How to Switch Home Care Providers

Sometimes people just need to switch home care service providers. A current provider may no longer suit, or you may be relocating. In which case, you are probably wondering how you can switch your provider easily. 

While you most definitely can switch providers, there is a process for doing so. In this article, we explain this process, and how to go about arranging the change.

Once you’ve decided to change service providers, it’s time to put your plan into action.

Review Your Current Agreement

Have a look at your current Home Care Agreement. Check the terms and conditions because there may be an exit fee and notice period required. If you do have to pay an exit fee, it can’t be higher than what is specified in your agreement, or more than the unspent funds left in your account with them.

If your home care arrangements started prior to July 1st 2014, you may be on the old fee arrangements. If you want this to continue, you only have 28 days to enter into an agreement with your new provider. If you take longer than 28 days, the new fee arrangements will apply. 

Create A List Of Alternative Providers (highly recommended):

Before you notify your current provider of your intent to switch, or agree on a cessation date, we recommend doing some research to find a new provider first. 

The easiest way to do this is to visit the My Aged Care website and use their ‘Find a provider’ tool. However, this isn’t feasible for everyone, in which case you can ring them on 1800 200 422 for help and support. You can also contact them via their website and ask for help.

If you can use the website, use the tool to create a short list of suitable providers in your area.

If you have already notified your current provider, they must support you in your search for a new provider. Although they may simply refer you to the above links and contact information, some may provide more assistance if you ask.

Compare Potential New Service Providers

Home care providers have to publish their services and prices, and a full price list, online via a standardised schedule for easy access and comparison. 

Go through your shortlist and use the site’s online comparison tool to weigh up the services these providers offer. Compare the prices they charge for these services, and any other relevant information. 

Again, if it isn’t possible for you to do it this way, the My Aged Care team can help.

Narrow Your List And Double Check Information Provided 

By now you should have enough information to narrow your list down to one or 2 final providers. Contact them to make sure they can provide the necessary care and services, and also confirm prices. 

Choose Your New Provider

Make your final choice of provider. At this point you may want to enter into discussions with them about your care plan. However, before you can finalise anything, there are a few final steps to complete with your current provider.

Agree On A Cessation Date With Your Current Provider

Once you have a new provider organised, inform your current provider (if you haven’t already), and settle on a cessation date. Remember to factor in any required notice period. 

Also make sure you have enough time to discuss your new care plan with your new provider if necessary, decide on a start date and enter into your new agreement.

If you don’t want a lapse in your care service, make sure all your arrangements dovetail and that your new service agreement starts the day AFTER your old one ceases. NB: Your previous agreement must have ended prior to the start date of your new agreement i.e. they can’t overlap.

Your current provider must continue to provide you with services right up to, and including, the agreed final day. 

Enter Into A New Agreement With Your New Provider

By now you should have:

Now you have 56 days from the cessation date with your old provider to formally enter into an agreement with your new provider. If you fail to do this, or don’t have an extension granting you up to 84 days, your Home Care package will be withdrawn. 

Re-Activate Your Referral Code

You must re-activate this code before you can actually begin receiving services from your new provider. To do this, contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 and ask for your referral code to be re-activated. The code will be sent to your new provider. 

When they accept it, your current provider will be notified, although you should have already officially informed them yourself, and agreed on an end date. 

Provide Your Old Provider With Your New Providers Details

Your old provider requires the details of your new provider so they can transfer any unspent funds to your account. 

You have 56 days from the cessation date to give them this information. However, as they must provide you with a statement detailing the unspent funds in your account, also within that same 56 days, don’t leave it until the last minute to do this! 

They must then transfer those funds within 70 days of that same date. When the 70 days are up, check that this has happened.

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