A RECENT report by accountancy firm StewartBrown claims that the average unused balance in care recipients’ Home Care Package (HCP) accounts administered by HCP providers is $7,000.
Whether or not this claim is accurate is not known. This particular firm does a lot of work for the aged care industry. This recent report appears to be aimed at getting unused money out of these accounts to improve the financial situation of HCP providers.
However, it is not disputed that on average HCP recipients have a tendency to not spend all of the money the Government deposits in their HCP accounts every month. HCP recipients’ thinking is that they need a buffer for future needs.
The Government is now taking action to free this money up to fund more HCPs. With 100,000 people waiting, anything that can be done is welcome.
The proposal is very simple and does not take away HCP recipients’ ability to save up a buffer for future needs.
Instead of the Government depositing the full monthly instalment into HCP recipients’ accounts, the monthly deposit will now be limited to the actual fees and charges due. Meanwhile the Government keeps a tab on any recipient underspending and releases more funding when needed.
HCP recipients will be required to continue to pay their income-tested contributions into their HCP account administered by their HCP provider.
The Government’s initiative helps towards early action on the HCP waiting list recommended by the Aged Care Royal Commission.
It is not yet known when this change will take effect. THE VOICE will keep readers posted.