If a private members’ bill introduced by the federal member for Mayo, Rebekha Sharkie, is passed, it will stop providers from charging any more than 25% of Level 1 and 2 Home Care Packages on administration fees, and no more than 20% for Level 3 and 4 packages.
“The current system is not working. Senior Australians are not getting the care they really need to stay at home,” said Sharkie.
“So-called competition is not keeping prices down, and some older Australians are paying more than 30% and even up to half their packages in administration fees, or the costs are hidden in inflated hourly rates.
“The government needs to stop the rorting and introduce pricing caps,” Sharkie said.
Sharkie was prompted to draft the legislation after surveying more than 1,200 residents aged 75 years or older in her electorate about their home care package experiences.
The results are “staggering,” Sharkie said.
“Many of those surveyed reported paying administration and management fees of up to 48% or 50%, including on packages that are very minimal.
“I cannot fathom how such low value, static packages can continue to incur such ridiculously high administration and management fees. It’s outrageous and it needs to be stopped.
“My Bill will cap fees and it will make more funding available for actual care in the home.”
If passed, the Bill will also ban exit fees when consumers wish to change home care providers.
Another aspect of the Bill is that home care providers will be required to offer potential clients a comparative fee schedule for at least five approved providers in their area. If there are fewer than five providers in the region, the schedule must show fees for all approved providers in the area.
Tell us about your home care experiences. Are you paying high admin fees? Do exit fees stop you from switching providers?