How to choose a Plan Manager Q+A

**Posted with permission from The Growing Space. Additions by Plan Tracker**

Here are some questions you might want to ask. You probably won’t want or need to ask all of them (just the stuff that matters to you), but this list should get you started thinking about what you need to know to make the right choice for you!

Addition: We loved this question list so much, we’ve taken the time to answer each of them in relation to Plan Tracker’s Plan Management service – it’s a great read!

  1. How often do you claim, and how quickly do you pay?
    We process claims & payments daily. On average, provider invoices are paid within 3-5 business days.
  1. Do you ask for my approval before you pay each invoice that comes to you?
    At Plan Tracker, we send a text message alert to your mobile phone each time we receive a providers invoice for your plan. Inside this message, is a link which you can click to view the providers invoice. If all looks good, you don’t need to do a thing – just go on enjoying your day. If something looks amiss, simply respond, call or email us and we’ll pop the invoice on hold until resolved. By default, providers are pre-approved (unless requested otherwise), however we won’t process the claim for an invoice unless we have your approval (pre-approved or manual).
  1. Can I login on an online platform and see all invoices and balances etc?
    We built the Plan Tracker App to do just that! Available on desktop, tablet and mobile – the Plan Tracker App allows you to track where each of your budgets are up to, see what’s been paid and to whom, view provider invoices, take advantage of our planned spending tools (we really do love our App!).

Bonus – we also send our Plan Managed participants a ‘Week-at-a-glance’ email on a Sunday evening with an overview of your budgets and a list of transactions from the past week (this is also great to share with your Support Coordinator, if you have one in place)

  1. Who covers for you when you’re away or sick? (For solo operators)
    At Plan Tracker, we’re family. We have a growing team of friendly and dedicated accounts & customer service staff who can assist with your enquiries, whenever they arise. Our team members will ask for some basic information when you contact us so they can direct your call to the most suitable member of our team to answer your questions – you’ll often speak with Linda, Cam, Louise, Elisa or Mel. We’re all super friendly!

  1. Can I call you and speak to a human? What are your business hours and how long might I need to wait on hold?
    Of course you can – we happily answer our phones! Our office hours are Monday – Friday 9am-5pm AEST. You can reach us on 1800 549 670, email hello@plantracker.com.au or jump on Facebook and join our group ‘NDIS Plan & Self Management Community’.

There’s no need to sit in hold queues with us! We only pop you on hold when transferring your call to the best team member to answer your enquiry. If they’re not available, we will take you details and call you back at our earliest or at a time that suits you.If in the unlikely event you catch our voicemail, rest assured our first available team member will call you back (so don’t forget to leave your details!)

If you’re on our website, you’ll also notice Addie is available to chat (she is a super friendly chat bot with answers to basic questions like ‘how do I register?’ or ‘can I speak with someone?’ which is handy after hours and she will even book an appointment for you). But we didn’t stop there – Addie also alerts our human team members when you’re online – so if she can’t answer your question, she’ll see if someone is available or take you details so we can get back in touch!

  1. Can you talk me through my plan and explain my budgets? Does that cost extra?
    When you register for Plan Management with Plan Tracker, we offer a complimentary onboarding session (not compulsory) to run through your plan with you and answer any questions you may have. Rumour has it we’re busy building something behind the scenes too! #watchthisspace
  1. Do you have an app or another easy way for me to keep track of my budgets?
    Sorry to repeat myself (ahem, question 3), but here goes…
    We built the Plan Tracker App to do just that! Available on desktop, tablet and mobile – the Plan Tracker App allows you to track where each of your budgets are up to, see what’s been paid and to whom, view provider invoices, take advantage of our planned spending tools (we really do love our App!).Bonus – we also send our Plan Managed participants a ‘Week-at-a-glance’ email on a Sunday evening with an overview of your budgets (this is also great to share with your Support Coordinator, if you have one in place)
  1. How often do you send statements – can you send me a sample?
    Who wants to wait for a monthly statement? Definitely not us! That’s why we built the Plan Tracker app – to give you access to see where your budgets are up to 24/7. You also receive our awesome ‘Week-at-a-glance’ email weekly on a Sunday evening.
  1. How long have you been doing this work?
    Plan Tracker have proudly been supporting individuals and families with our Plan Management service for almost 2yrs – with many more to come. In the words of founder Elisa James, “We’re just getting started!”. Plan Tracker’s plan management service is growing fast with more and more individuals & families seeking out our service, and we’re ensuring we grow our team as well to meet the demand and service standard we want to continue delivering to all of our participants and their loved ones. When we say welcome to the Plan Tracker family, we truly mean it!
  1. How many people work for you, and how long have you been a registered Plan Management Provider?
    As we just mentioned above, we’re adding to our team regularly to meet our rapidly growing plan management families needs. We registered for Plan Management just over 2yrs ago and commenced service not long after.
  1. Do you make decisions on what you will and won’t pay, or am I the decision maker?
    The NDIA have a great list of questions to ask when deciding on how to spend your funding. It’s found on page 9 of Participant Booklet 3 – Using your NDIS Plan.  If we receive an invoice that’s a bit unusual, then there might be circumstances we’re not aware of – in this instance we would ask you to have a look through these questions and provide us with a bit more detail.

