Home Care Packages

Home Care Package

What it is: Home Care Packages (HCP) provide a range of ongoing and managed support services to assist older people with ongoing, and often complex, care needs to remain in their homes and continue engaging with activities that are important to them. [1]

Home Care Packages (Packages) refers to the Commonwealth aged care service that provides care and support to older people with progressively increasing care needs to remain at home and continue engaging in activities that are important to them.

The MyAgedCare website provides more information about home care packages, including access and restrictions. 

There are four levels of Home Care Package designed to meet increasing levels of support needs. The higher levels of packages attract greater levels of funding by the Government enabling the purchase of more services to meet the increased care needs. The total amount of a Home Care Package is made up of what the Australian Government pays (the subsidy) and any amount that the client is asked to contribute (your home care fees).

Client contributions are means tested but there are annual and lifetime caps controlling how much a person must contribute. [1] The fees paid by an older person are the same for each level. The HCP levels are:

  • Level 1 - to support people with basic care needs
  • Level 2 - to support people with low level care needs
  • Level 3 - to support people with intermediate care needs
  • Level 4 - to support people with high care needs.

Access: Eligibility for a home care package is based on a comprehensive assessment by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). This assessment determines both the eligibility for funding and the level of the package to be received: increases in package levels resulting from changing care needs also require an ACAT assessment to gain access to a higher-level package.

Once approved, the person is placed on a waiting list called the National Prioritisation System and has to wait until a suitable package becomes available.

Page created 20 June 2019

Palliative Care: There is no specific funding for palliative care services in HCP. People receiving HCPs can receive specialist palliative care services from their local health service.

Among HCP recipients the common causes of death, coronary heart disease, dementia, cerebrovascular disease, cancer, COPD, and heart failure are all life limiting illnesses likely to benefit from palliative care services.

  • References

  1. Australian Government Department of Health. Your guide to commonwealth home care package services. Canberra: Australian Government Department of Health; 2018.