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Federal Legislation Update: Fair Pricing for NDIS Participants

Since the rollout of the NDIS really hit its stride , a common concern raised by participants, advocates, and governments is equality in pricing for NDIS participants vs those not on the Scheme. The NDIS Review heard of the experiences of many participants who were able to demonstrate that the price they have been quoted for services or supports changed once their provider realised they were an NDIS participant.

Minister Bill Shorten has been particularly vocal on the subject, and as of 15/12/2023 the NDIS Act has been amended to prohibit, without reasonable justification:

  1. Advertising a price for goods or services that is higher for participants than it is for someone who is not a participant; and

  2. Charging a price for goods or services that is higher for participants than it is for someone who is not a participant


Price Limits vs Fair Pricing


Something that can contribute to confusion in this area is that it is unrelated to the Price Limits set out in the Pricing Arrangements or other binding rules. To use assistive technology as an example, the NDIS sets out that low-cost items are those which are $1500 or less. If an identical item is sold to an NDIS participant for $500 and to a non-participant for $300, without reasonable justification, this would fall foul of the legislation. It is important to keep in mind that the NDIS does not dictate what can be charged, only what the maximum is.


What this means for providers


The change in legislation drives toward fair pricing practices to safeguard participants from price gouging or sharp practices in general. While most providers will not be affected by this, it is a good indicator of the direction that Scheme regulation is moving in, and an opportunity to review your billing practices.


It is worth considering pricing structures that are in place to ensure that accidental overcharges are unlikely. The NDIS Commission expects that providers should be transparent with participants about pricing and be able to justify why a certain price has been charged.


It is notable that the amendment does not specify any specific types of services or supports. In theory, this is a universal rule change but may impact some providers more than others, as participants and support coordinators may be more likely to request justification for the prices charged.

For more information, check out the Commission’s resource page here: Fair pricing | NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (ndiscommission.gov.au)


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