Greater choice in home care - what it means for older Australians

1 August, 2017

Since February 2017, some welcome changes have been made to the home care system — giving greater choice to older Australians.
 
In the years ahead, the ageing population means the number of people requiring home care is going to increase so it’s important that as people age they have choice about the care they receive.
 
From February 2017, all home care packages are provided to individuals from a national pool rather than to home care providers under a funding allocation process.
 
This means that once your funding has been approved, based on your individual needs and situation, you can change providers — without having to reapply for funding. Also, any unused funds remain yours.
 
This change is expected to create a more competitive, customer-driven home care industry empowering people to shop around for providers that are better able to meet their needs.
 

Did you know?

The number of people in government subsidised home care in 2014 was over 65,000* across Australia.
 

Case study

Megan has been assessed and approved to receive a home care package. Let’s see her options before and after the home care reforms.
 

Before

Under the old system, Megan doesn’t have a choice of provider. The provider allocated to her:
 

  • charged 10 per cent administration fee and 25 per cent case management fee. This left only 65 per cent of her funding for actual care costs
  • supplied a package that wasn’t to her liking as Megan prefers to go to bed at 10pm but her provider insists on providing services that require her to go to bed at 8pm
  • offered 10 hours care per week when she preferred 14 hours.
Megan’s family investigated changing her supplier but, in her area, it would be a 12 month wait.
 

After

After February 2017, there are more service providers that Megan can consider. One offered to:
 
  • charge a 2.5 per cent administration fee and 10 per cent case management fee. This means that more of her home care package could be used for actual care costs. This would be 87.5 per cent compared with her current provider who allocates only 65 per cent to actual care
  • accommodate her specific needs around the timing of visits each day and the number of carer hours per week.

Megan proceeds to negotiate with a new provider.
 
If you, or a family member, are considering your eligibility for home care services or wish to consider reviewing your service provider please speak to a Bridges financial planner.
 
 
* Source: 2014 Department of Heath Facts and Figures in Aged Care

 

Take the next step

To discuss your financial situation, make an appointment with a Bridges financial planner.
 
We have an established alliance with Bridges, to provide our customers with financial advice. Bridges has been helping Australians with financial advice for 30 years.
 
A Bridges financial planner will develop a plan specifically for you; one that’s tailored to your needs and circumstances to help you achieve your goals.
 
To make an appointment with a Bridges financial planner, call 1800 645 303. The initial consultation is complimentary and obligation free.

 

Bridges Financial Services Pty Ltd (Bridges). ABN 60 003 474 977. ASX Participant. AFSL 240837.
 
This is general advice only and has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation and needs. Before making an investment decision based on this information, you should assess your own circumstances or consult a financial planner or a registered tax agent.
 
Examples are illustrative only and are subject to the assumptions and qualifications disclosed.
 
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In referring customers to Bridges, CWCU does not accept responsibility for any acts, omissions or advice of Bridges and its authorised representatives.