East Building 3 Oracle Boulevarde,
Broadbeach, Gold Coast 4218
Here at Oracle Dental we deal a lot with health funds & one of the most common questions I am asked by our patient’s at reception on a regular basis is; what health fund do you recommend? So I am going to give you my top tips on what to look for when choosing a health fund for dental treatment.
2. Work out what you actually want to include in your insurance. Make a list of those health care professionals you see within each year. Do you want hospital & ancillaries (dental, optical, physio, naturopathy) or just one or the other? Most people are unaware that you can split your insurance between two funds, one for hospital & one for ancillaries if you find better deals that are cheaper separately.
3. With dental insurance there is usually a waiting period, meaning you have to be in the fund for a minimum time before you can claim. This is usually 2 months for general dentistry; exams, cleans, fillings, extractions & 6 -12 months for major dentistry; Root canals, crowns, porcelain veneers, dentures, implants. YOU CAN ASK FOR THE 2 MONTH PERIOD TO BE WAIVED; say you are shopping around, have better quotes or commit to signing up on the day.
4. Be careful, most health funds have a $ limit per year. This means that once you reach this limit in rebates you will not get anymore cover for the remainder of that year. For example one level of cover may have a maximum of $300 rebate for general dentistry over 12 months which can be used up very quickly if you have an exam, clean & a couple of fillings. The same fund may also be able to provide an unlimited dental cover (for a little extra) that allows you to have as much general dentistry as you need. Great if you know you need a lot of work. Talk to a sales person directly, you get better results & can ask more questions.
5. Always ask the health fund what their limits are for general & major dentistry & do they have a plan that fits your needs. If you need major dental work, look for a level of cover which is at least $800 per year. Across most health funds I find this is a common rebate.
6. Most funds only give you a percentage back of what you are charged by the dentist so you should still expect some out of pocket expense at each visit.
7. There are exceptions; Oracle Dental is a preferred provider of BUPA & HCF. This means we charge the fees these funds tell us to & as a member you get the maximum benefit back. If you are with HCF & see us, you are entitled to two free exams & cleans per the calendar year, x-rays, a mouthguard & some other preventatives with no out of pocket expenses. This is fantastic value!
8. When you take out cover as a family, a family can be 1 child or 10; the cost is still the same. This is great for large families! You can get a special cover with BUPA that allows your child/children to receive free dental cover until they are 21 years old. Again talk directly to a sales person
9. Always write down what you have discussed, get a quote number & the name of person that you are talking too. We have had people who have joined a fund and not received what they thought they would or their waiting periods were not waived
10. Health insurance can be EXPENSIVE; it is one of those necessary evils. If you decide to join a fund use it! Make sure you get your dental exams, have your teeth cleaned, and keep on top of your dental health. Don’t let your fund card sit in your pocket costing you money every month with nothing in return. We have had patients who know they need a lot of work done; join a fund with unlimited general dental cover, have the waiting period waived & get all their dental cavities attended to & get their mouth back into tip top shape with a minimum cost outlay. This is where health funds can be invaluable.
11. There are times when joining a health fund may not be the best option, if you need major dental work straight away like a Root Canal, crown or implant. For these treatments you have to pay into a fund for 12 months to get back approximately $800- $1000.
12. Be aware that if you are currently in a health fund & decide to look around and find one that is more suitable & better value, check what will happen to your waiting periods. Make sure they are waived or understand that you may have to wait another 12 months for major dental.
Hopefully some of these tips will help you when deciding on whether to join a health fund. It is a big decision but I have seen a lot of positives from it here at Oracle Dental. My top dental funds are: HCF, BUPA, NIB, FRANK, AHM, CREDICARE, GMHBA purely based on rebates for our patients.
So don’t put it off, make yourself comfy, get a cup of coffee and start researching, it may be your first step to healthier teeth.
Oracle Dental’s Front office superstar