What are Home Care Packages?
Home Care Packages is an Australian Government funding program that supports older Australians who prefer to continue living independently in the safety and comfort of their own home instead of a nursing home or assisted living facility.
Unlike the Commonwealth Home Support Package which assists with entry level, ongoing or short-term in-home support services, the Home Care Packages program provides for more complex home care needs including:
- personal care,
- support services and nursing,
- allied health and clinical services.
The four levels of Home Care Packages.
There are four levels of Home Care Packages to help meet varying levels of individual care needs. The type of care services is unchanged between each level, with the allocated hours increasing or decreasing as required. It is expected that a greater number of people will require a lower level package, with a smaller number of individuals requiring higher level packages.
Home Care Packages Costs.
The amount of Government assistance your loved one can receive is determined by their needs and personal circumstances as assessed by the Department of Human Services. The subsidy amount increases with each level according to a person’s individual needs.
It is expected that some people will need to contribute more toward their home care fees. If your loved one is asked to pay an income-tested care fee, the government subsidy will be reduced by the amount of income-tested care fee which they are eligible to pay.
For example, if your loved ones’ Home Care Package is assessed at $20,000 (amount government will pay) and their income-tested care fee is assessed at $5,000 (amount you pay) then your Home Care Package subsidy will be $15,000 ($20,000 – $5,000 = $15,000).
The subsidy will be paid directly to your loved ones’ chosen approved provider such as Right at Home Australia.
ACT NOW: Due to the high level of demand, the funding assignment of Home Care Packages levels 2-4 have a wait time upward of 12 months. However, your funding allocation will take into account the assignment wait time.
You do not need to wait for your Home Care Package to be assigned before accessing home care services through Right at Homes Australia. Your loved one can commence home care services at any time.
Contact your local Right at Home office to discuss your personal care services schedule while waiting for your Home Care Package to be assigned.
Who qualifies for Home Care Packages?
Home Care Packages are intended for older people (+65 or +50 Aboriginal / Torres Strait Islander) as well as those living with a disability, who need assistance to remain living in their own home. Home Care Packages are not intended for people requiring entry level, ongoing temporary or short-term care (see Commonwealth Home Support Program) or visitors to Australia.
To find-out your Home Care Package eligibility, contact My Aged Care who will refer you to the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) or ACAS (VIC only) to arrange an in-home assessment of your loved ones’ needs and determine their Home Care Packages level.
IMPORTANT: If you’re in the process of ACAT/ACAS assessment (or you’re about to be) let an experienced Right at Home Care Manager guide you and your loved one through the application process, helping to ensure that your application is correct at the time of submission, expediting your claim while helping you to receive assistance sooner.
If your loved one is not eligible for a subsidy from the Australian Government, they can still access Right at Home’s home care services privately but will be required to cover the associated costs.
What is a Home Care Packages Approved Provider?
Home Care Packages Approved Providers are private or public businesses who have satisfied the Department of Health’s requirements in providing high quality home care services to eligible recipients.
As a recipient of a Home Care Package, your loved one will be able to choose which provider they would like to have deliver their services, as well as the type of services.
Approved Providers are obliged to provide your loved ones’ home care services as stated in their care agreement, when they want them (day or night) and by which member of care staff.
Your approved provider may also charge administration, case management, subscription or exit fees. So, be sure that they disclose all costs, not only their daily fees. Right at Home Australia DO NOT charge hidden fees.
IMPORTANT: If your loved one is unhappy with the quality of their home care or approved provider, you can register a request to change providers through the My Aged Care government website at any time and choose a new provider.
A Right at Home Care Manager can also help with a custom care plan that will identify the unique services your loved one will need, as well as potential costs so you can see how their Home Care Package will be budgeted ensuring value for money, before their services commence.
Call your local Right at Home Australia office for an estimate of your likely fees - cost and obligation free.
Applying for Home Care Packages.
- Arrange an Assessment.
Contact the Government through the My Aged Care website to request an assessment. Or let a professional Right at Home Care Manager help you navigate the assessment process with you from beginning to end - cost and obligation free.
- Home Care Needs Assessed.
A member of the ACAT/ACAS will visit your home to assess your loved ones’ care needs and determine what level of services are required. (Government subsidy level).
- Find an Approved Provider.
Right at Home would be honoured to care for your loved one. We can provide you with a detailed custom care plan to meet your loved ones’ home care needs with costs estimates so you can see how your funding will be budgeted ensuring value for money. Cost and obligation free and before your services commence.
- Eligibility Confirmation.
Once the assessment is complete the government will tell you what level of care you have been approved for. There are 4 levels of funding depending on need. This ranges from $8,250 per annum to $52,500 per annum. (As of Feb 2019).
- Income Assessment.
Once an ACAT assessment has been completed, you may need to undergo an income assessment to further assess your eligibility and entitlements via Centrelink. Only persons on the aged pension or with annual income levels below a fixed amount are eligible for government funded home care packages. Nobody will be denied services because they can’t afford it. If a person has independent means then the government will ask the person to make a contribution toward their care. Once again, Right at Home can help you navigate this process.
- Home Care Package Assigned.
Home Care Package confirmation and unique Home Care Package referral code sent.
- Enter into a Home Care Agreement.
If you haven’t done so already (see step 3) start negotiations with your preferred provider to develop a custom care plan, and sign a Home Care Agreement. The agreement outlines your rights and explains how the services will be delivered. Then visit the myagedcare.gov.au government website and notify them which provider you have chosen. They will direct your Home Care Package to your chosen approved provider such as Right at Home.
- Services commence.
Start receiving home care services and manage your services if your needs change. The provider you choose must keep an account of your money and show you exactly how it is being spent.
Our professional Care Managers are available if you need help with your Home Care Packages application. Call your local Right at Home office or submit a confidential contact form to arrange a one-on-one consultation with a professional Care Manager today. No cost or obligation. We’re here to help.