Knowing how to compare home care package providers and what to look for will help you when choosing your home care package provider. There are a range of different costs, fees, and factors that you should consider if you make your own home care package provider comparison. In this guide, we’ll compare several home care package providers based on the information they have supplied on My Aged Care’s find a provider tool for a level 1 home care package.
Two traditional home care package providers and two self-managed home care package providers were used for this comparison. These costs and fees are for a level 1 home care package – higher level packages will have comparatively higher costs and fees.
Home Care Package provider non-compliance
The Australian Government carries out regular assessments of home care package providers to ensure that they are meeting the aged care quality standards and are appropriately using funds. It’s important that you know in advance if a package provider has any previous records of non-compliance, so you can start your services with some peace of mind.
You can find if a particular provider has had any issues with non-compliance through My Aged Care’s find a provider tool. You can also search for non-compliance within a specific location, organisation name, or date range using My Aged Care’s non-compliance checker. Non-compliance reports can also be found through My Aged Care’s find a report tool.
We can see that Self-Managed Provider 1 has been issued a non-compliance notice. If we look at their compliance summary on My Aged Care, we can see that they failed to meet accreditation standards relating to many aged care quality standards, such as consumer dignity and choice, personal and clinical care, and feedback and complaints. A great question to ask home care package providers with non-compliance records is ‘What have you done to address your non-compliance notice?’.
Basic daily fees
Home care package providers may ask their consumers to ‘contribute’ to their care through a basic daily fee. The maximum daily fee that may be charged is set by the government at a percentage of the single basic age pension. On a level 1 home care package, the maximum basic daily fee that can be charged per fortnight is $138.
We can see that two providers in our provider comparison charge the basic daily fee, with Self-Managed Provider 2 charging nearly the maximum fee allowable for a level 1 package. Most providers no longer charge this fee – home care package consumers are much better off just using what they would spend on this fee on their own care and lifestyle directly, rather than giving it to a provider who takes a cut for their own pockets.
Care and package management costs and fees
My Aged Care’s provider comparison tool separates the typical costs and fees you will pay to home care package providers into two categories: package management and care management. In most cases, you will have to pay both of these fees. Care management fees are usually lower in self-managed packages as you are responsible for a large portion of organising your own care. Make sure you combine care management and package management fees to get a clear understanding on the cost of your home care package.
Trilogy Care has simplified this by only charging a package management fee, and not charging any care management fee. We can see in our provider comparison that fees at traditional providers are very high, with self-managed providers costing much less. Trilogy Care’s Management fee is a 15% flat rate, giving aged care consumers more funds to spend on their care and services.
Additional costs for separate services
Some home care package providers will charge you additional costs if you want to use separate services using your home care package funds. Most traditional providers will call this separate fee a ‘handling fee’.
Not only does this additional fee cost you more, but it also pushes you into not having any flexibility with your care. If your provider doesn’t have specific services you need or carers you prefer, you will have to pay higher fees so that your provider can take a cut.
Trilogy Care’s self-managed home care packages give consumers the freedom to choose their own services and carers, helping senior Australians get the most out of their home care package.
Expensive exit fees
If you want to switch home care package provider, some providers will charge you an expensive exit fee. This is especially common in traditional home care package providers.
Obviously, you should have the freedom to switch home care package providers at any time and for any reason, without being charged extra. You may need to switch providers if you move house, want new services or carers, or are tired of paying excessive costs and fees. Expensive exit fees can be used to pressure consumers into staying with a lackluster provider, rather than switching to a provider that can maximise their home care package.
Carer travel costs
Many providers charge additional costs for care workers to travel to you. These are costs you are paying before you even receive any care, and can quickly add up if you live in regional or rural locations.
We can see in our provider comparison that most home care package providers charge additional staff travel costs. Trilogy Care sticks to the norm for self-managed home care packages by not charging any additional staff travel costs.
Hourly rates for service types
The hourly rates for various services vary greatly between traditional providers and self-managed providers. Traditional providers employ their own workforce, meaning you must pay high hourly rates, often for carers you don’t even know and at times that don’t work for you. Self-managed providers give you more flexibility in choosing your own carers, so you only have to pay the rates you are comfortable in paying.
These hourly rates are estimates provided by each provider on the My Aged Care website. As we can see in our provider comparison, Trilogy Care has much lower hourly rates for every service. These low rates mean you can use your home care package funds to double your care hours compared to a traditional provider! The wealth of experience the care management team has in aged care allows Trilogy Care to offer these unbeatable hourly rate estimates.
Traditional Home Care Package providers
Traditional home care package providers do offer a few benefits compared to self-managed home care package providers. They are a very hands free home care option, and can be suitable for senior Australians who do not worry about needing flexibility or control over their home care.
But these traditional providers often take a massive portion of your home care package budget – sometimes up to 50% of the package! They do this by charging a range of different fees, such as daily fees, care fees, package management fees, travel costs, additional costs for separate services, and entry and exit fees.
Traditional home care package providers use their own workforce, meaning you won’t be able to choose the carers and services that you want, when you want, where you want.
Self-managed Home Care Package providers
Self-managed home care package providers offer senior Australians more control and flexibility over their care, by letting them choose the carers and services that they want. This rapidly growing approach to home care costs much less, helping senior Australians to get the most out of their home care package budget!
But not all self-managed home care package providers are created equal. Most self-managed home care package providers tend to split their costs into care management and package management fees, giving a false impression of their cost. It’s important that you always combine these costs when you compare providers to get a comprehensive understanding of how much your home care package will cost.
Trilogy Care combines these fees into one simple 15% flat rate of your home care package. The extensive experience the Trilogy Care team has in aged care means that we can offer incredibly low hourly rates, giving you even more hours of care.
If you are worried about using a carer marketplace or think you may need some extra help with choosing your own carers under a self-managed home care package, Trilogy Care also offers a Self-Management Plus package. In this package, you will be assigned a dedicated Care Coordinator who will help you to find and choose your own carer workforce.
Make sure to check out our comprehensive guide on the difference between self-managed and fully managed home care packages. If you’re not happy with your current provider and you’re looking to switch, you’ll love our guide on the steps to switch home care package providers. Make sure you also know the questions to ask when looking for a home care package providers.