How Many Home Care Packages Are There in Australia?

Wondering how many Home Care Packages are there in Australia? This article tells you everything you need to know, from what the HCP levels cover to how you apply.

Haisey Home Care
March 5, 2024
x min read
How Many Home Care Packages Are There in Australia?


Home Care Packages provide a precious lifeline to elderly Australians.

Through this government-funded program, they can receive the support they need in the comfort of their own home.

But how many Home Care Packages are there in Australia?

There are four levels of Home Care Packages. Each level is based on the degree of aged care support required, ranging from low-level to high-level needs. 

In this article, we will talk about these levels of aged care and what they cover. We will also go into detail about eligibility and the application process. 

How Do Home Care Packages Work?

Home Care Packages are a government-funded aged care program. They provide in-home care and services to elderly Australians. 

The goal of Home Care Packages is to provide the needed care at home. That way, the elderly patient won't have to move to a nursing home to get the help they need. 

There are many benefits of in-home aged care. Comfort and familiarity are some of the most important ones. 

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for Home Care Packages. Once the application process is complete, you will be assigned to a Home Care Package level. 

The level of care you will receive depends on your care needs. 

How Many Home Care Packages Are There?

There are four levels of aged care:

  1. Level 1 for basic care needs
  2. Level 2 for low-level care needs
  3. Level 3 for intermediate care needs
  4. Level 4 for complex care needs

Level 1 is for basic care needs, and it's for those who only need help with daily tasks. This can include domestic tasks, personal care, and help with safety.

Level 2 is for those who need a little more support than what Level 1 offers. This can include help with shopping, meal preparation, and more frequent personal care.

Level 3 is for elderly people who need a substantial level of support to remain at home. Level 3 services can include nursing care, help with mobility, and support for complex health conditions.

Level 4 is for complex care needs. This usually includes complex health conditions and significant support requirements. For instance, intensive care support services, respite care, and 24/7 care. 

Remember, you can't choose your Home Care Package level. It will rather be assigned to you. Your level will depend on your eligibility and care needs. 

Home Care Package Eligibility

To be eligible for a Home Care Package, you must be:

  • an older person who needs support services to stay at home 
  • a younger person with a disability, dementia, or other care needs not met through other specialist services

When it comes to age requirements, you must be older than 65. This age limit is 50 or older for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people. If you're a younger person with disabilities, you have to be older than 16.

Younger people with disabilities can apply for the NDIS if they are not eligible for Home Care Packages. The NDIS stands for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. 

You can also apply for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) if you have short-term care needs. 

The eligibility is determined through an assessment process conducted by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). It considers physical, medical, cognitive, and psychological needs.

Your financial situation won't affect your eligibility. But you may be required to make a means-tested contribution to your care costs.

Home Care Packages Funding 

The Australian Government provides funding for Home Care Packages. 

This funding goes directly to your Home Care Package provider. It's then allocated for different care services you might need. 

Home Care Package funding covers services that:

  1. Are directly linked to your care needs and goals
  2. Will improve your health and well-being
  3. Are necessary for you to remain living safely and independently at home
  4. Can be delivered in accordance with your Home Care Package budget 
  5. Are considered an acceptable use of government funds

Each Home Care Package level has a different amount of funding associated with it. Level 1 comes with the least amount of funding, while Level 4 comes with the highest amount of funding.

The funding is provided on a consumer-directed care basis. This means that the individual has more control and choice over how the funds are spent to meet their specific needs.

What Can Home Care Package Funding Be Used For?

Home Care Package funding can be used for a variety of aged care services. This includes:

  • Support for daily living
  • Personal care (hygiene and grooming)
  • Meal preparation and feeding
  • Social support (transport to appointments and outings)
  • Equipment and supplies (help with walking aids)
  • Home modifications related to your disability
  • Nursing care
  • Allied Health Services
  • Assistive technology
  • Respite care

HCP funding is intended to cover any type of support that can benefit the elderly patient.

What Can't Home Care Package Funding Be Used For?

Home Care Package funding doesn't include:

  • Non-aged care services
  • Utilities and general expenses
  • Goods and items
  • Rent and mortgage payments
  • Medication
  • Club memberships 
  • Entertainment
  • Services offered by other programs

The funding can't be used for expenses you would be expected to pay with your general income. For example, rent, food, and entertainment.

It can also not be used for services or items already funded by another agency of the government. For instance, the Medicare Benefits Schedule or the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Costs Associated with Home Care Packages

Home Care Packages are funded by the government. But that does not mean applying for this program is entirely free. 

You are expected to provide a contribution, which includes: 

  1. A basic daily fee
  2. An income-test care fee
  3. Additional fees 

The basic daily fee is the same for anyone who applies because it's determined by the Australian government.

An income-tested care fee is means-tested. It determines if you need to make a contribution and, if so, how much. There are annual and lifetime limits on how much you will be expected to pay.

Additional fees cover any extra care or services that are not covered by your Home Care Package.

The amount you will be expected to pay depends on your financial situation. It also depends on your HCP level and the type of care you need.

This fee estimator will give you an idea of what level of contribution you may be expected to make.

How to Apply for a Home Care Package

Here's how you can apply for a Home Care Package:

  1. Contact My Aged Care
  2. Undergo an assessment with the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).
  3. Set up a formal income assessment and pay the income means-tested care fee.
  4. Wait until you are approved for a Home Care Package.
  5. Choose a home care provider.
  6. Create a home care plan. 

Even though you can't choose your HCP plan, you have the freedom to choose your provider. You should take your time and do some research. 

If you don't like the provider you've chosen, you can always change providers.

Waiting times are usually between three to six months. Priority is usually given to those with more urgent needs.


How many Home Care Packages are there in Australia?

There are four different levels of support available. They depend on the person's long-term care needs. 

What is the highest level of Home Care Package?

Level 4 provides the highest level of funding. It caters to users with the most complex and challenging needs.

How long do I have to wait for my Home Care Package?

When you go through the assessment, you will have to wait for three to six months before you hear back from them. Those with more urgent needs will be contacted and put in the program faster.

How many home care providers are there in Australia?

As of June 2022, there are 916 approved HCP providers, including Haisey Home Care.

How can you manage your Home Care Package?

There are two different types of Home Care Package management systems. These include the self-managed and provider-managed systems.

With self-managed packages, it's your job to choose your support workers and schedule those services.

Provider-managed packages put this responsibility in the hands of a service provider, usually for a flat percentage fee of the subsidy.

What Is the Number of Home Care Packages in Australia?

There are four Home Care Package levels in Australia and almost a thousand home care providers. 

This process may seem complicated, but it will be well worth the effort when you're approved.

If you're looking for a home care provider, Haisey Home Care can meet all your needs. We are an approved HCP provider, striving to provide high-quality care to all our clients. 

Of course, if you have any other questions, don't hesitate to contact us.

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