Making financial-related decisions is part and parcel of accessing in-home aged care services. Read on to find out more about some of the costs involved.
Accessing in-home aged care services for the first time can be a challenging process. Getting your head around the myriad acronyms, finding out what you or your loved one need to do and, most importantly, having to make big decisions, including financial ones.
To assist you with getting a better understanding of the cost of in-home aged care in Australia, we have put together this guide to show you the different options available.
Note: We understand everyone’s circumstances are different, so feel free reach out to our integratedliving team on 1300 782 896 if you would like to find out more.
What fees do I have to pay for in-home aged care?
All aged care services are subsidised by the Australian Government and the types of fees you pay depend on the care programs you need and in some cases, your financial situation.
The Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) is an entry-level aged care funding assistance program designed to help older Australians who require small amounts of support at home. The program fees are determined by providers as part of their business operations, and all providers are required to have a Client Contribution arrangement.
There is no formal income means testing for CHSP fees and providers need to consider a range of factors, such as the business cost and your socio-economic circumstances, when determining how much you need to pay.
This means that CHSP fee-charging arrangements vary across the country and from client to client.
Generally for in-home services, the fees can vary from $5-$20 per hour of service provided depending on the circumstances for the company and the client.
Some of the services you may receive under CHSP are:
- Personal care services (e.g. toileting, showering)
- Help at home (e.g. simple chores, gardening, cleaning, meal delivery).
A Home Care Package (HCP) is designed for those with more complex care needs that go beyond what CHSP can provide.
There are four levels of support to meet varying needs:
- Level 1 – Basic care needs
- Level 2 – Low care needs
- Level 3 – Intermediate care needs
- Level 4 – High care needs
Some of the services you may receive under HCP are:
- In-home nursing and allied health services (e.g. wound care, medication management, podiatry, physiotherapy)
- Health services (e.g. diet and nutrition, dementia care, telehealth)
Home Care Package fees vary depending on your health situation, finances, and what level of package you have been assigned. The main costs include:
- A basic daily care fee which can be up to $11.71 per day*. integratedliving do not charge this, however other providers may.
- Income Tested Care Fee (ITCF), which is up to $33.59 per day*. The ITCF is determined through a formal income assessment conducted by Services Australia.
- Any extra care and services that would be provided outside the limits of the HCP funding.
To find out if you are eligible for these government-subsidised programs and how to apply.
* Updated 18 Oct 2022.
What is the Income Tested Care Fee?
The Income Tested Care Fee (ICTF) is an extra contribution that some people pay, as determined through an income assessment conducted by Services Australia.
This fee is different for everyone and is based on your individual income, including your pension. For example, you could pay up to $33.59 per day* if you are single and earning over $58,318 per year*.
There are annual and lifetime caps that apply to the ITCF for in-home care. Once you reach a cap, you cannot be asked to pay any more in Income Tested Care Fees.
* Updated 18 Oct 2022.
Aged care fees for veterans
The Australian Government provides extra support for veterans who need in-home aged care services. If you are a Veteran Gold or Veteran White card holder, you could get access to further subsidised medical treatment when you see an aged care provider who accepts these cards.
There are two programs you may be eligible for:
Community Nursing Program
This program provides you clinical nursing and personal care services in your home. These are delivered by registered nurses, enrolled nurses and support staff.
Veterans' Home Care (VHC) Program
This program provides you low-level help at home (e.g. toileting, showering, basic home maintenance) so you can continue to live independently.
Please note there may be some out-of-pocket expenses for any extra high-cost care and services, but they are generally capped to ensure affordability.
How do I pay?
Different providers may have differing payment options and it is best to talk to their customer service team directly.
As a general rule of thumb, you should NEVER pay for services upfront.
At integratedliving, Direct Debit is the preferred method of payment, and a direct debit form is included with the Admission Pack.
Alternatives options are available such as Centrepay, BPAY, Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), Credit Card, Branch Deposit, these are listed on the Client Payment Options fact sheet with details on how to make payment.
* Updated 14 June 2023.
What if I can’t afford in-home aged care?
You can apply for financial hardship assistance from the government when it comes to HCP. To be eligible, you must meet the following criteria:
- Have assets valued at less than $40,033.50 (excluding unrealisable assets)*.
- Have gifted less than $10,000 in the previous 12 month or less than $30,000 in the previous 5 years*.
* Updated 18 Oct 2022.
The application will have to be lodged through Services Australia by completing the SA486 form which asks for details of your assets and expenses.
For CHSP programs, you can speak with your individual provider as they may have a financial hardship process within the company. integratedliving, for example, has a form that can be completed and sent through to apply for partial or full fee waiver.
If you have any further questions about how much it costs for in-home care services, please do not hesitate to ring us on 1300 782 896 to find out more.
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