My Aged Care now sends a Home Care Readiness Letter 90 days before your Package is assigned
If you are currently “approved” for a Home Care Package and you are on the National Queue waiting for your Home Care Package to be “assigned” ” then we have news for you. My Aged Care has just announced a new step in their allocation process. Accordingly, we have updated the ‘How do you apply for a Government Subsidised Home Care Package’ section of our website.
NEW 1 March 2018: At approximately 90 days or 3 months before My Aged Care assigns your Home Care Package they will send you a Home Care Readiness Letter.
The Home Care Readiness Letter is very new, we don’t yet have a copy of the letter to show you what the letter entails. However, according to the My Aged Care Operational Update Q1 2018 webinar presented by the Health Department, essentially the letter encourages you to:
1. Opt out of the National Queue if you are not yet ready to access in home care services through a Government Subsidised Home Care Package (more on that at the end of this article);
2. Use the subsequent 90 days to “get ready” for the assignment of your Home Care Package if you plan to accept your Home Care Package.
What action do you need to take to “get ready”?
1. Research and choose your Approved Provider to administer your Home Care Package.
If you are an existing private care client of Daughterly Care you will most likely choose us to administer your Government Funding because that way you don’t have to change Carers – you can retain your existing Caregivers – we just use the Government Funding before we privately invoice you.
For Elders who are not an existing Daughterly Care client, once you do your research hopefully you will choose Daughterly Care Community Services because of our highly regarded reputation for providing superior Caregivers and private Registered Nurses who you can communicate easily with and relate well to.
Read the 14 reasons to choose Daughterly Care.
Read the most recent unprompted feedback from our clients about our experienced and mature Carers.
2. The Health Department says the demand for Home Care Packages is “significant”. There are now over 100,000 Elders waiting for a Home Care Package. The Department acknowledges that many older people are waiting for High Care Packages i.e. Level 3 or 4. Of those 100,000 Elders waiting, My Aged Care have offered 40% an Interim Home Care Package (Level 2) which is lower than the high care Home Care Package (Level 3 or 4) that they were approved for.
You can see how little Government Funding you receive with an Interim Level 2 compared to the high care Home Care Packages of 3 and 4 on this page. So one decision you are likely to need to make is, do you accept an interim Level 2 Home Care Package while you wait for your Level 3 or 4 Home Care Package or just wait for your Level 3 or 4 Home Care Package?
Do you accept an Interim Level 2 Home Care Package?
For full pensioners, (provided you still require in home care) when you are offered your Home Care Package, your decision is easy – accept a Level 2, 3 or 4 without hesitation – it will be financially worth your while.
For part pensioners and self-funded Elders the right answer is more complex. Ring us to talk through whether it is financially beneficial to accept a Level 2 Home Care Package or whether you should just wait for your Level 3 or Level 4 Home Care Package to be assigned. Speak to your Co-Ordinator or High Care Case Manager and they, together with me, will advise what is best to do in your circumstance. We will do the mathematical calculations for you so that you can make a fully informed decision. There is no cost for our advice and no obligation to use Daughterly Care Community Services. We’re here to help.
3. Organise your Home Care Fees Letter from the Department of Human Services.
This letter tells you and us what your Income Tested Care fee is. The following is a snipped image from our page on Home Care Package fees.
Time-saving Tip for Self-funded Elders for existing Daughterly Care clients. If you are 100% certain, you are 100% self-funded, you do not need to complete the whole 16 pages of the SA456 form. Just complete your name and state you are self-funded, then send it to the Department of Human Services. This saves completing 16 pages and you pay the same maximum Income Tested Care Fee anyway.
If you are in receipt of a full Pension or part-pension, you just ring DHS and ask them to send you your “Home Care Fee letter” as they already know your financials.
This is the link to the 16 page form: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/forms/sa456
If you are self-funded or part funded or a part pensioner, an Approved Provider will not sign you up with a Home Care Agreement until you have your “Fee Advice Letter for Home Care” from the Department of Human Services or DVA stating what your Income Tested Care Fee is.
My Aged Care surveyed Elders who had been assigned a Home Care Package and who had NOT taken it up after 35 days…this is what they discovered…
30% of Elders were still trying to decide IF they would take up the offer of a Home Care Package – if you fall into this category call us on 02 9970 7333 and we can talk you through the costs versus the benefits to help you make your decision easy.
31% of Elders had decided NOT to take up the Home Care Package they had been assigned but had not yet opted out of the National Queue by informing My Aged Care. (I explain how to opt out later in this article).
54% of Elders who had been assigned a Home Care Package had not yet STARTED researching which Approved Provider they were going to use. I must admit we either get calls as soon as Elders are assigned their Home Care Package or when they have just a day left before the deadline to accept the assigned Home Care Package. There is little in-between with the ‘highly organised’ and the ‘running late people’.
How does Opting Out of the National Queue work?
My Aged Care would like the National Queue to be made of up of older people with a genuine and immediate intention to utilise a Home Care Package as soon as they are offered it. So they are hoping the 90 day Home Care Readiness Letter will encourage the 31% of people who have decided NOT to take a Home Care Package to Opt Out of the National Queue.
So if you had an ACAT Assessment but later your care needs reduced and it is unlikely that you need Government Subsidised in Home Care then you can tell My Aged Care that you will “opt out of the National Queue”.
Let’s say you are in position 100 on the National Queue, (99 older people will be allocated Home Care Packages and then it will be your turn) – what happens if you opt out of the National Queue? My Aged Care says you will retain your place in the National Queue if you decide to re-join later and therefore you are NOT disadvantaged by opting out of the National Queue.
My advice is this…do not Opt Out of the National Queue without talking it through with Daughterly Care. Often carers are telling us how stressed they are by their caring role but then don’t take-up a Home Care Package.
Carer stress is reduced by regular respite
So let’s talk through with you:
- what is happening in your life;
- how you are feeling; and
- how having an in Home Care Package might assist you and your Loved One.
then you can make an informed decision regarding accepting or opting out.
If you receive a letter offering you a HIGHER Home Care Package than you are already on…
- You do NOT pay any extra Basic Daily Care Fee when on a higher Home Care Package, it is the same fee across all 4 Home Care Packages.
- Self-Funded Elders do not pay any extra Income Tested Care Fee than they are already paying when they were on a lower Home Care Package.
So you will receive more hours of support and care for the same cost to you, therefore accept the higher package immediately. Every day you delay in accepting is a day’s higher Government Funding forfeited by you.
I hope this article has been of assistance. Remember you can always ask us any questions. Remember, tell us as soon as your Home Care Readiness Letter arrives.
If you have friends waiting for a higher Home Care Package, forward this page to them.
Any questions? Call your Daughterly Care Co-Ordinator or High Care Case Manager today on 02 9970 7333.
Daughterly Care CEO & Co-Founder
Links to very helpful Information:
Have you been approved (on the waiting list) or assigned (the funding is there and ready to start paying for services)? There is a lot of confusion by consumers as to whether they are approved or assigned their Home Care Package or not – read this article to know for sure.
Can self-funded and part pensioners receive a Government Subsidised in Home Care Package? Yes, they can – read this article to understand the extra fees they pay
If I need extra support over and above my Government Subsidised in Home Care Package, what do I pay? This page has our private care fees.
Why would I choose Daughterly Care Community Services to administer my Home Care Package and provide my support services? 14 reasons to choose Daughterly Care and Meet 21 of our naturally warm and attentive Caregivers