Different types of home care program costs

How much does home care cost? If you’re new to home health care or you’re looking for home care packages for a loved one, figuring out how much everything is going to cost might seem daunting. Don’t worry; you’re in the right place.  Read on for a quick run-down of services available and the cost for in-home care.

4 main ways to access support in the home

If you’re living in Australia, there are various home care programs to support you in living independently in your home. Each of them comes with different eligibilities and costs, but let’s start by describing what they are:

Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP)

A nationwide, government-funded program supporting older people who are still managing well at home but need a little bit of help with cleaning or personal care. It can also be helpful if you are experiencing a temporary health setback and need some extra support.

The program is designed to help carers, too. If the main carer needs to attend to everyday activities, the program can arrange for someone to help you while they are away through respite options, either in-home or at a community centre. Unsure if you are a carer? Read our Carer’s Guide to find out.

CHSP is subsidised by the government, but you may be asked to pay a small fee towards your home care services.

Eligibility: Everyone over the age of 65 is eligible to apply for CHSP funding. You will need to call My Aged Care and arrange for an assessment. This process can be tiring and confusing, and the Enrich Client Engagement Team can help you access CHSP funding at no cost. This process is completely obligation free.

Wait times: CHSP funding assignment could take approximately one to six weeks from assessment to approval.

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Home Care Package program (HCP)

A home care package is a tailored package of care designed for low-, intermediate- and high-level care needs. Some people may start with CHSP while they are being assessed or are waiting for a home care package, or in many cases, they will start with a home care package. The difference between Home Care Package and CHSP is mainly that HCP funding is higher than CHSP funding. That means recipients, in most cases, can get more services from an HCP than they can get on a CHSP.

The benefit of a Home Care Package is that your home care provider will work with you to:

• Tailor and personalise care and services that best meet your needs and goals. (While on CHSP you might have limitations around what help you get, whereas on a Home Care Package your provider can work with you and cater to all your needs.
• Manage your allocated budget assigned with your Home Care Package to maximise your care.

During your aged care assessment, you will discuss your current care needs and determine the best level of care needed to meet them.
Eligibility: Similar to CHSP, everyone over the age of 65 is eligible to apply for HCP funding. You will need to call My Aged Care and arrange for an assessment. Again, this process can be tiring and confusing but the Enrich Client Engagement Team can help you to access HCP funding at no cost. This process is completely obligation free.

Wait Times: Getting your HCP funding could take between six and 12 months from assessment to approval.

Private Care Services

Private Care Services can be used by older Australians who don’t meet eligibility requirements for government-subsidised services or are on a waitlist to receive government funding but need urgent help. Private Care Services can also be used when other programs don’t meet care or lifestyle requirements. Your existing care package can be supplemented with additional Private Care Services when your package doesn’t accommodate all your needs.

Veterans’ Home Care (VHC)

Veterans’ Home Care (VHC) is a Department of Veterans’ Affairs program designed to help eligible people who need a small amount of practical support to continue living independently in their own home. Services include domestic assistance, personal care, respite care, and safety-related home and garden maintenance. Costs vary depending on service but start at $5 per service.

Enrich provides VHC in Western Australia and Queensland. Our friendly staff can assist with advice on whether you might consider any specialty programs.

So how much does home care cost?

Depending on what type of in-home care program you use and also your needs, there are different costs. The different programs, if you are eligible, can complement each other, and your assessment with your ACAT assessor will determine eligibility for more than one service.

CHSP costs

You can expect to be out of pocket $8 per hour for CHSP, $15 for our community connections (day outing social program) or $20 for the CHSP day respite centre. A typical number of service hours is between one and four hours per week, depending on what is assessed and approved by the Regional Assessment Team (RAS). Each client will be assessed and a support plan will be provided.

CHSP offers a variety of home care services for those needing a little help at home, usually for the first time in their lives. Carers who provide support to a loved one can also benefit from these services as it helps alleviate what might have become an increasing commitment on their time. The kinds of services falling under CHSP include:

• Allied health therapy (like physiotherapy or podiatry)
• Equipment and assistive technology
• Home maintenance
• Transport
• Domestic assistance
• Personal care
• Social support
• Nursing
• Housing
• Respite.

If you’d like to know more about the services Enrich provides under CHSP in your area, please contact us for specific information.

Home care packages costs

Everyone in Australia receiving a home care package is assessed by a professional assessor/s (sometimes a couple of people may come) using a nationally consistent assessment framework. Your out-of-pocket costs depend on your needs and your financial situation.

• If you’re on a full pension, you’re unlikely to have to pay anything additional
• If you’re on a part pension, you may need to be income tested to determine the necessary contribution you’ll need to make to your home care. Contact Centrelink to confirm your annual income and any payments
• If your retirement is self-funded, expect to be income tested and you may be asked to contribute a little more to your home care package. It is recommended you arrange means testing or an income assessment with the Department of Human Services. Don’t hesitate to get in touch; we’d be happy to help you with this.

You only pay an income-tested fee if your annual income exceeds a certain amount. Otherwise, you can receive support with no additional costs (within pre-determined thresholds).

• Individual person – $26,764
• Member of a couple separated from partner due to illness (individual income) – $26,244.40
• Member of a couple living with partner (combined income) – $20,755.80

For more information about income and support thresholds along with basic information about fees and subsidies, read Understanding the costs of home care.

Private Care Services costs

Private Care Services allow you to ‘top up’ an existing package or add services that can’t be achieved within the limits of your home care program. Home services can be purchased at a discounted rate of $199.00 for a 5-hour block to be used within a one-week period, available Monday – Friday from 8:00am to 6:00pm. The hours do not have to be used together and can be broken down as you may see fit within the same week. (Not valid on weekends or public holidays.)

You can mix and match services like:

• Personal assistance
• Social activities
• Domestic – including cleaning, gardening, maintenance help and food help.

Private Care Services are helpful for people who need immediate services to tide them over while on a waitlist for the allocation of their package. They can also be useful for people who need short-term help for things like recovering from an operation or temporary illness.

Where to get more information about home care costs

If you have any questions about the costs of in-home health care services or would like guidance on the best way to maximise your services and get the most out of your subsidy, get in touch with us. We have a number of packages designed to give you more hours of the types of services you need across a range of programs.

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