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Posted 24 Feb 2017

Changes to Home Care Packages will provide older Australians with greater choice.

Here we take a look at these changes and what they mean for you.

Australians are living longer, healthier and more active lives than ever before.  Not only that, older Australians want to live independently at home for as long as possible.

In 2014-15, nearly 84,000 Australians received a Home Care Package which helped them do just that.[1]

Changes from Monday 27 February 2017 will create greater choice and flexibility when it comes to accessing a Home Care Package.

The most significant change is that Home Care Packages will now belong to the care recipient, not to the care provider.  This new arrangement means recipients will have more choice about their care and who delivers it.

As a care recipient, you will be able to compare providers to find one that best meets your goals and needs.  Importantly, it will be easier for you to change providers if, for example, you move to another area to live.  If you make a change, the funding for your package will follow you to your new provider.

These changes will also mean that packages are assigned to people based on their individual needs and circumstances, ensuring that care is available in a fair and consistent way around the country.

Do I have do anything?

No.  If you are currently receiving a Home Care Package, you will continue to receive care and services at your existing package level.  You do not need to do anything.

But you now have choices not available before, which is important to understand.

I don’t have a Home Care Package but I am applying for one.  What do I need to know?

You will need to complete your assessment through My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.  Eligibility for a Home Care Package will be determined by the Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) in Victoria or Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) in NSW, just as it has been previously.

Once you have been assigned a package, you will have 56 days to select a provider and enter into a Home Care Agreement.

I have questions.  What should I do?

You may have noticed advertising and other information about the changes to Home Care Packages.  You might be wondering what it all means for you.

While you don’t need to do anything, if you have any questions about the additional choices now available, give our helpful staff a call on 1300 303 770.  They will be able to answer your queries.

For more information about the Home Care Package changes and your entitlements under Consumer Directed Care, you can find consumer fact sheets on the My Aged Care website: https://agedcare.health.gov.au/increasing-choice-in-home-care

 

[1] 2014–15 Report on the Operation of the Aged Care Act 1997