How are the aged care reforms going to affect you and your family?

This week the much talked about 2017 aged care reforms come in. What does this mean for you and how does Careseekers play a role?

What happened up until now?

Before today, home care places were allocated to providers of home care services who in turn delivered these packages to consumers. A consumer looking for a home care package had to call individual providers and see if they had packages available. If they didn’t they would join the provider’s waiting list. It was a pretty hit and miss way of trying to access home care packages.

People using Careseekers had to use their own private funds to be able to use Careseekers and by using Careseekers they got to choose the exact care worker they wanted, the rate they wished to pay and the number of hours they needed someone for.

From today it all changes…

After today, home care places will not be allocated to providers. Rather there will be a national “pool” of packages, to be managed by My Aged Care, and assigned to eligible consumers. Packages will be assigned based on priority. Once a consumer is allocated a package, the consumer chooses which provider they want to use to deliver their home care package and directs their funding to that provider.

Consumer eligibility for home care packages will continue to be assessed by ACATs. However, approval will now be given for a specific package level (1, 2, 3 or 4). In the past, approval was broadbanded into two categories (level 1/2 or level 3/4).

What about Careseekers?

Under the reforms the consumer will continue to exercise choice and control over their package once it has been allocated to them. The consumer may want to sub-contract or broker services where their provider is unable to provide the specific services or care arrangements they want. This is the most exciting part of the reforms and really is a game changer in what the Government can and will fund as you age at home. This includes choosing your own care worker from Careseekers.

So you can choose your own care worker, the hours they work, the hourly rate you decide on together and then speak to your provider about paying for that care. Our new CarePay system makes it really simple to do this and allows providers to pay for care on your behalf.

What should I do now?

If you or a loved one have funding already and are with a provider feel free to sit down and asses if they are providing your family with the best possible care and if not you can start looking for other providers or ways that you can top up services using care workers that you choose from the Careseekers site.

If you or your loved one doesn’t have funding yet and could do with some in-home care you should start the process:

  1. Get an ACAT assessment and start researching the type of provider that can provide your family with the best care.
  2. Create a wish list plan of what you would like the week to look like with in-home care help
  3. Post a free job on Careseekers and see if there are care workers in your area who could help you out at the times you need help.

As always the Team at Careseekers is here to help you with any questions you may have as you navigate this new era of aged care funding.