When it comes to Home Care Packages, it can be confusing understanding what is funded by the government and how much you may need to pay out of pocket. If you’re new to Home Care Packages and looking to learn more about the fees involved, this article is for you.
Estimating the cost of Home Care Packages
Being eligible for Home Care Packages means the government will subsidise the cost of your care which makes it more affordable to access the services you need. While your government subsidy will go to your selected home care provider to cover any care services you need, there’s still some fees you may need to pay. The government subsidy varies depending on your package level:
|Home care package level||Approximately yearly government contribution|
*The government contribution increases each year.
The budget for your Home Care Packages is made up of government subsidy and fees you may have to pay out of your pocket. The out-of-pocket costs may include a basic daily fee, income tested fee and some additional fees. Let’s talk about each of them.
Basic daily fee
The basic daily fee is charged depending on a percentage of the single basic age pension and varies depending on your Home Care Packages level. This fee changes every 6 months in line with the age pension. Fees are regularly updated on the government website.
Income tested fee
Income tested care fee is extra contribution that you may need to pay and is determined through an income assessment. This fee varies depending on your individual income including your pension. You can use My Aged Care’s fee estimate calculator to find out how much you are required to pay. Alternatively, complete the Home Care Packages Calculation of your cost of care form.
If you are over the income tested threshold, you will have to pay up to $15.43 – $30.86 per day. If you are a full-time pensioner or under the income threshold, you won’t have to pay an income tested fee. Visit the government website to find out more about the income threshold. Keep in mind these fees can change over time. Learn more about annual and lifetime caps.
Additional fees include any amount you agree to pay for additional services privately or if you exceed your Home Care Packages funding.
What happens to Home Care Packages unspent funds?
Your care service provider will work with you to manage your allocated funds and customise a package that meets your goals and needs. Personal goals are important in your care plan and will be discussed with your dedicated Advisor. This helps you determine what services you need to include in the care package and make the most out of your package. To assist in designing the holistic care and support you might need, ask your Advisor for some reference packages that might suit your needs and help to understand what’s possible. For example – if you are managing a chronic health condition, want to get out and about more socially, living with dementia or designing a care plan with your carer.
You will receive a monthly statement from your care provider of the available funds you have left to spend. This statement will show the following:
- Charges to cover the management and coordination of your Home Care Packages
- Any contributions you have made
- Funds spent on your services determined by your care plan
- Unspent balance of funds available to you
Unspent funds will roll over and remain with you until you need to access more services.
What fees do care providers charge for Home Care Packages?
Care management fee
Your Care Management Fee covers all aspects of your coordinated care. Your Advisor is your point-of-contract to provide you with holistic advice and coordination of your health, care and community support so you can safely live well at home. With your Advisor, a care plan is designed so you receive the appropriate level of support in a way that meets your current and future care needs, considering what you need to live well independently, services to keep you safe at home and ways to connect with your community.
At ACH Group, your team of trained workers is coordinated to deliver your support, taking into account your preferences for workers, time and day, with the added reassurance of 24/7 phone assistance via our Customer Service Centre and a nurse on call for peace of mind.
Together with your Advisor, your annual review will ensure your care plan is meeting your health and lifestyle needs. For those customers on a Level 3 or 4 package, ACH Group ensures your health and clinical needs will be reviewed with a Registered Nurse, where any outcomes can be considered in your annual review.
Package management fee
Assurance that your aged care affairs are being managed by a reputable, accredited and approved provider is paramount. ACH Group’s Package Management Fee includes the ongoing administration to ensure the smooth delivery and management of your Home Care Packages including preparing your monthly statements; managing your budget and associated subsidies via Medicare; and compliance and quality assurance activities such as vetting, overseeing and comprehensive training for workers. ACH Group fully support the Aged Care Quality Standards and have a strong history of full accreditation, giving you the confidence that our service delivery is of the highest standard and you are in safe hands.
If for whatever reason you need to leave your Home Care Package, an exit fee may be charged to cover the administration costs associated with leaving. This is the maximum amount a provider can deduct from funds that are left in your package when you leave. If no funds remain in your package, no exit fee will be charged i.e. there is no out-of-pocket charge to you.
At ACH Group, we will work with you to create a plan that is right for you. We will take the time to understand your care needs and co-ordinate a plan that ensures you get the most out of your package. We also regularly review your plan with you to make sure your goals and needs are being met should there is any changes.
ACH Group no longer charges a basic daily care fee. If you require services over and above the government subsidy and any unspent funds, your Advisor will work with you to add in privately paid services to meet your care needs.
If you are not eligible for a Home Care Package or don’t want to wait to be assigned a Home Care Package and would prefer to pay for the services yourself, we offer a ‘Pay As You Go’ option. Call us today on 1300 22 44 77.