What is a home care package (HCP)?

What is a Home Care Package? In this guide, we'll go over everything you need to know about the Home Care Package in Australia.

In summary, what is a home care package?

The Home Care Packages program is a government-funded aged care program providing long-term support for older Australians above 65 years who want to continue living at home, or a younger person with a disability or other care needs not met through other specialist services.

The funding isn't paid directly to you. Instead, you pick an approved Home Care Package provider to handle the budget on your behalf.

What are the four levels of home care packages?

There are four levels of the Home Care Package for specific levels of care and support needs. Each level receives a different amount of funding. You can use the package funds to buy hours of care or other assistance that suits your requirements.

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

The higher the home care package level, the more package funding you receive, allowing you to buy more services or items.

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

What are the four levels of home care packages?
What is a home care package?

What is covered under Home Care Packages?

It depends on the level of Home Care Package you receive. There is a range of different home care package services available, including:

  • support for daily living activities (washing, dressing etc.)
  • personal care (toileting, showering)
  • meal preparation and feeding
  • social support (company, help with outings)
  • transport to medical appointments or other activities
  • equipment and supplies (assistance with walking aids, etc.)]

What is not covered under Home Care Packages?

Generally, anything you would usually spend your money on does not qualify for funding from your home care package budget.

For example,

  • mortgage or rent payment doesn't qualify, but home modifications that are related to your care needs do.
  • entertainment activities such as club memberships and tickets to sporting events aren't covered, but activities that help you stay connected to your community may be.

Any payments for services or items that are already funded by the Australian government aren't covered by your home care package. For example, any item or service covered by the Medicare Benefits Schedule or the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Who is eligible for a Home Care Package?

Generally, the home care package is available to seniors 65 years old or older who want to continue living at home but require extra support with their everyday activities.

The easiest way to find out if you're eligible is to complete the assessment eligibility checker on the My Aged Care website.

More information on eligibility for Home Care Packages can also be found on the My Aged Care website.

You're eligible, what's next?

Unfortunately, there's a wait time. How long you have to wait depends on your package level and the urgency of need. Higher levels of packages usually have longer wait times, but those that urgently need assistance will receive their packages sooner.

For people with a medium priority, the wait times are listed as 3-12 months on the My Aged Care website.

Who is eligible for a home care package?
Who is eligible for a home care package?

Choosing a Home Care Package provider

Choosing an aged care provider is difficult, and shouldn't be rushed.

There were 939 approved HCP aged care providers as of 30 June 2021. Which care provider do I choose? Where do I start looking? We're going to help you answer those questions.

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 that you need to choose between, "self-managed" and "provider-managed".

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.

A "provider-managed" home care package means that your chosen provider will be responsible for assigning you a care manager, figuring out what you need, and employing support workers that suit the position. The fees are often higher, but the quality of service can often be higher as workers are vetted for the position.

At Haisey Home Care, we charge a low flat 23% fee for a provider-managed package.

Beware of admin and exit fees

Many care providers charge home care fees, like the basic daily fee, exit fees and other admin fees.

An exit fee is a fee charged by the service provider when you try to change provider.

On 30 June 2021:

  • The average exit amount of all care providers was $210.
  • 54.4% of providers indicated that they would charge an exit amount.
  • Eight providers published an exit amount of $1000 or more.

Haisey Home Care charge a low flat rate of 23% fees. Take a look at our pricing chart.

Frequently asked Home Care Package questions

How many home care packages are there in Australia?

There were 939 approved Home Care Package providers and 176,105 people in a Home Care Package in Australia on 30 June 2021, according to the Department of Health. Source

There are 4 levels of HCP in Australia:

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

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 it would typically cost around $60-$80 per hour for individualised support in your own home.

Ask your provider for a schedule of fees. Our fees are listed on our website.

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

Commonwealth Home Support Programme packages are made up of entry-level home care services, whereas HCP provides care services to those who have more complex needs.

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

HCP is not the only way you can have your individual needs met.

You may find extra support from a family member, your community, 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.

There are other structured programs, some of which are funded by the federal government, which you might be able to use. You can contact My Aged Care for information on what government-funded aged care services you might be eligible for.