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What are the main types of aged care services in Australia?

Government-funded aged care services include in-home care (care in your home), residential care in aged care (nursing) homes, and short-term care such as respite care.

Under in-home care, the Australian Government offers 2 types of funding:
- Entry-level support through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) and
- More complex needs through Home Care Packages

If you aren’t eligible for Government funded home care, or are eligible for a Government funded home care package and are waiting for funded services to become available you can have private funded home care.

Private funded home care services aren’t regulated or subsidised by the Australian Government and you have to self-fund the cost of services for all your care needs.

How do I access government funded home care services?

If you think you need home care services, the first thing to do is to register with My Aged Care by calling 1800 200 422 and request and assessment.

After you’ve been assessed, you’ll receive a letter from My Aged Care advising of the outcome. If you have been approved for a Home Care Package you will be assigned a package when one becomes available, depending on the level you’ve been approved this could take up to 18 months.

If you are waiting for government funded services to become available you can have private funded home care. Ask us how.

What services can I access with a home care package?

The types of services you can access include social and community access, domestic assistance, personal care, nursing, light gardening, transport, meals and food preparation, assistance with medication, some allied health.

When you are assessed for home care, you will be approved for a package level with a different funding amount. The package levels are based on your needs and range from basic to high care needs. Services provided are in line with your care needs and goals.

What can I spend my aged care home care package on?

Home Care Packages are flexible. However, the products and services you receive need to be directly related to your ageing-related care needs and keeping you safe and independent in your home.

Some common services and products include: personal care, nursing, allied health, meal preparation, mobility & continence aids, cleaning and household tasks, light gardening, respite, companionship.

Learn more: What can Home Care Package funds be used for?

How much does a home care package cost?

Your Home Care Package comprises of the Australian Government subsidy (and supplements if you’re eligible) and the fees and costs you might be asked to pay. The subsidy you will receive depends on what level of care you’ve been approved for.

You may also be eligible for supplements if you have specific care needs such as dementia, enteral feeding, or a need for continual oxygen therapy.

These are some of the Home Care Package fees that you could be asked to pay:
- care management fee
- package management fee
- basic daily fee (Five Good Friends does not charge this fee)
- income tested fee.

You won’t necessarily have to pay all these fees and charges. It will depend on what provider you choose and what your income circumstances are.

If you’re switching home care providers, your current provider may ask you to pay an exit fee. Five Good Friends does not charge this fee.

Learn more: Understanding Home Care Package fees and costs

What is the income tested fee?

The income tested care fee, commonly known as income tested fee or ITF, is a fee you may need to pay to contribute to the cost of your care and services under your home care package.

The income tested fee is assessed according to you or your loved one’s annual income (including pension), living situation and relationship status. If you’d like to know how much you might have to pay visit My Aged Care fee calculator.

What do I need to know about the income tested fee?

There are a few important facts to know about the income tested care fee:

- the income tested fee is different for everyone and can be assessed by Services Australia, Centrelink, or Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA)
- income tested fee amounts change with indexation on both the 20th of March and September each year
- if your financial situation changes, you may need to arrange for a new income assessment
- the fees are reviewed every 3 months. You will be notified in writing if there are any changes
- to get an estimate of how much you might have to pay visit My Aged Care fee calculator

The income tested fee is assessed according to you or your loved one’s annual income (including pension), living situation and relationship status.

The income tested fee is payable directly into your chosen Home Care Provider on behalf of Services Australia. It is combined with your basic daily fee and any additional fees but unlike admin fees, it goes straight onto your Home Care Package.

Learn more: What you need to know about the income tested fee

How do you allocate my carers?

As part of designing a Help Plan, you can determine the attributes of your ideal Helper. You may even know someone who you would like to be your Helper. Our goal is to match you with people who you enjoy and look forward to seeing.

Can I self-manage my home care package?

With Five Good Friends you can. Self-managing your home care package means you’re more active in organising the everyday tasks of your care and services. Some of the tasks you’ll need to handle are choosing and managing your Helpers, making decisions around your services and how they’re delivered, manage invoicing and package budget. Self-managing does require a lot of dedication and time, but it doesn’t mean you’ll be doing it alone. Five Good Friends will provide you with the platform, tools and support for you to be successful in self-managing.

How do I switch to Five Good Friends?

When you decide to switch to Five Good Friends you must agree on a cessation date with your current provider and call My Aged Care to reactivate your home care package referral code. You should check with your existing provider if there is an exit fee, which can only be charged if you have a surplus of funds in your package.

Any unspent funds will follow you and be used once you join Five Good Friends. If you’d like more information about switching to Five Good Friends call our Care Advisors on 1300 787 581.

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