How do I choose a Home Care Package provider?

Older man taking notes with laptop at home

Once you have received your Home Care Package (HCP), the next step is to find a Home Care Package provider. This is who manages the money you receive from the federal government for your support services. This article will explain how to choose a Home Care Package provider so you can start receiving the support you need. 

What is a Home Care Package?

A Home Care Package is funding that the federal government provides to older Australians to access in-home aged care services allowing them to live independently at home and in their community for longer. Find out more about home care packages and what eligibility requirements you must meet to get a home care package.

What is a Home Care Package provider?

When your Home Care Package is approved, you don’t actually receive the funds directly. A Home Care Package provider ‘hosts’ your HCP funding and pays invoices for services arranged through your HCP on your behalf. They may also be called a ‘Home Care Package fund manager’.

You can choose a service provider that is right for you. The government then pays your provider a subsidy to arrange a package of care services to meet your needs. Depending on your needs, you will be assigned one of the four levels of Home Care Packages. Find out more about what these levels mean and the differences between them.

To have more control over how you spend your funding and choosing the people who support you, what they do and when, you can self-manage your Home Care Package through Mable. All you need to do is find a provider that offers  a self-management option, such as HomeMade. Find out more about self-managing your Home Care Package.

When should I start looking for a Home Care Package provider?

You can start looking for a Home Care Package provider any time you like, even before you are approved for a Home Care Package. That way, you have plenty of time to learn about how they operate and compare the costs. When your package is approved, you’ll be all ready to sign up and begin.

Whether you’re waiting to be allocated a Home Care Package or to be deemed eligible for one, if you need support in the meantime, you can connect with Independent Support Workers through Mable. When your Home Care Package comes through, you can have your HCP provider transition your invoice payments accordingly.

How do I find a Home Care Package provider?

If you want to explore self-managing your home care package, look for a provider that offers you genuine self-management. Explore the options available, compare the costs involved, and have some conversations with the providers. You might want to involve family members or friends as you decide which one works best for you. As soon as your existing provider says you can self-manage, you can start connecting with support services through Mable or call 1300 736 573.

You also have the option to: 

  • Ask your assessor to refer you to a provider. 
  • Use the Find a provider tool to search for local providers yourself
  • Call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 for guidance.

What should I consider when looking for a Home Care Package provider?

Here is a list of questions to ask Home Care Package providers:

  • Do you offer the option for me to genuinely self-manage my support service needs?
  • If I choose to self-manage and access support through Mable, will you be able to manage my funding?
  • Do you offer any kind of guidance or training around how I can use and get the most out of my Home Care Package funds?
  • Will I have my own Case Manager who is familiar with my situation?
  • If my Home Care Package level changes, will I have to let you know?
  • What are the fees I’ll need to pay you to use your services?
  • Will I receive a monthly statement about how my Home Care Package is being spent?
  • Will you be able to administer my Home Care Package funding if I need services and/or equipment from multiple providers?
  • Will you let me know if I’m getting close to my funding limits for the month?
  • Do I have to advise you if I access additional support that I pay for privately?
  • Will you let me know if I haven’t used up my funding for the month so I can access more services?

Using your Home Care Package with Mable

Mable makes it easy for you to connect with independent support workers who provide the kinds of services you need. And because Mable is a Home Care Package-approved supplier of support services, you can use your funding to pay for your support sessions. Keep reading to find out how.

Using Mable to self-manage your HCP

Self-managing your home care package services is easy through Mable. You get your own client account through which you can manage your bookings, payments and communications with support workers. You also get to search the support worker profiles to find someone ideal for you and the services you need. You can even post a job if you need something specific.

Mable provides a safe, secure and easy-to-use online platform – website and smartphone app – so that you can take control of your support needs. You’ll still need to use an approved Home Care Package provider to manage your funds and particularly in the case of HomeMade, everything integrates seamlessly with your Mable account.

FAQs

Yes, you can. Make sure you know:

  • Your package level (1 – 4) and how much individual funding you have per year/day to spend.
  • What your provider is charging for administration and case management. This means you know how much money you have left over for services. Some providers charge up to 50% – leaving only half your package to spend on support.
  • What your provider is charging per hour for services.
  • Any other fees and charges.
  • Where you would like to move your package. Mable works with progressive providers who charge minimal fees to host your package and offer client advice based on your package level.

Once you know who you want to switch to:

  • Tell your provider of the day you intend to cease receiving home care services before you change providers. You will need to agree on this date with your current provider, giving them at least two weeks’ notice of this date. We recommend starting this conversation as early as possible.
  • Ensure you can start with your new provider on or just after the agreed cessation date to avoid gaps in receiving support. Your new provider should work with you to develop an individual care plan.
  • Once you know this, call MyAgedCare on 1800 200 422. You will receive a referral code, which you should note. Ensure you are clear with MyAgedCare about the provider you are switching to. MyAgedCare will inform the new provider.
  • Your new provider will accept your client referral through MyAgedCare and will contact you to develop a Home Care Agreement that meets your needs.

No, Mable is a platform that connects people who require support services with independent support workers who provide them. Mable doesn’t administer Home Care Package funds, but instead works with your chosen Home Care Package provider. We highly recommend HomeMade.

You might have to contribute to the cost of your care. Your contribution is made up of three types of fees:

  • Basic daily fee

Your provider may ask you to pay a basic daily fee based on your Home Care Package level.

  • Income-tested care fee

Some people may also have to pay an income-tested care fee. Whether you pay it, and how much of it you pay, is determined through a formal income assessment from the Services Australia. If you have to pay this fee, there are annual and lifetime limits on how much you can be asked to pay.

  • Additional fees

Any other amount you have agreed to pay for extra care and services that wouldn’t otherwise be covered by your Home Care Package.

Find out more about Home Care Package fees and charges.