What Is a Home Care Package (HCP)?

What is a Home Care Package? Read this article to find out everything you need to know about Home Care Packages, what they include, and how to apply.

Haisey Home Care
December 12, 2023
x min read

If you’re new to aged care in Australia, you might be wondering, “What is a Home Care Package?”

Home Care Packages are government-funded aged care services for elderly Australians. This aged care program offers long-term support for older Australians over the age of 65.

It's designed for elderly people who want to remain living independently at home. Younger individuals with a disability or other care needs can also apply for a Home Care Package.

Home Care Packages are tailored to the specific needs of the older person. They can include daily tasks, nursing care, therapy services, and personal care.

These aged care services are funded by the Australian Government. If you're eligible, My Aged Care will assign you to an HCP level. The government will pay your Home Care Package funds to your chosen provider.

What Are the Four Levels of Home Care Packages?

There are four Home Care Package levels. Each Home Care Package level offers a specific level of care and support. Each package also receives different amounts of government funding.

Home Care Package levels include:

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

The higher the Home Care Package level, the more package funding you receive.

For instance, you'll receive more funds for Levels 3 and 4. Since level 1 is an entry-level package, it requires less care and support. Level 4, on the other hand, covers complex care needs, which is why it comes with more funding.

You can use the package funds to buy hours of care. You can also use the funds to cover different Home Care Package fees.

Note that you can't choose your level. You will rather be assigned to an HCP level based on your eligibility and care needs.

What Is Covered Under Home Care Packages?

Home Care Packages include different types of home care services. The specific services you'll get depend on your HCP level.

These services can include:

  • Personal care
  • Help with basic chores
  • Meal preparation
  • Medication reminders
  • Home modifications
  • Wound care
  • Social support
  • Occupational therapy
  • Transportation
  • Nursing care
  • Other specialist services

Of course, the services you will receive also depend on your home care provider.

Home care services don't only include medical services. Home care providers can help with daily tasks and chores around the house. The goal of HCP services is to make life easier for the elderly person.

What Is Not Covered Under Home Care Packages?

There are some expenses that your Home Care Package budget doesn't cover. These are expenses you would usually spend your own money on.

Your Home Care Package funds do not cover:

  • Mortgage payments
  • Rent payment
  • Home purchase
  • Entertainment activities
  • Club memberships
  • Items already funded by the Australian Government

Any expenses funded or jointly funded by the Australian Government aren't covered. These include the Medicare Benefits Schedule or the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

There are some exclusions. For example, you would spend your general income buying food. But home care services can cover the enteral feeding requirements payment.

You can't use your aged care funds for mortgage payments or rent. But you can use those funds for home modifications. This is helpful if you need to install safety tools in your home.

Are You Eligible for a Home Care Package?

You may be eligible for a Home Care Package if you are:

  1. An older Australian over the age of 65 (50 for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people)
  2. A younger person with a chronic illness or a disability
  3. Recovering from surgery or hospitalisation
  4. Struggling with dementia or Alzheimer's disease
  5. An individual with reduced mobility

You can check your eligibility on your own. You can do this with the eligibility checker on the My Aged Care website.

But you must go through a formal eligibility test to get a Home Care Package. This is otherwise called a Home Care Package assessment.

An Aged Care Assessment Team will tell you if you're eligible. You also need to pay an income-tested care fee. This fee depends on your financial situation. It also depends on your provider and how much care you need.

When you go through the assessment, you are free to apply for an HCP. You'll then be put on a waiting list. The waiting list is usually a few months long. But some individuals have to wait an entire year before My Aged Care contacts them.

How long you will wait depends on your assigned package level and the urgency of need.

This gives you the time to research which provider meets all your needs.

My Aged Care will then contact you and tell you which HCP level you've been assigned to. From this step, you're allowed to choose your provider.

Choosing a Home Care Package Provider

Choosing a Home Care Package provider is an important decision. Your goal should be to choose affordable care services that can meet all your needs.

My Aged Care has a useful tool to help you find a care provider in your area.

There are two main types of Home Care Packages you can choose from. These include "self-managed" and "provider-managed" packages.

A "self-managed" package means that you will self-manage your own Home Care Package by:

  • selecting your own support workers
  • scheduling your own times
  • choosing your services

A self-managed package will still include admin and other fees, but the fees are often lower.

Some home care providers charge a basic daily fee. The basic daily fee depends on your Home Care Package level.

There used to be an exit fee as well if you wanted to change providers. But, as of 2023, HCP providers can no longer charge an exit fee.

At Haisey Home Care, we charge a low flat 27% fee for a provider-managed package.

In the case of "provider-managed" Home Care Packages, your chosen provider will be responsible for assigning you a care manager. They will also need to figure out what you need and provide support workers who can help you.

The fees are often higher for these types of packages. But the quality of service can often be better, as workers are vetted for the position.

Benefits of Home Care Packages

Here are some reasons why you should sign up for a Home Care Package:

  1. Personalised care
  2. Independence and comfort
  3. Familiar environment
  4. Being able to remain living with your family members
  5. Flexible support services
  6. Improved quality of life
  7. Peace of mind

A Home Care Package could be the solution to all your problems.

Home Care Packages are an alternative to residential care. They allow elderly Australians to remain living in the comfort of their own homes. They can stay at home for as long as possible, not having to move to an aged care facility.

If you can access affordable care services, your life will be much easier. Not to mention that your family can rest assured knowing their loved one is in safe hands.

If you want to know more about Home Care Packages, you can contact My Aged Care. You can also reach out to Haisey Home Care. We would be happy to answer all your questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many Home Care Packages are there in Australia?

There are four Home Care Package levels in Australia. When it comes to providers, there are 938 approved Home Care Package providers in Australia.

Where can I find information on Home Care Package costs?

The cost of a Home Care Package depends on the services that are included. But these services cost around $60-$80 per hour for individualised support in your own home.

Ask your provider for a schedule of fees. Haisey Home Care fees are listed on our website.

What's the difference between Home Care Packages (HCP) and the Commonwealth Home Support Programme?

Commonwealth Home Support Programme packages are made up of entry-level home care services. Home Care Packages provide care services for those with more complex needs.

I'm not eligible, what other options are there?

It's possible you're not eligible for a Home Care Package. If this is you, you can sign up for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.

There are other structured programs. Some of them are funded by the federal government, which you might be able to use. You can contact My Aged Care. They will be able to tell you what government-funded aged services you might be eligible for.

You may find extra support from a family member, your community, or your social network. Using your own money or resources on care and services, or by creating a network of people that may be able to help you.

Start Your Aged Care Journey with Haisey Home Care

If you're looking for comprehensive care services, look no further than Haisey Home Care. We offer low competitive fees and no daily charges. You can use our services if you live in Melbourne or Sydney.

We aim to make your life at home as comfortable as possible. Leave all your care needs to our experienced staff.

You can book a free in-home consultation. You can also contact us for any questions about our services.