We went one step further to assist you by creating the ‘My Supports, My Choice Tool’ which can be found on our website here.

  1. If I choose to Self-Employ my workers, will you pay my payroll and associated costs?
    At this time we don’t offer support for direct employment, but we can refer you to a couple of other great organisations who can provide this type of support.
  1. Can you help guide me on making decisions about what I can and can’t claim?
    We sure can. If you’re unsure about whether a support or service can be claimed from your NDIS plan – give us a call or pop us an email. We’ll take a look at your plan and discuss it with you, and if we are unsure for any reason, we’ll contact the NDIS on your behalf to get an answer. You can also use the  ‘My Supports, My Choice Tool’ on our website. To assist with making the decision.
  1. Do you let me know if my funds are running under or over budget? How is that notification triggered?
    The Plan Tracker App allows you to see how you’re tracking in terms of what you’ve spent and how much is remaining in each budget – keeping you in the driver’s seat! It’s all about choice and control.
  1. Is Plan Management your main business, or are you registered for other things?
    We’re 100% independent – Plan Tracker only offers Plan Management, our Self-Management App and Capacity Building training. Yep, you heard that right! We feel having an independent Plan Manager is paramount to ensuring the advice you receive is unbiased. The above services is all we do and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

 

  1. What information do you require on submitted receipts to reimburse me?
    Usually just the receipt is enough, if anything’s not clear we’ll just pop back and email and ask for more detail.
  1. Can you meet my accessibility needs?
    Plan Tracker is location independent, meaning we deliver our service virtually online via video chat, phone, email and text alerts. There’s no need to attend our office to use our services, you can access all the benefits of the Plan Tracker family from the comfort of your own home (We think that’s pretty special).
  1. Will you reimburse me for services I pay for, or will you only pay on invoices, direct to providers?
    Of course we will. For reimbursements, we simply request a copy of the paid invoice/receipt to be emailed through and also your bank details for the payment to be made into (you only need to provide this once).
  1. Where are you based? Can I drop in?
    As mentioned above, Plan Tracker is location independent, meaning we deliver our service virtually online via video chat, phone, email and text alerts. There’s no need to attend our office to use our services, you can access all the benefits of the Plan Tracker family from the comfort of your own home (We think that’s pretty special).You can of course “drop in” say hi to our community engagement team who are out and about at events and expos regularly or find us on Facebook. We have a great FB group called “NDIS Plan & Self Management Community” as well 🙂
  1. I am mid-plan, so my setup fee is already taken, will you still accept me mid way through my current plan, or do I need to wait until my next plan?
    We’d be happy to welcome you to the Plan Tracker family! We recognise that despite your best efforts, sometimes you might choose another Plan Manager who doesn’t quite fit what you were looking for and that’s ok. We are happy to assist you with changing over mid plan – simply give our team a call 1800 549 670 and we can discuss your needs and assist you with any process steps (such as giving notice to end the relationship with your current Plan Manager).

This post is Copyright of The Growing Space 2019. Reposted with permission and the addition of our Plan Tracker responses to these great questions!

You’re welcome to share it, with credit and no edits. If you want to publish or reproduce it anywhere other than Facebook, please ask us first. 🙂

For Plan Managers reading this, you might want to consider joining Disability Intermediaries Australia, the peak body that ONLY represents NDIS Plan Managers and Support Coordinators. http://www.intermediaries.org.au/

Image Description: Image of a green and yellow door side by side. 

Have questions? Join the conversation inside our Facebook Group – NDIS Plan & Self Management Community