Melbar informed you about the Improved Payment Arrangements for Home Care last year. In December, the Government passed Bill 1 Aged Care Legislation Amendment (Improved Home Care Payment Administration No. 1) Bill 2020, signifying that improved payment arrangements will officially take place this year.
What things should you be aware of? and what preparations should you do for these upcoming changes?
Changes will occur in 2 phases.
From 1 February 2021, home care subsidies and supplements will be paid in arrears each month Instead of being paid in advance. The government will pay your subsidies and supplements after the use of services each month.
In this phase, you can still use your home care package fund as usual and there won’t be any impact on receiving your full subsidies and using home care services.
From 1 September 2021, subsidies will be paid for actual services provided – subsidies and supplements will be paid to the actual amount used for home care services in arrears each month.
Please note that from September, the Government will hold any unspent funds of your Home Care Package and your service provider will no longer manage your unspent funds. These unspent funds withhold by the Government will continue to be available to care recipients when needed for services.
These changes will not affect your subsidy amount. For example, consumers with level 1 HCP will still receive a government subsidy of approx. $9000 per year. However, from September 1st, your package funds will be managed by the government, and the home care service provider will charge the government after your services are used every month. After Phase 2, it means that the use of funds in your home care package will be directly monitored by the government.
What you need to do to adapt to these changes:
1.If you still have a relatively high amount of unused funds in your package, you might consider to plan ahead and make better use of the funds for services flexibly before the implementation of the second phase.
2. If you have not used home care services efficiently, you might consider receiving more care services to maximise the value of your home care package.
*After these changes，government subsidy will still be the primary source of your home care package fouds. Consumers will continue to receive the same care and services from their provider, in line with their care plan; have the full Government entitlements available to them; pay the same home care fees.
Positive Impact of the Change：
These new arrangements will reduce the prudential risk in home care over time, and improve protections for care recipients’ home care funds. People receiving a home care package will have more secure access to their package funds with more transparency. These changes are also better suited to the service delivery, consumer-directed care nature of the Home Care Packages Program. By implementing the improved payment arrangements, the government also encourage consumers to better use home care services and receive more quality care.
As your home care service provider, Melbar will partner with you to actively respond and adapt to these upcoming changes.
We will continue to update you with relevant information regarding the Improved Payment Arrangements. Please contact us if you have any questions or need more support and advice.