There are many options to pay for your care

There are many options for paying for your care depending on your individual needs and circumstances.

You may be eligible for subsidised care through the Australian Government’s Commonwealth Home Support Program or a Home Care Package. An assessment will determine your eligibility for subsidies, outlining your budget and the contribution you will need to make.

Just like your individual care needs, we’ll discuss all the available options to find the one that best suits you, and develop an individualised budget.

Funding options explained

The Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) is an entry level home help program for older people who need some help with daily tasks to live independently at home.

The Australian Government subsidises a range of aged care services to keep client fees reasonable and affordable.

You will need to have a basic assessment with someone from the Regional Assessment Service before you can be approved for services. If you are eligible, you are expected to contribute to the cost of your care if you can afford to.

You do not need an income assessment to access CHSP services and your age pension will not be affected by your contributions to the cost of your services.

The Home Care Packages (HCP) program is a government-subsidised program that provides long-term support for older people who want to stay living at home.

There are four levels of packages for different levels of care and support needs.

  • Home Care Level 1 – to support people with basic care needs
  • Home Care Level 2 – to support people with low-level care needs
  • Home Care Level 3 – to support people with intermediate-level care needs
  • Home Care Level 4 – to support people with high-level care needs

Each level receives a different amount of funding. This money can be used to buy hours of care or other support that suits your needs.

Package funds aren’t paid to you directly. Instead, you choose an approved HCP provider to administer the funds on your behalf and give you ‘case management’ support and advice.

Once you have a HCP, you can keep it for as long as you need. If your needs increase, you may be re-assessed for a higher level package.

Once you’ve had an Aged Care Assessment, you will be told which level applies for you.

The Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) assess people’s eligibility for Home Care Packages (HCP) and other residential care services.

They are professional health and community care clinicians who visit you at home to assess your needs. They do a comprehensive assessment for your eligibility for care and services.

During the assessment visit, the ACAT clinician (usually a nurse, social worker or other health care professional) will ask questions about how well you are managing in your day-to-day life. They will also explain the assessment process and give you advice on the types of care services that may help you to stay at home.

Your assessed needs will determine which level of HCP you are eligible for. You will also be asked about whether you want approvals to use residential respite care in the future.

In some instances, when staying at home is no longer possible, the assessment can also help to determine your eligibility for care in a residential aged care facility.

My Aged Care (MAC) is the Government gateway for all aged care needs, including assessment and information on aged care support and programs across Australia.

Contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or online www.myagedcare.gov.au

Consumer Directed Care (CDC) is a way of delivering care that gives you choice and flexibility.

A CDC approach should give you:

  • choices about the types of assistance you want and who will deliver the services and when
  • control over decisions that relate to your life and your care
  • information and knowledge so you can make more informed decisions.
  • The Government has included CDC principles in Aged Care laws to ensure older people’s rights are protected.

Home Care Packages take a CDC approach, meaning that you:

  • are encouraged to identify your goals which will be the basis of the care plan
  • decide how much involvement you want to have in managing the package
  • can choose the way services are delivered and by whom
  • have an individualised budget and a monthly statement of income and expenditure
  • can expect regular contact with your provider, and to change your supports if your needs or preferences change.

An assessment will determine your eligibility for a subsidy for the services you require, an outline of your budget, and the contribution you will need to make.

There are two parts to your contribution:

  • a basic daily fee of up to 17.5% of the single basic Age Pension
  • an income-tested care fee if your income is over a certain amount

Basic daily fee

Everyone taking up a Home Care Package can be asked to pay the basic fee.

The basic fee for a Home Care Package, including Consumer Directed Care, that the service provider may charge is up to $139.58 per person per fortnight. This rate increases on 20 March and 20 September each year in line with changes to the Age Pension.

This applies to each person receiving a Home Care Package, even if you are a member of a couple.

Income-tested care fee

Depending on your income, you may be asked to contribute more to the cost of your care. This extra amount is known as an ‘income-tested care fee‘.

The income-tested care fee is based on an assessment of your financial situation. The assessment does not include the value of your home or any other assets.

You can only be asked to pay an income-tested care fee if you have a yearly income above the following approximate thresholds:

  • individual person – $25,792.00
  • member of a couple but now separated due to illness (individual income) – $25,324.00
  • member of a couple living together (combined income) – $40,050.40.

There are annual and lifetime caps that apply to the income-tested care fee. Once these caps are reached, you cannot be asked to pay any more income-tested care fees.

Fee estimator for Home Care Packages

You can use this home care fee estimator to help you estimate what costs you may need to pay.

Rather than using Government-subsidised services, you might prefer to use private care services. Carinity Home Care offers fee-for-service home care. You don’t need an assessment to start receiving services. You choose what services you want to purchase and are responsible for paying the costs.

Choose Carinity