What Are Home Care Package Inclusions and Exclusions?

Before you sign up for a Home Care Package, you should be familiar with Home Care Package inclusions and exclusions, which is exactly what this article offers.

Haisey Home Care
July 31, 2023
x min read

When you receive Home Care Package funding, you are allowed to use those funds for certain services, while other expenses are not covered. However, these rules aren't set in stone, and there are various exceptions for Home Care Package exclusions.

Your Home Care Package should provide you with the necessary care services for you to live independently in your home. Depending on the Home Care Package provider you choose, your provider can offer flexible support services tailored to your specific needs.

This article explores Home Care Package inclusions and exclusions. We'll also talk about how Home Care Package funding works and what are some Home Care Package exclusion exceptions.

What Are Home Care Packages?

Home Care Packages are aged care programs for elderly people who need assistance with daily living activities. They're designed to provide support and services to older individuals who wish to continue living independently in their own homes. 

The program is funded and regulated by the Australian Government and is administered by the Department of Health.

The level of support and services provided through a Home Care Package is determined based on the individual's care needs, as assessed by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) or the Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) in Victoria.

It's important to note that Home Care Packages operate on a consumer-directed care model, which means the recipient has more control and choice over how the funding is used to meet their care needs and goals. 

They can work with their chosen Home Care Package provider to develop a care plan that best suits their preferences and requirements.

How Do Home Care Package Funds Work?

Home Care Packages are funded by the Australian Government. Therefore, when you apply for a Home Care Package, you're applying for government funding. 

If you're deemed eligible and if you pass the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) test, you will be assigned a specific Home Care Package level, after which you will start receiving the funds within a few months.

There are four Home Care Package levels:

  1. Level 1 for those with basic care needs
  2. Level 2 for those with low care needs
  3. Level 3 for those with intermediate care needs
  4. Lever 4 for those with complex care needs

The next step is to choose a home care provider in your area. Home Care Package providers are registered with the government and are responsible for coordinating and delivering the care and support services outlined in your care plan. You have the freedom to select a provider that best meets your needs and preferences.

The Australian Government will allocate your funds to your chosen Home Care Package provider. The funding is divided into different categories based on your assessed care needs and the approved care plan.

The funding is flexible, giving you the option to choose the specific services that meet your long-term needs. Once your care plan is in place, your approved provider will work with you to coordinate the delivery of those services.

Home Care Package Eligibility

You need to be eligible to apply for a Home Care Package. Here are the most important eligibility criteria for Home Care Packages:

  1. Age: You need to be 65 years or older to be eligible for a Home Care Package. If you're under 65, you may still be eligible if you belong to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community or if you have special needs related to your care.
  2. Residency: You must be living in Australia and be either an Australian citizen, a permanent resident, or a person with a special category visa.
  3. Assessment: Before receiving a Home Care Package, you need to undergo a comprehensive assessment by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) or the Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) in Victoria. This assessment will determine your care needs and the appropriate level of care you require.
  4. Care Needs: Your assessment should indicate that you require support to continue living independently at home. The level of care provided through the Home Care Package will be determined based on your individual needs.
  5. Priority Access: The Australian Government provides priority access to Home Care Packages for those with the greatest need. This means that those with more complex care needs may receive higher priority.
  6. Income Assessment: While there is no means test to access a Home Care Package, you may be asked to contribute to the cost of your care based on your income and financial situation. However, there are annual and lifetime caps on the amount you may need to pay.

What Is Included in Home Care Packages?

Home Care Packages are aged care services designed for elderly individuals who want to remain living in the comfort of their own home instead of going to an aged care facility. In other words, Home Care Packages were introduced to give patients the residential care services they need at home.

Care services covered by Home Care Packages include the following:

  • Personal care
  • Clinical services
  • Therapy services
  • Allied health services
  • Respite care
  • Wound care
  • 24-hour care
  • Other clinical services

The services offered by Home Care Package providers don't only include care services related to health. They can also include personal assistance with home activities, such as meal preparation, light gardening, home modifications, personal hygiene, house cleaning, and other services.

These services are intended to provide ongoing support and the required care to older Australians who need help completing everyday activities, so they can restore their independence and live as normally as possible.

