From comparing health funds, to policy information and even bulk-billing, there is a lot to take in when it comes to health funds and paying for your Gosford dentist appointment. Here are some things to consider in our handy guide.
Calendar vs. financial year
Every health fund is different and the way they count what a year is varies. Some operate on a calendar year basis (HCF, Bupa, CBHS come to mind), and some operate within a financial year (Nib, AHM are some examples). There is an option they may even look at your joining date and work out your membership year. This means when you look at how much they assign to each extras cover you will then be able to work out how much you have left of your allocation. If you know when your limits will restart you may be able to schedule your treatments to get the most out of your health fund benefits.
Understand your limits
The best way to approach looking at your health fund is to look at their product disclosure statement and individual policy information. Some will allocate one or two check-up and cleans per year for dental, while others allocate a percentage of the treatment. Similarly, some will allocate set amounts per person or per family, depending on not only the health fund but also the level of policy. The best way to find out this information is straight from the source. Once you know what your limit is for your policy, you can then make sure to book in and get that check-up before the end of the year. By keeping on top of regular check-ups at the dentist, it means any issues can be identified before they become big and expensive problems. Meaning not only is it better for your health, but your wallet too! And we all like that.
Regularly review your health insurance
Your family’s circumstances may change from time to time. Review your health insurance regularly to make sure it still meets your health needs and circumstances. For example, if you chose a restricted cover designed for young people, as you get older you will need to consider whether you still want lower benefits for any of the restricted treatments. The types of treatments restricted on some of these products include things like joint replacements, obstetrics, or cardiac surgery. Make sure you look at many credible sources for this information and always seek clarification from the health fund direct for answers.
Bulk-billing dentist Gosford
Another aspect to consider is that we are a bulk-billing dentist in Gosford. Some families are eligible for the Child Dental Benefits Scheme (CDBS) which the government gives eligible children $1013 every two years for dental check-ups and other treatment. If this applies to you and your family, it is a good idea to use this in conjunction with your health fund to get the most out of it. By using this bulk-billed method for your children’s check-ups, it may leave more in your family policy for the adults to use, if your health fund is one that allocates extras cover per family rather than per individual. However, as always it is best to check with Medicare and with your health fund to see if this applies to you and your circumstances. At Albany Dental, we are a bulk-billed dentist and are ready to claim on your behalf for the CDBS.
Health funds can change the benefits they pay, and the services included on your policy. It is worth checking your health insurance at least once a year and comparing it with other policies offered by your fund and other health insurers in the marketplace. A great tool you can use is on the Choice website. There are almost 40 health insurance providers in Australia, so it is best to be thorough and check out what is best for you and your family. Be mindful however, that when changing health funds, you may need to serve another waiting period. Always best to ask and check before changing anything on your policy. There is no ‘one best private health fund’ that will satisfy everyone’s requirements all the time. It’s up to you to compare offerings and premiums from the list of health insurance companies available in Australia.
At Albany Dental, we offer gap-free preventative care for families who come every six months. This service would start at your 2nd family visit, where we would discount the gap payment for all members of the family. This discount applies to examinations, scale and polish, fluoride and preventative x-rays.
One last tip, the end of the calendar year and health fund year are always busy times at Albany Dental as our patients seek to use their remaining benefits from health funds. So, if you are wanting to get the most out of your policy, its best to call up early or head online to book albanydental.net.au