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What services does a Home Care Package include? The easy explainer

If you have a Home Care Package, it can be tricky to work out exactly what
can and can’t be paid for out of your funding – especially as the Department
of Health and Aged Care have recently released an updated version of the
Home Care Package guidelines.

The updates include some changes to services that can no longer be included
in a Home Care Package, such as pet care, beauty therapy and hairdressing.

We’re here to clarify what’s included, what’s excluded, and how a Wellbeing
Manager can work with you to determine what is an approved expense under the
guidelines.

It’s important to note that your individual circumstances will always be
taken into consideration with the below. The intention of the Home Care
Package program is to keep you living safely in your own home for longer,
and your care needs can always be discussed with your Wellbeing Manager.

Excluded general expenses

There are some expenses that are generally excluded, even if they may be
related to your needs and goals, as they’re not aligned to the intent and
scope of the HCP Program.

All of the below examples are considered day-to-day expenses, and will
usually be paid for with your personal income rather than your Home Care
Package funding:

  • Home Insurance, Rates, Water, sewage, gas and electricity costs
  • General Pest Management
  • General Home Repairs/ maintenance
  • Pet care
  • Beauty services and hairdressing
  • Gym or Pool memberships
  • General lounge suites and recliners
  • Household furniture
  • Fresh ingredients for meals
  • Vehicle related costs – insurance, repairs
  • Funeral plans or costs
  • Entertainment activities
  • Supplies for activities such as gardening or craft
  • General mattress and bed
  • Whitegoods and electrical appliances
  • Air Conditioning or Heaters (installation and repairs)

However, there may be exceptions to the above – for example, if your gym or
membership includes exercise classes facilitated by a health professional
and have been prescribed to you by an Exercise Physiologist or
Physiotherapist . Or, say, if your bed requires a special mattress or frame
that can be electronically adjusted.

Government funded programs and/or schemes

There are some further excluded items due to each state or territory having
their own program or scheme to help with the cost of prescription glasses
and dental work.

The Australian Government also funds the Hearing Services Program (HSP) to
help eligible concession card holders access hearing aids.

Here are some examples of excluded items that fall under otherwise funded
programs:

  • Prescription Glasses or Contacts
  • Dentures or dental work
  • Hearing Aids (exception – If not holding a pension concession card HCP may
    cover like for like of typical hearing aid covered by HSP)
  • Gap payment for government funded programs such as taxi vouchers and/ or
    aids and equipment schemes
  • Continence aids if in the Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS) program

Included and Excluded Home Modifications, Maintenance and Garden Care

Any home modifications must be related to your ageing-related care needs.
However, reasonable maintenance to keep the home and garden safe, and for
adequate security, is always included; for example, removal of a garden bed
may be necessary if it’s for safety reasons , such as obstructing a pathway.

Here are some examples of excluded and included items:

Excluded Included
Windows, roofs, pergolas, sunrooms and decking Removing shower screen and installation of rod for shower curtain
Non-standard fittings and aesthetic modifications of any kind Shower base platform and grabrails
Complex modifications requiring development applications Threshold ramp or wedge
Re-painting the home Easy lever taps, hand held shower hose
Major plumbing or electrical work Handrails at stairs or ramp
Replacement or maintenance of: Solar panels, water tanks, fencing,
roofs, heating and cooling or hot water systems, swimming pools.
Technical advice for major home modifications or ways to mitigate
safety risks
Installation and/ or maintenance of raised garden beds Cleaning gutters or windows
Planting/maintaining crops, natives or ornamental plants Changing light bulbs or smoke alarm batteries
Compost heaps Light gardening
Landscaping or tree removal Stair lifts and wheelchair platform lifts
Removal of garden beds or shrubbery Widening doorways and passages

Included and Excluded Medical Costs

Here are some examples of excluded and included items for medical costs:

Excluded Included
Gap payments for any services covered by private health insurance or
private health insurance premiums
Dose Administration Aid packaging
Medications, vitamins and supplements Wound dressings
Consultation/ tests/ surgery with medical practitioner Private appointment (not covered by Medicare) with a GP to meet
evidence requirements for dementia and cognition supplement and
oxygen and enteral feeding supplements
Hospital or ambulance costs Medical devices where clinically recommended (CPAP, BP Monitor,
Pulse Oximeter)

Home Care Package funds generally can’t be for allied health services unless
they’re associated with age-related functional decline – so a decrease in
physical or cognitive functioning associated with ageing.

If you have a Medicare-funded Chronic Disease Management Plan or a Mental
Health Treatment Plan, these supports must first be exhausted under these
plans before accessing allied health and nursing through a HCP.

Included Transport and Travel

Your Home Care Package can fund transport and personal assistance for
shopping, visiting health practitioners and attending social activities.

If you’ve been issued with government funded taxi vouchers, you may have to
pay privately for any co-payment expenses.

Your Wellbeing Manager

Unsure about what can and can’t be funded through your Home Care Package?
Your Wellbeing Manager can work with you or your representative to determine
if the service, support or purchase you’re interested in:

  • Is directly linked to your identified care needs and goals;
  • Is important for your health and wellbeing;
  • Is necessary for you to support safety in you home;
  • Can be delivered within your available package budget; and
  • Would be considered an acceptable use of government funds.

Where an item is not explicitly included or excluded, your Wellbeing Manager
can work through a decision-making tool to help with determination of the
outcome.

An example of the decision-making tool questions are: ‘Does this align with
the ageing related care needs documented in the ACAT assessment?”

And ‘Does the support represent value for money?’

For more about Home Care Packages

Feros Care has plenty of information available on the process, fees, and everything else involved.

Click here to find out more;
– or
get in touch with our experts via MyFeros to chat directly

Not a client yet? We’d love to talk through how we can support you.
Click here to get in touch.

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