What is plan management?
By Raheel Chaudhry, Director, RMC Plan Managers
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has given people with a disability more choice over the services and supports they receive than ever before. While this is a wonderful thing, suddenly having access upfront to NDIS funds can create certain complexities for the NDIS participant.
Which providers need to be paid and when? How is the budget being allocated? Is all financial reporting taking place and compliant with requirements? Is the participant getting the most value out of their funds and NDIS plan? Someone needs to know the answers to these questions to ensure the participant is meeting their obligations and making the most of their NDIS plan.
What are the ways to manage NDIS funding?
Participants have three options when it comes to managing their NDIS funding:
For participants who choose to self-manage their NDIS funds, the burden of managing multiple service providers, ensuring providers are paid on time, claiming payments through the my place portal and keeping records of payments can be stressful, overwhelming and time consuming.
For participants who choose the agency-managed option where the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) holds the funds and pays providers, participants may feel they’ve lost some control over the process. Their ability to get the most value out of their NDIS funding can also be reduced as they don’t have the ability to negotiate pricing or scrutinize costs, and have less choice over providers.
The last thing participants need is for the stress of the administrative and financial side of managing services to actually lessen the quality of their experience accessing those services. Especially when these services have been so thoughtfully chosen to help participants meet the goals and aspirations set out in their NDIS plan.
This is where plan management can help. Plan management hands the administrative and financial burden over to a professional NDIS registered Plan Manager.
What does a Plan Manager do?
A Plan Manager is responsible for paying service providers, overseeing funding and managing financial reporting on behalf of the participant. They will have expertise in accounting, financial reporting and budget management. Service providers directly invoice the Plan Manager for the participant’s services.
Not only does using a Plan Manager reduce the stress of the administrative and financial management and reporting requirements under the NDIS, it can also help maximize how funding is spent. Plan Managers negotiate pricing with service providers and help participants extract the most value from their budget. Additionally when working with a Plan Manager, participants have greater control over the providers they can use and have access to both NDIS registered and non-registered providers.
To access a Plan Manager, participants must request that plan management is included in their funding. Plan Managers are then funded in a participant’s NDIS plan at no extra cost to the participant.
For participants who want to retain control over their NDIS plan and services without shouldering the administrative burden, plan management is a great option. And best of all, participants gain a partner in their NDIS journey who can help them get the most value from their NDIS plan, save them time and stress, and get them closer to achieving their goals.