Choosing a home care package provider can feel overwhelming – there are a lot of services, costs, and factors to consider. Let’s look at how to find a home care package provider, so that you can shorten a lengthy providers list down to one approved provider that best suits your care needs.
Decide on self-managed or fully managed home care
You should decide early on whether you will choose to self-manage your home care package. There are some major differences between self-managed and fully managed home care packages that you need to know. Starting with the wrong type of provider can delay you from getting the care services you need.
Fully managed providers will arrange all your services, select your carers, and handle the financial aspect of your package. This is a very hands-off option for aged care consumers, but it has its drawbacks. Fully managed providers take a large portion of the package budget for themselves, sometimes up to 35%! Since they select your services and carers, you may find yourself paying for services you don’t need, or having carers you don’t feel comfortable with.
Self-managed home care packages give the power to consumers to choose their own services and carers. Self-managed home care packages tend to have much lower costs compared to traditional fully managed providers – Trilogy Care only charges 15% of the home care package! Consumers on a self-managed home care package have the freedom to choose the services they need, where they want, when they want, from the carers they feel comfortable with. They can even transfer these services to another home care package provider if they decide to change providers.
Compare home care package providers using My Aged Care
Once you’ve chosen either self-managed or fully managed home care, you should start looking for approved home care package providers using My Aged Care’s find a provider tool. Simply enter your suburb, select the care type and services you require, and hit ‘Search’ to get a comprehensive providers list to browse through.
You will likely get a long list of results, so you’ll need to start narrowing these down before you can choose a home care package provider. You can press the ‘Compare’ button to add a provider to a comparison list, then click ‘Compare providers’ at the top of the page to compare up to eight different approved providers. If you’re not sure what to look for, check out our handy guide on what to look for when comparing home care package providers.
Make a shortlist of home care package providers
Start creating a shortlist of approved home care package providers that you find on My Aged Care. You will go over this providers list later to leave only a few home care package providers. You should also start visiting each package provider’s website to get a feel for their story, value, and professionalism.
Call each home care package provider and ask questions
Once you have a shortlist of approved home care package providers, you can start calling each provider and asking a series of questions. You’ll start to get a feel for how each provider will treat you if you were their customer – whether they treat you with care or just as another number. Don’t feel pressured into agreeing to anything at this stage, you should just be getting information from each provider.
Make sure you know what questions to ask when looking for a home care package provider. You should try to find out the services you can expect, how your care needs will be met, and how your carers will be chosen. You should also ask about the provider’s costs, as well as any extra hidden fees.
Compare each home care package provider's costs and fees
Home care package providers may charge a range of different costs and fees that you need to be aware of. Their main cost will be package management and care management fees, which are often charged as a percentage of your home care package budget. Make sure you combine these costs for the full price! Trilogy Care has already combined these costs and only charge a 15% flat rate with no hidden costs or fees.
Make sure you keep an eye out for any hidden fees, such as entry fees, exit fees, or a basic daily fee. You may also need to pay for carer travel costs, various hourly rates for care, or additional costs if you want services from a different provider.
All approved home care package providers must collect an income tested fee if necessary. Services Australia will conduct an income assessment to determine if you must pay this government mandated fee, which is collected by your home care package provider.
Check home care package provider compliance reports
Once you have only a few approved home care package providers left on your list, check their compliance history to see if they have any non-compliance notices. You can search for specific approved providers using My Aged Care’s non-compliance checker, or find a report tool. Non-compliance reports will also appear in the find a provider tool.
Home care package providers who have been issued a non-compliance notice may have issues meeting the aged care quality standards. If a provider on your shortlist has been issued a non-compliance notice, you should ask them what they have done to address this notice and improve their services.
Choose a home care package provider and sign up
By following these steps, you should have narrowed your home care package providers list down to a single approved provider to sign up with. You can then start preparing for when your home care package starts. If you give this provider your referral code, they will be able to see information from your ACAT assessment to start forming your care plan.
If you chose a self-managed home care package provider, you will be able to start choosing your services and carers, and paying for your services using home care package funds.