A national survey of over 2,000 people showed that a potential $4.5 billion worth of private health cover extras are going unused. At an average of about $550 per person, that’s a lot to lose. In fact research conducted by comparison website Finder shows that over two-thirds of Australian health insurance policyholders don’t even know what parts of their insurance extras are unused.
As another year comes to its end, Gosford Family Dentist would like to take this opportunity to remind you that the majority of private health funds in Australia, including BUPA, Medibank, HCF, and NIB reset their customers’ extras benefits after December 31. Unclaimed health fund extras won’t roll over into 2022, so it’s recommended to use it, before you lose it.
Extras are one of the main reasons millions of Australians take out health insurance according to consumer advocacy group CHOICE and yet most forget to make the most of the benefits. So if you’re paying for extras cover within your health fund, it’s important you make the most of your money by booking in and completing dental treatments before the end of the calendar year.
Is your child covered by your private health insurance?
Child dependents can be covered on your family or single parent membership until the age of 21 for most family private health funds. Children are automatically removed from their parents’ fund once they turn 21. You can avoid this if required, by register them as a student dependent until the age of 25. Ensure that you do this before their cover lapses otherwise, they may face up to two months of waiting periods.
What dental work is covered by health insurance extras?
Preventative and restorative dental
Basic extras insurance plans commonly cover preventative and restorative dental treatments such as:
To minimise the chance of surgery or more invasive and expensive dental work in the future, we recommend organising check-up and teeth cleaning appointments every six-months. This will do wonders in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. We know lockdown’s made it difficult to attend the clinic, so if you haven’t seen us for awhile, make sure to book in as soon as possible.
Major dental and implants
Premium extras insurance plans may also cover major dental and implant treatments for repairing or replacing teeth such as:
Please note that insurance benefits are different from premium to premium. So we recommend reviewing your personal policy or checking with your health care fund before booking your appointment in case the coverage is less than expected.
Budgeting for extras insurance
Unlike private hospital cover, there’s no tax incentive for taking out extras insurance so think of the cover as a savings account with an expiry date. If you’re feeling the pinch, consider asking your insurer for an annual claims statement. In the event that you’re paying more in premiums than you’re receiving in benefits, consider if it’s worth the investment. If you decide you don’t need extras cover, consider setting up a savings account and banking the same amount you would have paid in premiums. Or, you can ask your employer to deposit a certain percentage of your pay into a separate savings account. By planning ahead, you won’t need to think about it until your six-monthly dental appointment arrives.
Book your dental appointment at Gosford Family Dentist
With appointments filling up quickly in the lead up to the Christmas period, don’t put off booking your appointment. If you have private health cover, our HICAPS facility allows you to claim on the spot from your health fund. We accept all major private dental health insurance. Only gap payments are required in most instances. To make an appointment with our friendly team, enquire online or call (02) 4325 3221. After-hours appointments may be available on request.