The move to a consumer-directed home care model in 2017 gave consumers the power to choose a home care provider that best suits their individual needs and circumstances. Here’s what you need to know if you want to change home care providers.
Reasons to change home care providers
There are many reasons that you may want to change home care providers. You may be looking for a provider that can better cater to your needs and goals or it may be a financial decision to get more out of your home care package by choosing a company with lower administration and case management fees. You may have moved to a new area and need to find a new home care provider in your area.
Check your Home Care Agreement
Whatever the reason, all home care package recipients can change provider at any time. Before you do, it’s worth checking your Home Care Agreement so you know any conditions such as notice periods and exit fees that may apply.
Do your research on alternative home care providers
To ensure you don’t have a break in your services while changing from one provider to another, start researching home care providers before giving notice to your current provider.
To find providers in your local area, you can use the ‘find a service’ tool on My Aged Care. It can be confusing when comparing providers, so take advantage of any free consultations to discuss your needs and preferences. Our Choosing a Home Care Provider checklist can help you ask the right questions to help you compare providers.
How to change home care providers
Once you’ve decided on a new home care provider, you need to give notice to your current provider and let them know when you’d like your services to cease. The start date with your new provider must be after this agreed end date. You will then sign a new Home Care Agreement with your chosen provider, which will set out what the package will provide, how the package will be provided and how much it will cost.
If you haven’t decided on a new provider, you have 56 days from your end date to sign a new Home Care Agreement otherwise you will relinquish your home care package.
Many home care providers can assist you with the process of switching to them and guide you on the steps you need to take.
What happens to my home care package funds?
After you’ve given notice to your old provider, any unspent funds in your package (after any exit fees of payments have been deducted) will be transferred to your new provider.
For this to happen you need to pass on the details of your new provider so that your unspent funds can follow you.
Getting the most out of your home care package
Whether you choose to stay with your existing home care provider or move on, it’s always good to have ongoing discussions with your home care provider about your goals and how to best use your home care package. Keeping the lines of communication open about what your needs and preferences are can ensure you get the care that’s right for you.