New research conducted by comparison website Finder shows that over two-thirds of Australian health insurance policyholders are unsure what portion of their health insurance extras are not being used. A national survey of over 2,000 people showed that a potential $4.5 billion worth of health insurance extras are going unused. And at an average of about $550 per person. That’s a lot of missed dental appointments.
With the festive season approaching, Gosford Family Dentist wants to remind you to claim your health fund extras. The majority of private health funds in Australia, including BUPA, Medibank, HCF, and NIB reset their customers’ extras benefits after December 31. Unfortunately, your unused benefits don’t roll over to 2021.
This is bad news for the millions of Australians who, according to leading consumer advocacy group CHOICE, cite extras are one of the main reasons they take out health insurance. 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.
Family health care benefits
In most family private health funds, child dependants can be covered on your family or single parent membership until the age of 21. In most cases, after they turn 21, children are automatically removed from their parents’ fund unless you 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 you could be claiming on your extras
Preventative and restorative dental
Basic extras insurance plans commonly cover preventative and restorative dental treatments such as:
We recommend check-up and teeth cleaning appointments every six months to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Taking this preventative action can help you avoid more invasive and expensive dental work in the future. So, if you haven’t seen us since June, 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:
Keep in mind that insurance benefits differ from premium to premium, and may result in less coverage than you anticipated, so it’s important to check with your health care fund or review your policy before booking your appointment.
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 Dentists
With our calendar booking up fast leading into the busy 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, and usually, only gap payments are required. To make an appointment with our friendly team, enquire online or call (02) 4325 3221. After hours appointments may be available on request.