Reading the fine print of your health fund benefits have as much appeal as reading the yellow pages. There seems to be a bit of a set-and-forget mentality when it comes to understanding your health fund benefits. The majority of health fund members don’t realise the extent of their policy’s dental benefits and that they expire every calendar year and rarely get rolled over.
Health insurance is there to protect us in the chance that we require extensive or specialised treatment. The thing about maintaining regular dental checkups is that in most cases, they can help us avoid complicated and costly procedures like wisdom teeth removal or root canal treatments.
Check on your rebates
The best place to start is by calling your health benefits fund to ask what’s covered under your policy and what rebates still remain on your policy. The specifics of each health fund are different, but most policies are broken down into two categories, General and Major dental. General dental covers dental checkups, regular cleans, dental x-rays, simple fillings and fluoride treatments. Major dental may cover treatments like root canal therapy, wisdom teeth removal and crowns. Depending on the type of cover you have, some plans include cover for children’s dentistry and as each policy differs, it pays to check.
Don’t miss checkups
Most health benefit funds will allow for two dental checkups a year. They do this because prevention far outweighs the cure. If you think about the fact that you’ve been using your adult teeth three times a day since you were 12, the case for regular dental checkups is compelling.
Your dental health insurance policy may cover cosmetic dentistry like teeth whitening and veneers so it’s best to call both your fund and your dentist to check.
Talk with your dentist
Once you know what’s covered, have a chat to your local National Dental Care dentist about your policy and what treatments you would benefit from. The difference between a December appointment and a January appointment could mean the difference between using your benefits or losing them.
Most dental surgeries will be able to process your health fund benefits’ rebate when you pay for your appointment, so make sure you bring your card with you.