Self-managed Home Care Packages: are they right for you?
Taking on a self-managed Home Care Package can give you direct choice and control. Not paying for a case manager can leave you with more funds to spend on care services. You’ll need to consider carefully if the choice is right for you. While the fees may be significantly lower when self-managing, the work involved can be significant. Consider where you want to spend your time.
What is a self-managed Home Care Package?
- A Home Care Package (HCP) is government funding allocated towards an eligible individual to purchase in-home care and health services to keep an older person well at home. For example: cleaning, meals, nursing, physio, transport, shopping and more.
- You need to obtain an ACAS assessment via My Aged Care, in order to be approved for a HCP.
- A HCP can vary from level 1 low care needs (approx. $8,000 per year) to level 4 high care needs (approx. $51,000 per year).
- You have the option of paying for case management (a professional allocated to you to recommend and arrange services and provide aged care advice) or to self-manage your HCP (ie: with no case manager, you do all the arranging and organising of services).
Both options (case-managed and self-managed) are delivered through a HCP ‘provider’ which is a company, health service or not for profit organisation that administers the funds and ensures the HCP is used appropriately. A provider will still provide a regular statement of funds available and services/funds used. So there will always be some amount of administration fees involved in managing your HCP.
How do self-managed Home Care Packages work?
- You search and find the home care service you need and get a quote.
- You confirm the HCP provider is happy to pay for it.
- You request the home care service agency/contractor directly sends the invoice to the HCP provider. Or you could pay upfront and get reimbursed by the HCP provider.
Benefits of self-managing your Home Care Package
You will be saving money by not engaging an ongoing professional case manager. More of the HCP funds can be used towards care and not fees. The HCP provider still needs to give you access to a case manager (for a fee) if you get stuck.
Self-managing could be right for you if you are confident with the responsibilities of arranging all facets of home care.
Planning on managing your own Home Care Package?
Consider whether self-managing is right for you:
- You’ll need to be computer / email literate as most of the invoicing and approval of services is via email.
- You’ll need a very good understanding of the health and aged care system… remember you are the one arranging it all now!
- You’ll need to invest time in research and decision-making. Each service provider you speak to will want to know all about your needs, to ensure their service is the right fit. You’d need to conduct all the checks to verify each provider’s qualifications, certifications and insurances are up to date.
- If you are a carer – you’ll need to be able to manage care needs without the regular support and advice of a case manager.
Is a case manager a worthwhile investment?
Compare the convenience of having a case manager: if you explain your needs and preferences to an experienced case manager, you only have to do it once, and rely on them to find and arrange the services you need. They’ll monitor your situation and recommend the best care plan for you. This might suit you, particularly for high care needs, if you’re comfortable with referring the decisions to a trusted provider. You also have the reassurance of a case manager / health professional to support you as your care needs change.
Don’t delay arranging your Home Care Package
Whether case managed or self-managed, start now to obtain a Home Care Package.
- A free of charge ACAS (Aged Care Assessment Services) assessment is required to be approved for a HCP – arrange this via My Aged Care.
- Current waiting times for HCP are between 6-18 months.
- You can find a HCP provider by searching on the My Aged Care Website. There are over 100 providers in Melbourne.