We are a business and we charge fees, but our fees are lower than traditional providers. Our monthly statements show our fees. Our fees are paid out of the government funding as they are charged to your client account. They appear on your monthly statement. We do not keep unspent funds.
Our fees are designed to be fair and to motivate us to help you spend the government funding on your care.
We Have Two Fees
- 13% Administration Fee.
- 10% Claim Fee.
These are percentages of different things.
The Administration Fee is calculated as a percentage of all government subsidies and supplements due to you.
The Claim Fee is calculated as a percentage of each payment as it is paid out, either as payments to your 3rd party suppliers or as reimbursements to you.
Fee Free Services
Some aged care providers charge separate fees various things. So to be clear:
- We will not charge you to explain to you how the aged care system works or how we work with you.
- We will not charge you to create, review, update or change your Care Plan or Care Budget.
- We will not charge you to answer your phone call, email you, write you a letter, or for postage.
- We will not charge you to sort out issues with your support workers.
- We will not charge you to provide customer support.
- We will not charge you a Setup Fee.
- We will not charge you a Management Fee.
- We will not charge you a Basic Daily Fee.
- We will not charge you an Exit Fee.
Fees for Home Care Services
Since we specialise in self managed care whereby you the client sources support, we generally do not charge for services like house cleaning, meal preparation, personal care, transport, social support, etc.
We help our clients recruit care workers, purchase aids and source other aged care services on the open market. This generally means the cost is less than as charged by traditional aged care providers. Our clients can negotiate prices with individual privately hired care workers. Rates are usually in the range of $25 to $50 per hour for care workers providing typical home care, actual rates depend on what you agree with the worker. Health care professionals including nurses, occupational therapists and similar will charge more.
Client Contribution Longer Explanation
We will not charge you a Basic Daily Care Fee.
The Australian federal government helps older people live in their home by subsidising aged care delivered via home care packages. Home care packages are conceived as subsidised care rather than free care. As a subsidised service it is expected that care recipients contribute to the cost of their care. The extent of the Client Contribution is means tested. As a client is assessed to have the means to contribute more to the cost of their care, they are expected to do so by paying more, and the government subsidy is so reduced. The Client Contribution includes a Basic Daily Care Fee plus an Income Tested Care Fee.
The Income Tested Care Fee is means tested. The means test is similar to that for the age pension. If you receive the full aged pension based on your age and income, the Income Tested Care Fee should not be an issue for you. If otherwise, please talk to us.
If your means test results in your Income Tested Care Fee being zero, your home care package subsidy will be the full amount for its level. If your Income Tested Care Fee is calculated as more than zero, your subsidy will be reduced on the expectation that your potential funding and your Care Budget will still be the same amount for the package level because your Client Contribution can be higher.
The term "Income Tested Care Fee" could be better understood if it were thought of as a "Subsidy Reduction". If you are a full pensioner the Income Tested Care Fee probably will not apply to you. If you receive a part pension the Income Tested Care Fee probably will apply to you. If you have not applied for the pension, we will encourage you to undertake the means test. If Centrelink do not already have information about your income, such as for the pension, and you do not undertake the Income Tested Care Fee means test, then Centrelink will treat you as having lots of income and so apply the maximum subsidy reduction.
Legislation defines maximum rates for the Basic Daily Care Fee and the Income Tested Care Fee, which becomes the rate most traditional aged care providers charge. The legislation also allows us to not charge these fees. However, the due to the so called "Improved Payment Arragements", as of September 2021 the Income Tested Care Fee is a real problem for clients so assessed. Waiving the Income Tested Care Fee, while not illegal, is no longer viable. As part of the "Improved Payment Arragements", the government now reimburses the approved aged care provider (Empowered Ageing) documented care costs of the previous month, less the assess Income Tested Care Fee (subsidy reduction). This is done on the assumption that for each month, the first care costs up to the Income Tested Care Fee are covered by the client's contribution.
So, if you are assessed to have a payable Income Tested Care Fee, you will have to pay it for the home care package to work. However, it does increase how much money is available for your care.
Do not stress over this issue. We can offer further explanations and point you to official sources of information. We have even seen clients start to recieve the age pension following our encouragement to undertake the means test.