June brings some important updates to the NDIS Price Guide. The new Price Guide summarises some key alterations for both participants and services providers from July 1. Also announced is changes to the temporary COVID-19 measures that will not be available from 1 July.
This can be a very confusing process for some to understand so we have gathered some of the significant changes below.
What are the biggest changes?
The new price guide will have no effect on those supports that are already being delivered, however some service providers may now be changing new amounts to deliver those supports.
The Price Guide does not contain these updated price limits, as they depend on a ruling by the Fair Work Commission. Once that happens, the NDIS will unroll specific new prices, this is expected to be released later this month.
Whatever the updates, we would encourage all participants to have service agreements in place with their providers, and to keep a particularly close eye on their budgets.
What was surprising about the new Price Guide is it contains no mention of Core and Capacity Supports being flexible, despite it being announced late last year, which for some will come as quite disappointing. Hopefully, we will see this introduced soon…but until then, let’s take a look at what was actually announced.
Individualised Living Options
The NDIS has introduced two new line items that allow people more freedom with their living arrangements. Exploration and Design helps participants discover the living options that are available to them and find one that aligns with their situation and supports. Support Model provides an Individualised Living Option to a participant and will require a quote that’s approved by the NDIA.
Supported Independent Living
Support Independent Living has moved away from unique quotes and will now be subject to price limits. While this will not change how participants receive the support, service providers will need to familiarise themselves with the new approach and invoice accordingly. Any existing arrangements will continue until the end of their 12-month quote period, after which they’ll need to adhere to the new price guide.
Psychosocial Recovery Coaches
This new support, which comes from Support Coordination funding, looks to build the capacity of people with psychosocial disabilities to live a full life by identifying the supports they need and working with them to coordinate their delivery. Participants keen to receive this support should request a plan review after 1 July. Providers will also need to be careful when invoicing, as this is a very different line item to a psychotherapy session, which comes from Improved Daily Living funding.
Supports in Employment
Employment supports will be switching from a weekly to an hourly model. This is designed to offer more flexibility, as participants only pay for what they use – however in some cases, it may end up costing people more than it did previously. If you receive this support, we suggest you speak to your service provider to see how you’ll be affected.
Additional Travel Costs
Service providers can now charge new travel related costs, including parking fees and road tolls incurred while travelling to and from the participant. These are in addition to the existing time-based travel costs, and participants will need to agree to them before providers can charge for them.
When do these changes take effect?
The new Price Guide takes effect from 1 July, 2020 and more detailed information, including specific price limits, will be released before then.
What about COVID-19 measures?
The NDIS have also announced some changes to the temporary measures introduced by the NDIS to support participants and providers through COVID-19. From 1 July, the following measures will be removed:
- 10% price increase: Providers will no longer be able to charge an additional 10% on certain core and capacity building supports.
- Cancellation policy: Participants will only have to give 2 business days’ notice when cancelling a service, rather than 10 days.