The Australian government provides different subsidies to the elderly, such as the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) and Home Care Packages (HCP). Both of these programs are very important for the older Australians, enabling them to receive supports to live at home longer. The government requires subsidies to be managed by a qualified provider. If you are not happy with your current provider, it’s time for you to change HCP provider! In this article, we will teach you how to change your provider in an efficient and effortless way.
Change HCP provider is legal rights of the elderly.
According to the Charter of Aged Care Rights and Aged Care Quality Standards, you have the right to change HCP providers.
Home Care Package (HCP) subsidy is designed for the elderly who need complex care support. There are four levels of Home Care Packages, fundings can be up to $59,594 per year. The purpose of this subsidy is to allow the elderly to maintain a healthy, safe and comfortable life at home. Howver, we have heard that many of the older Australians are not satisfied with their current HCP providers. And following are some reasons you should consider to change HCP provider and receice a better service.
Reason 1: Provider does not offer certain Care Models
Different providers offer different care models. For example, Happy Living provides three care models: self-management with 18% commbined fee, part-management with 22% combined fee and full-management with 26% combined fee. Many providers only provide full-management service, or have stopped providing the self-management model. As a result, many elderly people hope to choose a provider with a comprehensive range of care models to ensure that if their care needs change, they do not have to change HCP provider but can simply transition across different models.
At present, there are indeed many providers who have tried to launch a self management model, but eventually stopped.
There are two main reasons for this: 1. the profit of self management model is reduced due to the low management rate; 2. a very large care service network is required for support due to the flexibility of the self management model. Combining with the influence of a variety of factors, many providers decide to terminate their self-management service model.
Hence, if you wish to have more choices, change HCP provider is an ideal solution for you.
Reason 2: Hidden cost
Researchers in the age care industry in Australia have conducted a survey on management fees, and people may not believe that there are hundreds of different types of fees in the HCP industry, completely treating the elderly as “cash cows”.
If you already hold a HCP, you probbaly should check your statement to see if such expenses are charged:
- Service coordination fee: When elderly purchase care products, and a certain service fee from the provider is charged. For example, to buy a $100 AUD diaper, you need to pay an additional $5 as a service coordination fee to your provider.
- The home visit fee or the annual review fee: Such fees means that in addition of management fee, a extra fee is charged for each home visit, or a fee is charged for the annual review of the year.
- Tiered fees: This fee occured when a provider have one rate for level 1 and level 2, and another rate for level 3 and level 4. When your HCP level is upgraded, the management fee rate may also increase.
- Exit fees, signing fees, activation fees, basic daily fee and other fees, these fees may be written in your contract in an obscure manner.
To avoid being exploied by these providers, change HCP provider is the best option. The fees of Happy Living are simple and transparent, with a fixed rate and no other hidden cost. If you would like to know more about our prices, check this page: https://happyliving.com.au/pricing/.
Reason 3: Moving to a new place.
Many elderly may change residence as their children move their house. Therefore, there will be an issues: the provider cannot provide services to the new address, or the new suburb does not have corresponding support workers, etc.
As the care resource network for Happy Living is all over Australia, we are able to meet general care needs with reasonable care time nation-wide. Continuously, Happy Living has clients who have moved from Sydney to Brisbane or from Melbourne to Canberra, and etc. Their services are still provided seamlessly in their new city.
If your provider is a small business, they may only provide their service in certain areas. This means the Home Care Package holder has no other choice but to change HCP provider to meet their needs.
You can easily find an approved provider with My Aged Care Find a Provider protal. Use this link to compare the most suitable HCP provider: https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/find-a-provider.
You may encounter some difficulties when change HCP provider:
Whether it is a non-profit organisation or a profit organisation, customers are an important factor of company operations. Therefore, some providers deliberately set up obstacles when customers leave to avoid or delay their transfer cycle. They might make some following claims:
Case 1: Customer is not allowed to change providers.
Incorrect! According to the Charter of Aged Care Rights and Aged Care Quality Standards, every customer has the right to change providers.
Case 2: After changing your provider, you will lose your entire HCP balance.
Incorrect! After the unused subsidy is finally settled by the previous provider, the balance will be transferred to the new account of the elderly. The general cycle is 70 days.
Case 3: The client notified the provider of the transfer, and the provider says NO notification is received, and result to delaying the transfer cycle.
As a solution, we suggest you should formally send an email, WeChat, SMS, etc., and confirm the transfer date with the provider in writing. And now, you have evidence in hand. We do not recommend oral notification because it is difficult to trace the date and retain evidence.
Case 4: I sent an email, a WeChat, and made a phone call, but the provider still ignores my request. You can call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to complain and propose further solutions.
Case 5：(Extremely rare case): There is a debt in the HCP account, and the provider uses this as an excuse to refuse your transfer.
This is a rare case, but it does happen. Providers have an obligation to properly manage a customer’s subsidy. It is unprofessional behaviour to let a customer uncontrollably spend and result with them having a negative balance. Because the amount of HCP is issued based on assessment. If the subsidy is overused, it must be spent in unnecessary items outside the care budget.
The usual solution is that the customer needs to pay off the debts, and then decide whether to transfer provider.
How to save money and effort when transferring?
- Review the agreement, check the transfer notice date (in termination term).
- Meanwhile find a new provider.
- Make sure that the previous provider receives your transfer notice (in formal writing).
- If you encounter difficulties, firstly negotiate with the previous provider. If you need to protect your rights or make a complaint, you can call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.
- The unspent subsidy will be transferred to the new account after 70 days
- Try to avoid overspending the funding in your HCP account.
It is a common decision for a customer to change HCP provider. As a HCP recipient you have the right to enjoy retired life happily, independently, and safely. Don’t let these providers disappoint you.
If you have any concerns about your Home Care Packages or need consultation of change HCP provider, call us at 1300 911 728.