In Australia, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should be aware that Medicare doesn’t cover dental. Therefore, it’s up to the individual to arrange their own. Of course, the other option is to pay out of pocket should an issue arise. However, with teeth and jaw complications costing astronomical sums in Australia (think tens of thousands of dollars for surgery), leaving it to chance could leave you and your family in financial ruin.
With that in mind, taking out a proper dental plan is a prudent proposition for any fiscally responsible Australian. Here’s everything you need to know about finding affordable dental care.
Consider Your Circumstances
Are you single or married? Got any kids?
Family and partnership plans always work out to be better value than individual plans, so it makes sense to choose one that best aligns with your needs.
Work Out What You Need
You also need to consider how much trouble your teeth tend to cause. If you’re obsessive about keeping them clean and hardly have a filling to speak of, then you might be able to get away with a basic “general dental plan”. Expect these to include the essentials such as plaque removal, cleaning, x-rays, fluoride treatment, minor fillings, and preventative dental work.
On the other hand, if you’ve got a notoriously troublesome set of pearly whites or tend to be active and play contact sports, then you might want to consider a “Major Dental Plan”. Things like orthodontics/braces, crowns, dentures, bridges, and wisdom teeth removal are covered here.
Long gone are the days when you had to phone around the major insurers and ask for an individual quote. In 2019, you can avoid sitting through those high-pressure sales spiels by comparing the prices online. Websites these days can even bring up a whole list for you.
But remember; shopping for dental insurance is a highly personal process; what works for others, won’t necessarily be the best option for you. It’s crucial to comb over the fine print and only compare the policies that align with your individual needs.
Add Dental on to Health Insurance Policy
If you’ve got private health insurance – which isn’t a bad idea – then you likely have the option of tacking on dental for an additional monthly fee. And that amount may well be less than the price of taking an equivalent plan out with a separate provider.
Note that using your existing insurance also lessens the number of companies you need to deal with, thus reducing the paperwork involved.
Consider Out of Pocket Expenses
Upon comparing different plans, it’s essential to examine out of pocket expenses and annual limits to determine which offers the best value. More often than not, an insurer will impose a limit on each procedure in addition to the annual limit. Say for example that an oral examination costs $200, but your insurance limits that procedure to $150.
In this case, your out of pocket expenses will be $50, and they will subtract $150 from your annual limit.
Finding Affordable Dental Care
Basic dental care can seem pretty cheap in Australia. But is that general dental policy the best option for you?
By weighing up all the different factors that come into play, you’ll be far better equipped to find the best value policy that aligns with your requirements.