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IN MY PLACE SA

Myths and Misinformation

MYTHS & MISINFORMATION IN HOME CARE

‘Use it or Lose it’

If you do not take up your home care package within the 56 day period, you do not ‘lose it’!

This is one of the most common myths and pieces of misinformation that I come across regarding home care packages.

What makes it even harder to get the message out is that many ‘experts’ also think this is the case. I have attended community information sessions with speakers from major organisations that have stated this in their talks. Letters from My Aged Care are ambiguous and not all staff seem to fully understand nuances of the system. Companies that get paid to find providers for clients, and providers themselves, have financial interest in encouraging clients to not let this timeframe go by.

HOW DOES IT WORK THEN?

Basically, the 56-day period you have to choose a provider is My Aged Care asking you to act on your offer, because if you do not want to use the package, there is a queue behind you. It keeps the queue rolling.

BUT – if you pass on the home care package offer you do not go to the bottom of the queue, or out of the queue, if you do not take it up at this time.

Once you have served your wait time, you will have access to the package if you need it. You will have to wait a short time once you advise My Aged Care that you would like to take the package up, but this is usually only 1-3 weeks (not the months and months like the initial wait period).

I have seen people who have passed up their initial offer get the 56 days reinstated the day after expiry, up to 14 years after the initial expiry. It has generally taken only 1-3 weeks to get a letter back, with a new home care package offer and a fresh 56 days (plus 28-day extension if needed) once this call has been made.

YOU’VE WAITED SO LONG – WHY WOULD YOU DECIDE TO PASS ON A HOME CARE PACKAGE?

Whilst a home care package can be a great help, there are many reasons why it is not the magical fixer of all things. Here are a couple of reasons I may advise my clients to consider if a home care package is the best option for them.

  1. The home care package has finite funds. These are often not enough to cover current service levels. Once the money is allocated, everything else gets paid out of pocket.

For example, for someone living alone that is having twice daily medication visits – this will be all that will fit into a Level 4 package budget. All other services will need to sit outside of the package – paid privately, or completely cut due to being unaffordable. In this case, remaining on CHSP will ensure that the client continues to have medication management plus any other services that are currently in place.

  • Home Care packages are income tested – the full rate on income tested fee to access home care package funding is almost $35 / day, or $245 per week. Commonwealth Home Support services are not income-tested and cost $12-$15 per hour.

If a low level of services is required, or only a lower level home care package is on offer, the cost can be prohibitive and may even be more expensive than obtaining the care privately and completely un-subsidised.

At In My Place SA, after a thorough needs assessment, we will price out the options, and lay out the pros and cons of staying on CHSP vs taking up the home care package if this is a factor.

Persons who have a home care package assigned are under no obligation to transition from CHSP to a home care package, particularly if it results in disadvantage.

However, if you take up a home care package then cancel out of it, you will need full re-assessment and be required to start the queue from scratch.

So, take your time, be informed and make the choice that’s right for you. The package will be there when you need it – when and if it is your best option.

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