Frequently Asked Questions
- Do I have to pay an exit fee when switching Home Care providers?
This depends on what was disclosed in the Home Care Agreement. An exit fee for switching Home Care providers is not mandatory, but it can only be deducted from your unspent home care funds if It is disclosed in the Home Care Agreement you enter into and agree to in advance.
- What is an admin fee?
While Home Care providers charge a case management fee for the costs involved in creating your care plan, and conducting home visits for assessment and review purposes, there are additional costs involved in administering your care plan, managing your budget, and co-ordinating carers. These costs are covered by an admin fee your Home Care provider may charge you, and will vary from one provider to the next.
- What is a daily fee?
Home Care providers are allowed to charge a basic daily fee, in addition to their other fees, while Aged Care Homes all charge a daily care fee. With Home Care the basic daily fee is added to your budget, effectively increasing what you are able to spend on care and support.
In Aged Care Homes the daily care fee covers day-to-day costs including meals, laundry, and cleaning services.
- What is an income-tested fee?
An income-tested fee is a fee you might be asked to pay towards your Home Care. It is separate to the basic daily fee and is calculated based on your annual income not on your assets.
Your income is assessed during the process of applying for a Government Funded Home Care Package, but is reviewed quarterly for any changes. Annual and lifetime caps also apply to income-tested fees and you and your Home Care provider will be notified whenever you reach your annual or lifetime cap.
- What is the average cost of Home Care?
All levels of Home Care Packages are made up of a subsidy from the Australian Government. You may need to contribute to the Package out of your own pocket. However, the amount that you pay is influenced by several factors including whether or not your chosen Home Care provider charges you a basic daily fee, along with an income-tested fee you may have to pay based on your income (assessed at the start of each quarter).
More recently the Australian Government introduced annual and lifetime caps that apply to any income-tested fees you may have to pay. This is monitored by the Department of Human Services, and they will notify both you and your Home Care provider whenever you have reached your annual or lifetime cap.
- What can I pay for with my Home Care Package?
You are given a great deal of flexibility in terms of what you can spend your Home Care Package funds on, as long as they relate to your care and wellbeing. When you and your Home Care provider draw up your care plan you will be able to decide what you want to spend your funds on.
The types of home care services to consider are:
- personal care e.g. showering, toileting and assistance getting dressed
- transport to shops, medical appointments and social activities
- simple modifications to the home, including hand rails and ramps
- nursing and physiotherapy
- assistance taking medication
- preparing and serving meals
- household jobs such as cleaning, cleaning, laundry, paying bills, changing sheets, meal preparation and gardening
- provision of mobility equipment such as walking frames
- linking with local community groups and social activities
- decluttering and packing services that can help you feel organised and safe in your home.
We all have the right to choose how we live. Changes to aged care in Australia have put you in control. Make sure you’re getting the right help and if you need support finding the right care provider for your needs or if you’ve got further questions, call CareAbout.