to talk to your doctor about your medical history.

During the assessment, they will give you information on what services you might have available to you and what you might want to apply for. Many people also choose to have a family member, friend or carer present at the assessment to provide extra support. If it is determined that you are to receive home care, you will be allocated a package, based on the level of care you require.

Step 2: Choose a home care package provider and work out costs

Choosing a home care package provider

Once you are allocated a package, you will need to choose an approved provider to administer the funds for you. Your HCP must be ‘hosted’ by a government approved HCP provider. Some providers charge as little as 10% to simply ‘administer’ your funds – with others offering tiered levels of case management, depending on how much support you need to organise your care.

Your ACAT member can help you find a home care provider. If you want to find your own home care provider, you can contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or use the Service Finder on the My Aged Care website.

Alternatively, you can have more control over how you spend your funding and choose the people who support you, what they do and when. You can do this by self-managing your Home Care Package through Mable. All you need to do is find a provider that offers a genuine self-management option, such as HomeMade.

Working out the costs

Your level of home care package will determine how much funding you have available for your care.

As of March 2022: 

Level 1: Basic care needs – $9,026.45 a year (basic daily fee: $10.08)
Level 2: Low care needs – $15,877.50 a year (basic daily fee: $$10.66)
Level 3: Intermediate care needs – $34,550.90 a year (basic daily fee: $10.97)
Level 4: High care needs – $52,377.50 a year (basic daily fee: $11.26)

If you received a Home Care Package before 1 July 2014, you will keep paying the fees that you already pay.

Your contribution

Your home care package budget is essentially made up of two parts: contribution by the government and by you. 

  • Government contribution: the subsidy (and supplements, if eligible)
  • Your contribution: your basic daily fee, your income-tested care fee (if you have been assessed as being able to contribute) and any additional fees you agree to. 

Basic daily fee: You can be asked to pay a basic daily fee, which varies depending on your Home Care Package level. The basic daily fee is set by the government at a percentage of the single basic age pension and the maximum basic daily fee increases in March and September each year in line with the age pension.

Income-tested care fee: An extra contribution that some people pay, as determined through an income assessment.

Note that you don’t necessarily have to pay all these fees. How much you contribute towards your Home Care Package depends on your financial situation and the provider you choose.

Find out in detail about home care package fees and charges.

Step 3: Be assigned a home care package

Once you’re approved for a home care package, you will be put on a national priority system to be assigned your home care package. There will be a wait between the time you are approved and the time you are assigned a home care package.

If you need support urgently, you can pay privately to find Independent Support Workers through Mable. When a Home Care Package becomes available, you will receive a letter from MyAgedCare to let you know you have been assigned a package.

The letter will have a unique referral code for you to give to your provider and what level of home care package assigned to you. Receiving this letter also means you can start negotiating the details of your home care agreement with your provider. You have 56 days from the date your home care package has been

assigned to find a provider and enter into a Home Care Agreement.

You can speak with your provider about finding support via Mable if you are interested in choosing your support worker and booking them directly.

Self-managing your home care package and booking independent support workers through Mable directly could reduce costs. It can also help you find a support worker who’s the right fit for you and reduce your hourly cost of care, helping your available funds go further. Learn more about building your support team on Mable. 

Find out what you can do if you have been assigned a lower home care package.

Step 4: Enter into a Home Care Agreement

A Home Care Agreement will set you how your services will be provided, who will provide them and how much they will cost.

Your provider will work with you to develop a care plan. It  includes the exact care and services that will be provided to meet your goals and needs. It might also cover who will provide the services, when they will be delivered and how often. 

You can choose to self-manage your home care package through approved providers that work with Mable (such as Homemade) to get more out of your home care package and receive the exact services you want.

Step 5: Begin your services

Once you have a Home Care Agreement, a care plan and an individualised budget, you can begin receiving care and services. Your home care package starts on the day you enter into the agreement (not from the day you start receiving care and services).

Ask your provider if they will support you with a self-direction option or being able to self-manage your support workers via Mable. If not, contact the Mable team and we can talk to you about providers who do.

Providers via Mable can verify that the support worker you choose has a current police check, is suitably qualified and experienced, has insurance and an ABN. You have the flexibility to explore more options to make your home care package go further if your provider works with you to engage care workers directly via Mable. You also get the benefit of building a long term relationship with a support worker you have chosen.

FAQs

As of February 2022, depending on the level of the package you’re eligible for, you may have to wait for up to nine months to be allocated a package.

In general, government-subsidised CHSP services aren’t provided to people who are also receiving a HCP. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For more information, visit this page.

If you live in rural/remote Australia, it’s possible you may not receive a home care package of your level. You may be offered a lower-level care package until a suitable package becomes available.

No. You can use the income and means assessment tool to find out if you need to.

Items normally purchased out of general income, buying food, except as part of enteral feeding requirements, payment for permanent accommodation, including assistance with home purchase, mortgage payments or rent payment of home care fees, home modifications or assets that are not related to your care needs, travel and accommodation for holidays, and cost of entertainment activities are some examples of services that aren’t part of a home care package. Find the full list on My Aged Care.

Yes, it’s important that your care plan matches your needs. Your current provider may be able to adjust your plan for you, otherwise you can call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to request a reassessment.

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