A New Era in Aged Care – A Message from Angelina Wang
The July 1st 2014 reforms are one of the most significant reforms to occur to our industry. During the past year Rachel and I have attended seminars held by our peak body, the Department of Health and Ageing, and now, The Department of Social Services in preparation for the July 1st changes.
The changes were announced by Julia Gillard in April 2012. These reforms were introduced to give consumers greater knowledge and choice regarding the services they receive. The changes apply to new residents entering care on the July 1st 2014.
Please note that our current residents will remain on their current arrangements. However, if the resident leaves care for more than 28 days, they will be subject to the new provisions when they re-enter care. A resident will also be given the option to change to the new system if they move to a new aged care service.
I have attempted to summarise as succinctly as possible the Reforms and the changes to occur. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.
Why the changes?
- The reforms aim to meet the social and economic challenges of the nation’s ageing population.
- Provide More Aged Care places. It is expected that there will be a requirement of 74,000 beds in the next 10 years.
- Provide more support for aged people from diverse backgrounds.
- “Tackle the nation’s dementia epidemic.”
- The Government currently funds 71% of total funding to Residential Aged Care.
- Currently more then 1.5 million people receive Aged Care Services.
- Strengthen the Aged Care Workforce. The Aged Care System currently employs about 350,000 aged care staff across 2,100 aged care providers.
- The Aged Care Reforms will be implemented in 3 phases over 10 years.
What are the changes?
Aged Care is becoming more of a user-pay system. The government is introducing means testing using income and assets testing. Lump sum payments no longer have the exemption benefits for some fees.
- Gateway to Aged Care Services are under review.
- My Aged Care website and contact centre implemented.
- Removal of the High/Low Distinction.
- Lump Sum payments (Bonds) payable in all facilities.
- Aged Care Providers have to publish all accommodation prices and information about the facility on My Aged Care Website, Provider’s Website and in documentation provided to prospective agreements.
More information on the Aged Care reforms is available on the Department of Social Services website. Information is also available on the My Aged Care Website.
You can also call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 for further information. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any queries.
Angelina Wang has been with Belvedere Aged for five years and is the Finance Manager. Angelina holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Management & Accounting) from Monash University and is an associate member of CPA Australia. She was born in China and grew up in India. Angelina is passionate in ensuring that families have all the information available to make the right decision when moving into Aged Care.
image credit: George Capalbo via Flickr Creative Commons