The Home Care Package (HCP) is a very important program for older Australians living in Australia. The HCP meets the goals of safe, healthy and independent living at home. This subsidy can be viewed as support funding and therefore must be administered by a government approved provider. Different providers have different charging methods, service prices, and operating methods, so different providers will bring different experiences to older Australians.
The government’s aim is that more older Australians will be able to receive this subsidy, enabling more people to live safely and happily at home with the support of much needed care services.
There are over 900 HCP providers in the market currently. As an Australian government approved provider, we, Happy Living provide care services with low management rates (14%) and high transparency (0 hidden fees).
As a leader in the industry, we have been receiving feedback from many seniors when they change provider (switch management company). We hope that when older Australians choose a provider in the new year, they can understand their own rights and interests through case studies and experiences of others. Then, in turn, choose a provider of their liking and enjoy the year of the Tiger.
Case 1: Annual Review Fee
The care plan for older Australians needs to be reviewed at the same time every year after the HCP contract is signed. The purposes of reviewing the care plan are:
1) To ensure that most care needs of older Australians have been met in the past year.
2) To re-establish new care needs if there has been a significant change.
Therefore, the annual review is a service that must be carried out. However, whether to charge a review fee is decided by providers.
For Happy Living:
1) There is no annual review fee which is already included in the management rate.
We do not charge $300 –$500 for your annual review.
2) Your annual review can be done online.
One of the reasons why many seniors transfer to Happy Living is due to no additional payment they encounter for their annual review.
Moreover, some providers still insist on conducting a face to face review.
Happy Living uses technology such as a video calling and other contactless nursing plan reviews to complete the annual review for older Australians in a visual and efficient way.
Of course, the cost of introducing and launching this platform mid-2021 is expensive. But we understand our clients need to stay away from the epidemic now and in the future. Older Australians do not need to download software or an app, just simply click a link to enter the platform. The care manager or registered nurse will have a video chat with you and will be able to see the contents of the document clearly.
Case two. Service Coordination Fee
There are many types of service coordination fees, that lead to less service hours and increased admin costs.
At the beginning of its establishment, Happy Living charged a lower management rate. Currently, the self-management rate is 14%, the part-management rate is 18%, and the case management rate is 23%. You may know that in 2017-2018, there were many providers in the industry that charged a 30% – 45% rate.
Happy Living lead the way for many providers to lower their management rate. This is what we expect to see in the future still, because older Australians as beneficiaries of the HCP, should keep more funds for themselves, which means more service hours.
With the adjustment of the market, although most providers have generally lowered their management rates, some have begun to make a profit from miscellaneous fees. Sometimes the miscellaneous fees are even higher than the original management rate of 30% – 45%. As a result, seniors appear to have lower rates, but there is no corresponding increase in hours of service.
One customer, Grandma Li told us: she chose a provider, who charges a similar fee to Happy Living. Later, she realised that something was not right. After charging a lower management rate, her service hours varied from month to month, but it was not the amount she first calculated. In the end, when she looked at the bill, she found many service and miscellaneous charges, these included:
- Case manager charge statement fee, consultation charges.
- A referral fee for changing support workers.
- Purchase of wheelchairs, required a service coordination fee, etc.
As a result, Grandma Li did not dare to contact that provider, because extra expenses would appear as soon as she did anything.
Recently, Grandma Li met new friends at the New Year’s event, and she discovered that Happy Living only charge a fixed rate of 14%. Our clients will only see one charge from monthly statements, which is the fixed rate written in their contract. There are no hidden fees, service fees, coordination fees or exit fees.
Case three. Management models selection
We respect our clients who want to change provider and leave Happy Living, there are no withdrawal fees. Six months ago, Uncle Liu left Happy Living and chose a provider with a lower rate, hoping to obtain more service hours.
Within half a year, Uncle Liu contacted us again, hoping to return. The reason is: his provider suddenly cancelled a type of management model, forcibly upgrading all customers to a higher model, and the management rate also increased at the same time.
Many seniors, like Uncle Liu, who are fully capable of managing their own services, were being asked to upgrade. In the end, Grandpa Liu left that provider unhappy.
According to Aged Care Quality Standards · 1, “I am treated with dignity and respect, and can maintain my identity. I can make informed choices about my care and services, and live the life I choose.”
In Happy Living, we will recommend a specific model based on your personal situation and care needs. Of course, if you stand by your opinion, we will also respect and support it. Moreover, it is free to switch between the three models without additional charges. We are also part of the largest HCP group in Australia, and have been serving older Australians with low management rates and highly transparent finances for years.
At present, there are indeed problems in the industry. We share cases to provide comprehensive information, compare prices and services between providers so you can get the best and fairest choice.
If you would like to know more about home care, the latest policies, and the benefits and allowance commonly used by older Australians, please search for the “Happy Living Home Care Package” in Google Chrome or WeChat.
Please call 1300 911 728 (Mandarin, Cantonese, and/or English).