Changes to home care packages begin on January 1st, 2023. You’ll see greater transparency when it comes to Home Care Packages. Providers will no longer be able to charge excessive case management fees, and administration fees. The Australian government is putting limits in place.
What Are The Changes to Home Care Packages?
As of this year (2023), home care providers can charge a maximum of 20% of the assigned home care package to care management. Additionally, providers can charge a maximum of 15% of the assigned package towards package management. If your provider is charging less than the maximum, it’s likely that your fees will remain the same, and you won’t be required to do anything. If your provider has been charging above the maximum fees, you will be notified and the fees will be reduced/ adjusted.
In the past, providers have been able to charge exit fees if you wanted to move your package to another provider. That won’t happen anymore. From the beginning of 2023, exit fees don’t apply.
In some cases, providers were also able to charge package management fees, even if you weren’t receiving services during that time period. The good news is, they’re not allowed to do this anymore (except during the first month of entering into a home care agreement).
Finally, when the provider engages a third party to carry out services (e.g. a contractor for home modifications), they aren’t allowed to add separate charges for the services.
When a Provider Increases Prices
Rest assured that your home care package provider can’t increase their fees under the new changes, without your consent. Any changes to pricing need to be transparent too. For example, you should be notified as to why the prices are changing. You should also know what the new prices will be, and when these changes will take effect. And, as mentioned, they can’t make changes without your consent.
If you’re unhappy with the price changes, you can try and negotiate pricing with your current provider. You’re also able to search and compare providers at My Aged Care. You have the freedom to move home care package providers if you choose to. And now, there won’t be any exit fees!
Finally, further support is available for those who need it. The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) are available on weekdays at 1800 700 600. They can offer support and talk with you about your rights as a recipient of government-subsidised Aged Care Services in Australia.
For up-to-date information regarding the Home Care Packages pricing update, go to the Australian Government – Department of Health & Aged Care website. You can also find out more about home care packages in Australia here.