It’s great to have health insurance, right? The feeling that you have you and/or your loved ones securely wrapped up in all the additional benefits that private health gives you over the mighty Medicare. Plus there’s the additional tax benefits that having private cover gives you. What could be better?
The answer is quite a lot actually. Choosing the right cover for you is like trying to find an honest politician – well maybe not that difficult! There are over 20,000 policies in the marketplace and each of these have their own restrictions and exemptions that complicate the decision-making process to unfathomable levels.
All of this is before you start considering the provision of any dental cover. Premiums are going through the roof but dental rebates are being left behind with many policies unable to cover the full cost of even basic dental treatments – something that you tend not to discover until it’s too late.
Well the final straw has been placed on the camel’s back – in this case the camel is our colleagues at the Australian Dental Association (ADA) – and they have launched a new initiative intended to create a more workable balance between the profession, our patients and the health funds.
The ADA are launching their Time2Switch campaign to highlight the perceived lack of transparency being provided by insurers and their Standard Information Statements. Funds are obligated to supply these Statements for each policy that they sell. While they provide a reasonable amount of detail, the restrictions and exemptions are not consistent from fund to fund, making direct policy comparisons problematic.
The ADA website explains: “Insurers are also increasingly in a position to potentially influence how treatments are delivered. Their ownership and operation of dental and medical practices to which they might refer you with the promise of higher rebates can lead to a tiered system for customers, meaning that while you might pay the same premiums as everyone else, you may not receive the same rebates.”
The aim of the Time2Switch campaign is to create a more workable balance between the dental profession, the patients and the health funds.
As dental hygienists and oral health therapists we need to lodge any complaints with the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman, and encourage our patients to do likewise, with the intention of initiating reform in the private health insurance sphere.
It affects us all, both privately and professionally, so let’s get behind this worthy cause. You can find out more at www.ada.org.au/time2switch
#DHAA #ADA #DentalHygiene #Time2Switch #PrivateHealth #Medicare #HealthFunds