With all the home care packages and providers to choose from, it’s easy for seniors and their families to get confused about how much they may be asked to contribute to the cost of their home care. Depending on the provider and the level of care you choose, you could be asked to pay fees for care you receive as part of your home care package. There are three types of fees your provider may ask you to pay: a basic daily fee, an income-tested fee, and fees for additional services.
Basic Daily Fee
The basic daily fee is a suggested contribution to your ageing loved one’s care. Although some home care providers will require you to make this contribution, this fee isn’t mandatory. The Australian government suggests clients add roughly $10.77 per day to their package fund, but many elderly people on pensions don’t have this additional amount available.
Some care providers, including Home Care Assistance, do not require clients to pay the basic daily fee. If your senior loved one needs professional in-home care in Sydney, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a trusted provider of respite and 24-hour care, and we also offer specialised Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care for seniors.
Income-Tested Care Fee
In addition to a basic daily fee, care service providers may ask you to pay an income-tested care fee toward the cost of your loved one’s care. This fee is based on individual income, and you may have to contribute to the cost of care to get the package amount your loved one is deemed to require. As with the basic daily fee, some providers require this payment, but it isn’t mandatory.
To receive government funding, all people are means tested, which involves having a formal income assessment from the Department of Human Services (DHS) or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA). The income assessment determines whether you or your loved one can be asked to pay an income-tested care fee and how much you may be asked to pay. It’s crucial to provide all the necessary documents about your loved one’s income. Otherwise, the government could determine he or she needs to pay the maximum income-tested care fee.
Make sure to research the costs for different levels of service, such as live-in care. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Sydney live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in carers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life.
Fees for Additional Services
Your loved one’s chosen provider is able to charge fees for additional care or services not covered by the home care package, such as administration costs, case management costs, and any other additional amounts you’ve agreed to pay.
It’s important to be aware that some providers charge several different “fees,” many of which are basically hidden costs. Some providers charge as much as 34 percent after all their hidden fees are added up, which comes directly out of your funding and ultimately means your loved one receives fewer hours of care.
Here are a few examples of fees providers might charge:
- Case management fee
- Service fee—this is a fee to manage package income from the government
- Administration fee—some providers charge a fee to organise other services, such as arranging for your loved one to see a healthcare specialist
- Setup fees—some providers charge to set up service
- Exit fees—some providers charge to exit their service
- Transport fees—providers charge a “per km” fee if the carer uses his or her own car to drive your loved one somewhere
Questions to Ask When You’re Choosing a Home Care Provider
When choosing a home care provider for your loved one, ask the following questions to avoid being surprised by any hidden fees:
- Do you insist we pay the basic daily fee?
- Do you insist we pay the income-tested care fee?
- What percentage do you charge for managing my loved one’s home care package?
- Do you charge setup or exit fees?
- What is the per km rate for transportation?
- Do you charge fees on top of services you organise?
- Are there any other fees?
With this information, you’ll be more confident in selecting a provider and understanding the full cost of your loved one’s home care at the start. Before you receive services, discuss any and all fees with the service provider and make sure those fees are clearly outlined in your Home Care Agreement.
When you’re looking for a care provider for your loved one, cost is important, and so is choosing a high-quality provider that doesn’t charge hidden fees. Families looking for top-rated Sydney elder care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialised Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. Call Home Care Assistance today at (02) 9158 3880 to learn about our high-quality in-home aged care services.