Time ticking for NSW patients to use dental benefits

when dental benefits expire
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The Australian Dental Association NSW (ADA NSW) is urging NSW patients with private health insurance (PHI) dental benefits to ‘use it or lose it’ before the cut-off date of 31 December 2022. 

“Prevention is better than a cure, so if you haven’t had your dental check-up this year, move it to the top of your list,” ADA NSW vice-president Dr Dominic Aouad said.

“Patients may have delayed or cancelled dental appointments since 2020 due to COVID-19 and may have forgotten they have outstanding benefits under their policies.

“Dental check-ups and preventive care like scaling and cleaning are part of keeping good oral health. It is essential that if patients require treatment this is booked in and completed before the end of the year so they can maximise the use of their PHI.

“We know that net dental benefits paid by private health insurance funds were about $2bn in 2017-18—that’s a lot of dental treatment,” Dr Aouad added.

“With oral health key to good overall health, we’re reminding those with health insurance cover for dental treatment that now is the time to follow it up—before it’s too late.”

In addition to private patients, ADA NSW says the 31 December deadline applies to eligible families who can access the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS).

The CDBS provides Medicare-funded dental treatment of up to $1026 over two calendar years, for eligible children aged zero to 17. It covers various treatments, including examinations, X-rays, cleaning, fissure sealing, fillings, root canals and extractions. It can’t be carried over into the next year.

Only about a third of eligible Australian children are currently accessing it, however, as there is little awareness of the scheme, which could be better promoted by the Federal Government, according to ADA NSW. 

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