A different dental rort?

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The Australian Dental Association has accused health funds of lowering their coverage on ‘extras’ such as dental expenses to increase profits, which then subsidise hospital coverage.

The ADA has made a submission to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s annual inquiry into private health that points out the proportion of coverage of dental bills has dropped from an average of 54 per cent to 48 per cent.

“Rebate increases have not kept pace with or even approximated the annual private health insurance contribution increases.” The ADA says and insurers should be forced to justify the decrease in benefits.

In 2009-10, health funds made a profit of almost $1bn or 23.62 per cent on ancillary cover.

“Given that the rising cost of healthcare is promoted as the principle explanation for rising health insurance premiums, the ADA believes it is important for health funds to ensure that benefits paid as a percentage of care do not continue to decline,” the association says.

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