The way costs are worked out for home care packages changed on 1 July 2014. If you received a home care package before 1 July 2014, you will keep paying the costs that you already pay under the old fee arrangement.
If you received a home care package before 1 July 2014, your fees will stay the same. The two types of fees that your provider can ask you to pay are explained below.
Basic daily fee
If you received a home care package, before 1 July 2014, your service provider can ask you to pay the basic daily fee. The basic daily fee has not changed as part of the post-1 July 2014 fee arrangements.
Income tested fee
If you have a total assessable income above the maximum income of a full pensioner, your service provider can ask you to pay an income tested fee. This fee can be up to 50% of your income above the age pension amount.
Your maximum fees depend on your income but your home care provider must also have regard to unavoidable expenses such as high pharmaceutical bills, rent, utilities and other living expenses. This means that you can negotiate a lower basic daily fee and/or income tested fee directly with your home care provider, if you are experiencing financial hardship.
Post-1 July 2014 fee arrangements for home care packages
The basic daily fee did not change as part of the changes introduced on 1 July 2014. However, the rules for income-tested care fees were strengthened so that they are applied consistently and people who can afford to pay can be asked to contribute towards the cost of their care.
Annual and lifetime caps
If you received a home care package before 1 July 2014, or you have transferred to a new home care service provider but have decided to stay on your existing fee arrangements, the annual and lifetime caps do not apply to your income tested fees. The caps only apply to income-tested care fees that are payable for people that entered care after 1 July 2014 or opted in to the post 1 July 2014 fee arrangements upon moving home care service providers.