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Member communication on Home Care Package fees and charges

Member communication on Home Care Package fees and charges

Updates to your Home Care Package fees and charges

We are writing to update you on some important changes we are making to your Home Care Package fees and charges. We want to explain to you:

  • Why we are making the changes
  • What the proposed changes mean to you
  • When the changes will take place
  • Who to contact at Five Good Friends if you wish to discuss these changes
  • Who to contact if you would like some independent advice.

Increasing pay for Helpers

Recently you will have received a letter from the Minister for Aged Care, The Honourable Anika Wells. In that letter the Minister outlined the 15% increase in wages for aged care workers that the Government is funding. We are supportive of this decision and the recognition of the important work that wonderful people like your Helpers do. In case you have not received the letter from the Minister, we have attached a copy with this letter.

How we are going to pass this increase on

The Government is funding this increase through the monthly Home Care Package funds you receive. From July 1st 2023, your Home Care Package funding will increase by 11.9%. To ensure Helpers receive the increase as intended, and we continue to attract high-quality Helpers for you, we have reviewed our recommended hourly rate for Helpers. From July 1st 2023, our recommended hourly rate for Monday - Friday daytime visits will increase to $56.50 per hour. This same information and recommendation is being shared with all Helpers on the Five Good Friends platform.

While we recommend this new rate, Helpers do have the ability to set their own rates. You are always welcome to discuss rates directly with your Helper. You can always contact your Care Team to assist in these discussions.

The increase in your monthly Home Care Package funds is also intended to increase the wages for other important roles that work in aged care, including nurses. Five Good Friends employs many nurses in roles such as Care Specialists, Care Team Leads, Community Nursing, Care Co-ordination.

To ensure the increase is directed to these important and skilled people as well, Five Good Friends has reviewed care management fees. Our fees have always been below the new caps set by the Government. This will not change.

What the pay increase to Helpers means for your services. Your services will not change.

We have taken a careful and thoughtful approach to how we ensure the increase in funding is directed to the people it is intended for. We have also balanced this against the needs of our Members and the clear intentions and directions of the Government. This means Five Good Friends will work diligently to ensure your services are not impacted.

Provider travel and member transport

As you know the cost of living, including fuel and travel has increased significantly over the last two years. This has had an impact on Helpers. To date, Five Good Friends and Helpers have, in most cases, absorbed the cost of travel. We have reached a point where this can no longer be done.

There are two components to travel:

Provider travel

These are expenses a Helper incurs when travelling between visits. From July 1st 2023, Helpers will be able to include the cost of provider travel in their invoices. After careful consideration, we have decided to enable this travel to be charged based on the Helper's hourly rate. It will be capped at 15 minutes per visit.

Member transportation

This is where a Helper is providing transport to a Member during a visit. From July 1st 2023, Member transportation within a visit will be reimbursed to a Helper at a rate of 92 cents per kilometre. This is benchmarked against the relevant industry award.

If you are already paying your Helper for travel, this change will replace existing agreements between you and your Helper. As this is funded out of your Home Care Package, we will be reviewing your individual budget to ensure funds are available. Your Care Team will work with you to ensure there is no impact on services and the cost of travel can be funded from your package.

What do I need to do with this information?

In line with the letter you received from the Minister, a full listing of Five Good Friends updated fees and charges will be published on the My Aged Care website from July 1st. You can compare Five Good Friends to other providers.

We have also attached to this letter the updates to the relevant section of your Home Care Agreement.

It is very important to Five Good Friends that you understand the reasons for the changes and have time to consider them and what it means to your services. For this reason, we are writing to you in advance.

Independent advice and advocacy

If you have any concerns and would prefer independent advice we encourage you to call the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) on 1800 700 600.

What if I do not wish to accept these changes.

We hope that you are comfortable with our approach and feel we have provided you with enough detail and background. If you are unsure and would like more clarification, please contact us on 1800 595 361.

Thank you for being a Member

Thank you for entrusting Five Good Friends with your help and support. We recognise this is a lot of information to share. We are supportive of the Government's intention to recognise and support people who work in this incredibly important sector.

We will continue to work hard to provide you with kind, understanding and transparent help.


Simon Lockyer and Nathan Betteridge Co-founders Five Good Friends

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