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Federal Budget 2023: What it means for aged care

The 2023-2024 Federal Government Budget was handed down in May and included some major announcements for the care sector.  Here, we highlight some significant outcomes that will impact the aged care support sector and what that will mean for you.

New Support at Home program postponed

The budget began with notice of the postponement of the start date for the new Support at Home Program.  The new in-home aged care program, which was set replace the existing Home Care Package Program (HCP), was due to begin in July 2024 but is now set to start from 1 July 2025. 

The postponement by the Government is in response to feedback from stakeholders and will allow more time to review and improve the Support at Home program. In the meantime, the existing in-home care programs including the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) and the HCP program will continue until 30 June 2025.

The Aged Care Taskforce, which was established to inform the design of the Support at Home Program, received a financial boost to develop more options to address fairness and equity in the aged care system.

15% increase in wages for aged care workers on the modern award

One of the major announcements in the budget was that the Government will increase the Home Care Package subsidy rate to help fund the increase in wages for aged care employees resulting from the Fair Work Commission’s Decision of February 2023.

All care recipients’ HCPs will increase by 11.9% to cover the cost of the wage rise for aged care workers, as well as other increases in prices.

Prestige Inhome Care CEO, Nick McDonald said, “We welcome this decision by the Government, to increase pay rates and recognise the critical work aged care staff do, to support our clients to remain living independently in your own home. We acknowledge that there is a dangerous shortage of aged care workers and that this is one strategy to address that concerning issue.

“However, we are disappointed that Government assistance to support those Australians paying for their own Private care has not been forthcoming. Rest assured, I am personally lobbying with the Aged Care Peak Body to urge the Government to support this mandated pay increase, not only for Government funded programs but also private, self-funded clients.”

The wage increase will take effect from 30th June, 2023.  We remain committed to delivering the highest standard of service and exceeding clients’ expectations, by keeping admin fees to some of the lowest in the industry, ensuring you are getting the most value from your in-home care support with Prestige.

Funding more Home Care Packages

The 2023-2024 Budget includes an additional 9,500 Home Care Packages to assist in meeting the growing demand for aged care at home.  The allocation of $166.8 million over 12 months is part of the 80,000 packages that were announced in 2021-2022.

An additional 9,500 is a small increase compared with previous years but will help to put a slight dent in the many thousands of people on HCP waiting lists.

Are you on the Home Care Package Waitlist?

It is not uncommon for Home Care Package applicants to wait for many weeks before their package is approved by My Aged Care. Many of our clients choose to fund their care privately whilst they are on the waitlist, and once their package is approved, Prestige Inhome Care transfer the funding over to their HCP. 

If you are waiting for a Home Care Package or are exploring aged care or disability support options for your or your loved one, reach out to our Care Specialist team for more information on 1300 10 30 10.  Alternatively, request a call back online.