Get the most out of your dental insurance

As we all know, dental treatment can be very costly, so as the end of the year approaches it is a good time to assess if you are maximising your dental insurance policy and making the most of this year’s claim benefits.

Health funds apply annual limits to your dental treatment claims. Normally there are two categories, “general” dentistry, such as examinations, cleans, fillings, etc and “major” dental, for treatments such as root canal, crowns, etc. Most health funds provide annual limits per calendar year, others use a start date from when you joined their fund.

Here are a few tips to help you save your much needed dollars:

  • Check with your health fund, to see when your claimable year starts and finishes and what you still have available within the current year.
  • Consider whether you can have some treatment completed before the end of your claimable year and the rest, the month when your new year begins. Less money from your pocket!
  • Some health fund policies eg., Medibank, HCF, CBHS include 6-monthly examinations, cleans, fluoride treatments and possibly mouth guards, with no further payment required. Ask if this is available to you and if your dentist can provide this. Regular checkups are the best way to avoid huge dental bills.
  • Major dental, such as crowns and root canal treatment, are classed as “major” dental. Most funds will only contribute to the cost of one crown a year. If you are in need of a crown, it would be more cost effective to have it completed in your current claim year, so if another is required in the future, your health fund will contribute again.
  • Check if your policy fits your needs. Some health funds have policies which provide “children’s gap free” dentistry, for children up to the age of 25. If you have a child with a lot of dental treatment required, it might be worthwhile to be on this policy and surprisingly, you may find it is not going to cost you much more in premiums.
  • If your child is eligible for Medicare Child Dental Benefits they receive $1000 over 2 calendar years. Therefore if they received the benefit in 2016, it will expire on 31st December 2017. Make sure you gain the best benefit by completing treatment before 31st
  • Putting off dental treatment, will only make your financial situation worse. Teeth keep decaying, if left untreated and little problems will turn into big problems.