Nobody likes to pay extra money if they can help it. It’s always a good idea to keep abreast of available government funds or assistance schemes that are available to help defray any out-of-pocket.
In this article, we will help to explain how dental bulk billing works in Australia, how to find bulk billing dentist canberra and how you may access these funds if you are eligible for them.
First and foremost, it should be made clear that the Australian Government does not cover the cost of the majority of dental services in the same way it does with other healthcare services.
Patients are required to pay for their own dental expenses, unless they are covered by private health insurance. Medicare does, however, pay for certain essential dental services for eligible children.
What is bulk billing?
As mentioned, bulk billing is a payment option under a government-funded program, where a patient can access healthcare services at the expense of the government. Instead of billing you, the healthcare establishment will directly bill the government for the healthcare services rendered to you.
When you see the sign “bulk billing accepted here” at the door of a GP clinic, it simply means that Medicare cardholders are able to access the health care at the premise at no cost. We don’t see that sign in dental clinics, so does that mean there aren’t any?
Child Dental Benefits Schedule
Not really. If your child is eligible for the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS), he or she is entitled to receive up to $1000 worth of free dental care services.
The CDBS is part of the $2.7 billion Commonwealth-funded program that was launched on 1 January 2014. The initiative provides children and teens aged 2-17 up to $1000 reimbursement in basic dental services. This capped benefit is claimable over a 2-year period – note that it takes effect at the beginning of the calendar month and not from the first appointment date.
To be eligible for this means-tested benefits program, your child must be aged 2- 7 and be entitled for Medicare and receive Family Tax Benefit A or other payments disbursed by the Australian Government.
Payments include the following:
- Youth Allowance
- Parenting Payment
- Veteran’s Children Education Scheme (if the child is 16 or over)
- Disability Support Pension
CDBS eligibility will be re-assessed at the beginning of each calendar year. Benefits may be removed if your child does not meet the necessary criteria during year of such an assessment. If your child becomes eligible in the middle of a calendar year, his or her eligibility will be backdated to start from 1 January of that calendar year.
What type of treatments does CDBS cover?
The Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) covers basic dental treatments including regular dental check for your kid and professional dental cleaning; fissure sealants; X-rays; root canal; and extractions.
It does not cover non-essential treatments such as Cosmetic Dentistry and Orthodontics. Dental services provided in a hospital or within an oral surgery environment are also not covered under the program.
How do I access CDBS?
If your child is due for a routine check-up, professional cleaning session or any additional basic dental treatment, just bring him or down to any clinic that accepts CDBS funds, and the funds can be accessed on the day of the appointment.
Simply show your Medicare card at the reception and the receptionist would be able to check whether or not your child is eligible on the spot.
If so, you can immediately tap into the CDBS funds of up to $1000. Any remaining amount will be kept until the next time you access it, provided it’s still within the valid calendar year time frame.
Payment can be processed on the spot using your Medicare card, meaning you won’t have to submit a claim or be required to make co-payment.
If you’re unsure of the balance amount, the receptionist will be able to access your Medicare account and check it on your behalf. You may also check your balance amount by calling the 24-hour Medicare inquiry hotline at 132 011.