Changes to Home Care
The Australian Government subsidises the cost of a range of different aged care services to support older Australians, no matter what their needs might be.
These services include home care packages, which help you live at home by providing access to a range of clinical care, personal care and support services to assist with day-to-day activities.
Recent changes to the Home Care Package Program mean you now have more choice about your care and who delivers it. You can choose a provider that best meets your goals and needs, and change providers if you want to.
What are the main changes to home care?
Choice and Flexibility
You now have more choice of home care providers and the flexibility to move to another home care provider if you wish, for example if you move to another area to live.
There is a nationally consistent process for packages to be assigned to consumers. Through this process, home care packages are assigned to people based on how long they have been waiting for care and their individual needs and circumstances, regardless of where they live.
Unspent Home Care Amounts
The unspent home care amount is the amount of funds left in your package after all expenses and fees have been paid. If you plan on changing home care providers or are leaving home care you might want more information about your unspent home care amount and what it means for you.
If you change providers or leave home care, your provider may be able to deduct an exit amount from your unspent home care amount, if it is included in your Home Care Agreement.
I currently have a home care package. What do the changes mean for me?
If you are happy with the services you are getting you do not need to do anything. You will continue to receive care and services at your existing package level.
It is now easier for you to change providers if you wish, for example if you move to another area to live. If you change providers, your package funding will follow you.
I have been approved for a home care package, but haven’t started receiving care. What do the changes mean for me?
Your place in the queue is based on how long you have been waiting for care and your needs and circumstances as determined through your comprehensive assessment. There is now a nationally consistent way for packages to be assigned to consumers, through a national queue.
If approved for home care, you will receive a letter to inform you of the assessment decision. This letter informs you of the outcome of your assessment and is not assigning you a home care package. You are not eligible to receive subsidised aged care services until you have been assigned a package.
When you reach the top of the queue and a package becomes available, you will be assigned a package through My Aged Care. Once a package has been assigned to you, you will be able to select a provider that best meets your needs.
Key Points to Remember
- If you are currently receiving a home care package this won’t change, your home care package will be yours until you no longer need it.
- You now have more choice and flexibility to change to another home care provider if you wish.
- My Aged Care can assist you with any further questions you might have. You can contact them on 1800 200 422.
For more information about the changes to home care visit: Home Care Packages on the My Aged Care website.
For more information about home care eligibility visit My Aged Care website or call the My Aged Care contact centre on 1800 200 422* (Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm). If you need an interpreter, we can help through the Translating and Interpreting Service. Call 131 450 and ask for 1800 200 422*.
* Calls to 1800 numbers are generally free when made from a landline. All calls made from mobile phones are charged at the rates applicable to each telephone provider.
- Your pathway to accessing a home care package
- Your guide to home care package services
- Researching home care providers – considerations and checklist
- Entering into a Home Care Agreement – considerations and checklist
- Changing providers – considerations and checklist
- Exit Amount – Fact Sheet
- The Charter of Care Recipients’ Rights and Responsibilities – Home Care