On Monday 27 February the long awaited changes to home care packages finally arrived!
For those that aren’t aware, the changes are part of the Australian Government’s reforms to aged care services, designed to give more freedom and choice to consumers. Home care packages, which were previously held by providers, are now allocated directly to consumers, allowing ‘portability’ – the ability to take your package with you if you move suburbs or even states, or change providers if you are unhappy with them.
We provide more information about the changes in a previous blog article Navigating Home Care Package Changes.
Now that the day is finally here, how do you go about changing home care providers? We give you an easy step by step guide to take control of your home care package.
- Review your care plan with your provider
Ensure you ask for regular reviews with your aged care provider to get the most out of your package, particularly if your needs have changed. Your provider can help you to change frequency of services, or even replace services if, for example, you’re able to do housework again but now require some nursing services.
- Notify your current provider you no longer require their services
Once you have made the decision to change providers, you will need to inform your current provider that you do not want to receive care from them any longer. You can do this over the phone, or by using this notification to home care provider letter to advise them in writing. You will need to agree with your provider on a date when services will finish. This is known as the cessation date.
- Find a new provider
Researching providers can seem overwhelming, with a lot of providers to choose from that all seem similar. Look for a provider who:
- Will personalise their care services to your needs
- You feel comfortable inviting into your home
- Will provide consistent carers so you can get to know and trust them
- Has a range of home care services, including home care, nursing, allied health, respite and dementia services, to ensure you can access all the care you need from one provider. While you may not need all of these services now, this could change in the future
- Contact My Aged Care
Once you have chosen your new provider, use the My Aged Care client portal or call 1800 200 422 and ask to have your referral code reactivated.
My Aged Care will ask you for permission to share your information with the new service provider, and provide you your referral code. Make sure you take down a copy of this code when My Aged Care provide it to you, as your new service provider will need it to find your referral and start your services.
- Commence services
Your new services can start the same day as the cessation from your previous provider to ensure you don’t miss out on service you need. Remember to continue to ask for reviews with your new provider to make sure you use your package funds effectively.