You’ll often hear the term ‘unspent funds’ thrown around a lot when you look into home care packages. My Aged Care’s guide to unspent funds is helpful, but it is written more for providers rather than the consumers trying to access their funds. In this guide, we’ll explain what these funds are, why you might have them, and what happens to these funds if you change home care package provider.
What are unspent funds?
Unspent funds are the total funds left over in your home care package that have not yet been allocated to a service or fee. If the monthly cost of your care plan services plus any package fees is less than the monthly package government subsidy, then you will accrue the leftover each month into these funds.
Let’s look at an example.
Drew is on a level 4 home care package, and receives a monthly subsidy of $4,365. Drew’s care plan has budgeted $3,500 of his monthly funds to various care services which help him stay safe and independent at home. Drew is a full pensioner who self-manages at Trilogy Care, who only charge a 12% flat rate, so his only monthly fee is $524. If we put this into our formula, we see that Drew is accruing $341 of unspent funds per month.
Why do I have unspent funds?
Unspent funds can accrue for several reasons, such as:
- Your personal situation has improved, and you require less services
- You have taken leave from care
- You are saving in the case of future events
- You have received an automatic package upgrade and have not used your new funds
How do I manage my unspent funds?
Your home care package provider will work with you to make the most of your home care package budget and maximise the care services you receive. This can involve saving funds for future changes to your needs or planning short term services to utilise your funds immediately.
If your home care package is upgraded to a higher level, then you may start accruing funds while you decide where your new budget can best be spent. If you’re self-managing your home care package at Trilogy Care and are wondering if you can get more care services using your unspent funds, feel free to give your case manager a call and discuss your options.
What happens if I change provider?
If you have any unspent funds when you change home care package providers, those funds will be transferred to your new provider. Within 56 days of ceasing service with a home care package provider, they will provide you with a written notice outlining your unspent care amount, any deducted fees such as exit fees, and the timeframe and method for how they will pay unspent home care amounts. Your previous provider must pay any unspent funds to your new provider within 70 days of your cessation date.