The recent and ongoing aged care reforms have presented some new terminology that you may or may not be familiar with. Below is a brief summary of the new terms, what they mean and how they might relate to you.
Home Care Package – In short a Home Care Package is financial assistance from the Federal Government to remain at home as you age. If you want to stay in your own home as you get older, but need some assistance with things that may improve your health, wellbeing and independence, a Home Care Package may help you.
My Aged Care – The myagedcare.com.au is the government web site which outlines information on all types of aged care. This is your first port of call to access aged care services. You are able to apply for government assistance to remain at home, move to residential care and for short term and transitional care. You can search for the services that are available in your location.
ACAT, ACAS – To be assessed for your eligibility for a Home Care Package you need to have a visit from a member of an Aged Care Assessment Team or Aged Care Assessment Service (in Victoria). During the assessment the ACAT will determine if you are eligible for a home care package and which package level best meets your care needs.
Consumer Directed Care – Consumer Directed Care is a way of delivering services that allows consumers to have greater control over their own lives by allowing them to make choices about the types of care and services they access and the delivery of those services, including who will deliver the services and when. Under a CDC approach, consumers are encouraged to identify goals, which could include independence, wellness and re-ablement. The consumer decides the level of involvement they wish to have in managing their package, which could range from involvement in all aspects of the package, including co-ordination of care and services, to a less active role in decision-making and management of the package.
National Waitlist – From 27 February 2017 all available packages are managed through a national pool. After approval for a Home Care package you will be placed on a waitlist until a suitable package becomes available. Your place in the queue will depend on your personal needs and circumstances and the time you have been waiting for care since assessment. It can sometimes take weeks or even months before a package at your approved level becomes available.
Approved Provider – An Approved Provider is an organisation that has been approved by the Government to manage and provide aged care services. Every person who has a Home Care Package must nominate an Approved Provider to help manage their funds. The government pays your subsidy directly to the Approved Provider and the provider then pays the invoices associated with your care. Your provider will liaise with you about your requirements and preferences for care and provide ongoing case management and administrative support. Better living Homecare is an Approved Provider offering low rates and an experienced team to work with you to get the maximum benefit from your package funds.
Income Tested Fee – Depending on your income, you may be asked to contribute more to the cost of your care. This extra amount is known as an ‘Income Tested Fee‘. This fee is not set by your Approved Provider and is not negotiable with your Approved Provider. The Department of Human Services works out the income-tested care fee based on an assessment of your financial situation.
Basic Daily Fee – Everyone taking up a Home Care Package can be asked by their Approved Provider to pay a Basic Daily Fee. This fee is then added to the government subsidy amount and contributes to the pool of funds you have to pay for services. The maximum basic daily fee for a Home Care Package that an Approved Home Care Provider may charge is $139.58 per person per fortnight (from 20 September 2016 to 19 March 2017). This rate increases on 20 March and 20 September each year in line with changes to the Age Pension. This applies to each person receiving a Home Care Package, even if you are a member of a couple. The maximum cost equates to 17.5% per cent of the pension. Better Living Homecare do not charge our clients the Basic Daily Fee.
Approved Provider Fees – All Providers charge a portion of your Home Care Package to manage the package for you. There are two components to the Approved Provider fees; case Management fee and administration fee. These fees can vary between Providers. It is well worth shopping around, because lower fees means that you have more funds to spend on your care and services. Better Living Homecare have low fees and no hidden costs so that you get the most from your package.
Exit Fees – If you choose to change service providers and take your Home Care package elsewhere, your existing provider may charge an exit fee. Exit fees may vary between providers. The amount should be clearly stated on the Home Care Agreement between you and your service provider. Better Living Homecare do not charge an exit fee.
Home Care Package Agreement – All Home Care Packages are required by law to have a Home Care Agreement between the Approved Provider and the consumer. The Care Agreement sets out a number of key elements about how the Home Care Package will be delivered. For all home care packages, it is a legal requirement that a Home Care Agreement must be offered to the consumer before the package commences. The Home Care Package subsidy is not payable to the provider until the consumer has been offered and accepted a package by a home care provider and the Home Care Agreement is entered into.
Home Care Package Monthly Statement – After a Home Care Package commences, you will receive a monthly statement from your Approved Provider that details funds received during the month such as Home Care Package subsidy and any contributions from yourself, how those funds have been spent and the balance of any unspent funds.
Individualised Budget – Every Home Care Package, no matter which level requires an individual budget to be prepared. This budget should be prepared in consultation with you and reflect what is in the Care Plan. The individual budget should include the subsidy you are entitled to through your home Care Package, the services you have selected, the fixed costs of the Approved Provider.
Service Providers – Service Providers are the companies or organisations that provide care and services to you as part of your Home Care Package. You can choose who provides the services you receive. It is up to your Approved Provider to ensure that the organisations providing your care are a registered business with the appropriate insurances and police checks in place. With Better Living you can choose to use existing service providers or we can assist in sourcing reliable service providers for you.