How to get the home care you need
The Home Care Package Program is a Federal Government subsidised service that helps frail and elderly people remain in their homes for as long as possible. Depending on your situation, it offers a range of essential support services — from personal and nursing care, to food preparation, transport, home maintenance and more.
If you or a family member currently use the program, or you think you may need to in the future, then here’s some good news. From 1 July 2014, the Government has expanded the level of support and services you or your loved one may be able to access — making it easier to keep living independently for longer.
If you need help living independently at home, the expanded Home Care Package Program could make a big difference to your life
Getting the right level of care
The program features four packages with different subsidies, depending on the level of care you need.
With its focus on the individual, this new system of self-directed care enables you or your eligible relative to make personal choices about the types of care services you wish to receive. Your customised care package comes with a personalised budget and statement of expenditure — letting you keep track of exactly how your money is spent.
An affordable fee system
The good news is that if you or your family member has been receiving a Home Care Package before 1 July 2014, there will be no change to the level of fees you are paying for receiving care at home.
If you or your loved one accesses a home care service for the first time after 1 July 2014, there is a daily care fee of up to 17.5% of the basic pension, up to a maximum of $9.40 per day.
The amount you pay is determined according to your income, making the fee system affordable and equitable. This means-tested fee is calculated as 50% of your assessable income, which is what you earn after the fee-free threshold of:
– $24,346 for singles.
– $18,881 for a member of a couple.
In addition to annual caps on fees, there is a lifetime cap of $60,000 applied to income-tested fees across home care and residential aged care. This means that the amount you pay in residential care will be subtracted from any home care fees you have already paid.
For example — Paul pays $40,000 in income-tested fees for home care before moving into a residential aged care facility. He only has to pay a further $20,000 in care fees to reach the $60,000 lifetime cap.
Navigating the new package
Navigating the complexities of the new Home Care Package can be difficult to do on your own. That’s why it is important to speak to a Financial Adviser who can help to explain the process — making sure you or your loved ones are making the most of the expanded home care services on offer.