It may sound simple, but tooth decay is one of the most common health problems in Australia. In fact, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), one in four children aged 5 to 10 years old as well as three in ten adults aged 25 to 44 years old have untreated tooth decay. Why? AIHW further noted that 3 in 10 Australians delay or avoid their dental consultations because of their cost. This statistics can show how dental insurance Australia becomes useful.
Dental Insurance Australia: What is it for?
We only have one set of permanent teeth for life, so we have to take care of it. Damage to its appearance and function affects our overall well-being, thus, making sure we maintain it the best we can is the key. But how can we do that when we all know that dental procedures (even just consultations) are expensive? We find ways on how to make our dental finances easy on the budget and inquire about financial schemes like dental insurance. The dental insurance Australia offers have different coverages to fit your needs and status in life.
Dental Insurance Australia: What are the kinds of coverages?
In Australia, Medicare covers almost all health needs of its residents. However, since its dental coverage is very limited, dental insurance in Australia is still needed to compensate for the dental options you may need.
Basically, insurance companies offer two main types of dental insurance coverage – general dental and major dental.
General dental coverage refers to the inclusion of basic dental procedures such as yearly check-ups, teeth cleaning, and fluoride treatment. It may also include other preventative procedures such as radiographs and minor fillings.
Major dental coverage involves more complex dental procedures like wisdom tooth extraction/surgery, major fillings, and use of dental crowns, bridges, or dentures. Some insurance companies also include orthodontic or cosmetic dental procedures under this coverage type.
Dental Insurance Australia: What should I consider when getting the right coverage?
There are now so many health insurance companies that offer dental coverages, and they offer different plans depending on your needs. Here are some of the things you should take note of when choosing the best dental insurance.
Your needs. Of course, getting ‘insured’ for your specific dental needs is necessary for choosing the best insurance coverage. Know your overall dental health and get the plan that covers most of the dental procedures you need. So, for instance, if you are single and you have good overall dental health, coverage for preventative procedures (general dental) may be all you need. However, if you have a family or you have been recommended for a complex dental procedure, be it orthodontic or cosmetic in nature, then a major dental coverage would suit your needs best.
Annual limits. This term is defined as the total or maximum benefit amount an insurance company is willing to cover for a whole year. You will have to pay all fees beyond this limit. Having a higher annual limit gives you the freedom to have dental procedures all year-round without thinking about out-of-pocket expenses.
Benefit limits. Insurance companies also include specific limits per dental procedure. So, it is better to check each benefit limit for a particular dental procedure that you may want to avail. Each benefit limit also affects your annual limit, so plan your dental journey according to these two limits wisely.
Extras cover. Remember the out-of-pocket expenses we mentioned earlier when you reach a benefit limit? Some insurance companies include a ‘no-gap dental policy’ that covers the whole cost of preventative procedures, mainly cleaning, radiographs, and fluoride therapy. Ask your insurance company about this benefit extra to make your dental visits more convenient.