Signing up for a Home Care Package gives elderly Australians access to different health practitioners, including allied health professionals, occupational therapists, specialised nurses, and other health professionals.

Allied health services include:

  1. Speech therapy
  2. Hearing and vision services
  3. Physiotherapy services
  4. Podiatry services
  5. Other therapy services

What Is Excluded from Home Care Packages?

While Home Care Packages cover a wide range of care services, there are many restrictions as well. Home Care Package exclusions are those expenses that individuals would pay for with their general income.

Here's the complete Home Care Package exclusion list:

  • General expenses
  • Food
  • Utilities and bills
  • Heating and cooling costs
  • Mortgage payments
  • Rent
  • Entertainment activities and sporting events
  • Club memberships
  • Medication and medical care expenses
  • Holiday costs
  • Emergency calls

Note that you can't use your Home Care Package funds for items covered by the Medicare Benefits Schedule or the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. This also applies to medication, medical appointments, hospital visits, or other medical expenses.

Naturally, you can't use your Home Care Package funds to buy a car or a household appliance. You can only use these funds to pay for items that directly assist you in your day-to-day activities that you might have trouble completing by yourself.

Keep in mind that you can't use your Home Care Package funds to pay for HCP fees, such as the basic daily fee and the income-tested care fee.

To be certain what you can and can't use your Home Care Package funding for, it's best to talk to your Home Care Package provider. This matter should be addressed in your care plan before you start receiving the care, but your care plan should also be tailored to your existing and ever-changing needs.

Exceptions to Home Care Package Exclusions

Home Care Package exclusions come with some exceptions.

For example, you can't pay for food with your Home Care Package funds. However, if you have enteral feeding requirements or if you need assistance with meal preparation and using eating utensils, you are entitled to various services.

Another example is home modifications. Even though you can't use the funding to pay rent or for your mortgage payments, you can use it for necessary home maintenance. 

For instance, you might need mobility equipment, safety tools, or electrical appliances to live an independent life, including:

  1. Bed rails
  2. Slide sheets
  3. Pressure-relieving mattresses
  4. Walking frames
  5. Easy access taps
  6. Raised garden beds
  7. Hearing aids
  8. Aid batteries

Similarly, while medication and medical expenses aren't covered by Home Care Package funds, your chosen provider should pay for continence aids and urinary drainage appliances.

Another example would be entertainment activities. While you can't use Home Care Package funds for cinema tickets and sporting events, certain community activities, which help the care recipients stay connected to their community, would be okay.

What is and isn't included in your Home Care Package depends on your specific care needs, your Home Care Package level, and your chosen provider.

What Haisey Home Care Has to Offer

Haisey Home Care is a trusted Home Care Package provider that offers services in Melbourne, Sydney, and the surrounding areas. We aim to provide our clients with high-quality services that will help them live as comfortably as possible.

Haisey Home Care offers the following services:

  • Companionship
  • Personal care
  • Preparing meals
  • Light housekeeping
  • Home maintenance
  • Respite care
  • Occupational therapy
  • Medication reminders
  • Specialised nursing
  • Laundry services
  • Social outings and support

We might also offer care services that are not on this list, so if you're interested in specific services, contact us, and we'll be happy to check for you.

If you're in need of an occupational therapist, a registered nurse, or any other health professional, Haisey Home Care is here for you.

As a dedicated care manager, we offer low competitive fees, and we don't require daily charges or impose any hidden fees. Our transparent pricing scheme lets us focus on our clients and provide them with the utmost care and respect that they deserve.

Understanding Your Options

Home Care Packages offer a vital lifeline for older Australians, providing a comprehensive range of services and support to enable them to age gracefully and comfortably in the familiarity of their own homes. These packages cater to the unique needs and preferences of individuals, ensuring personal care and attention.

While Home Care Packages boast an impressive array of inclusions, it's essential to acknowledge the exclusions that may limit the scope of services provided. These exclusions mainly revolve around non-care-related costs, housing costs, and medical expenses unrelated to the care plan.

If you or your family member are in need of specialised aged care services, Haisey Home Care can help you. Contact us for more information or a free assessment in your own home.