More and more older people would like to maximise the use of their Home Care Package. As this program is becoming more popular over time, Home Care Package holders and their families learn to compare more carefully when choosing a provider, to choose the best fit for themselves. Yet a lot of them have found that every provider is ‘about the same’ after comparing the prices.
Although a lot of Providers may not sound that different in terms of prices, when services are used in real life, they often result in a more significant disparity. In this article, Happy Living will list some common differences amongst providers for your reference. You may like to look into these aspects carefully when comparing providers and to make a wise decision.
- Are there additional charges?
Under the influence of Happy Living, the overall service rate of Home Care Package provider has been adjusted from over 50% in the past to an average of 35% nowadays. Some of them have a lower fee of 15% or 18% which is ‘about the same’ as Happy Living, or even as low as 10%. Our elderly friends should be aware if there are often though, also additional charges or hidden fees charged by these Providers. Generally speaking, the most common additional charges include: the set-up fee, the exit fee and the daily care fee, while hidden fees are mainly composed of high hourly home care service fees, or surcharges for using specific services of your choice.
When there is no such common or regular additional charge, and the hourly rate for your home care services is close to market prices, it becomes more important to figure out whether there are any unusual expenses. According to our clients who transferred to Happy Living, there were endless bizarre charges by their previous HCP providers. For example, some providers charged an extra handling fee every time the client tried to use a service or apply for reimbursement, while some others would deduct corresponding fees from the elderly’s Home Care Package account when it came to the development of their care plan and annual reviews required by the government.
- Are there any additional clauses?
Apart from the unexpected additional charges, there can also be strict additional clauses attached to the use of some HCP providers. Here are some real life examples our Happy Living intake consulting team have encountered: A Home Care Package holder who would like to transfer found the notice period was 2-months long, while another was asked to pay a large amount of penalty fees when he asked to transfer within 1 year after having signed up with the Provider. All of these ‘traps’ are often hidden in the lengthy contract terms in English, which can make it difficult for older people to notice when they sign up.
Although not all the Home Care Package providers attach these additional charges or additional conditions, you should be cautious when making choices for your own rights and interests. It’s important to pay particular attention when you feel that the administrative fee is ‘about the same’. After all, these seemingly inconceivable cases have happened and are happening around us.
- Is the quality of service up to standard?
When the administrative fee charged by providers are ‘about the same’, it is also important for you to find out the quality of the service they provide. Service includes management services by the HCP provider and the home care services required.
At Happy Living, every one of our self-management clients have his/her own dedicated Care Coordinator to assist with the use of their Home Care Package. Our Care Coordinator team members have professional backgrounds, ample experience and also receive regular training to assist them to achieve the maximum use of their Home Care Package. In terms of home care services, Happy Living clients can choose from experienced service personnel with good reputations in the market without much restriction and a service quality can be guaranteed.