Toothaches can be a real pain, but you know what hurts even more? That hefty bill waiting for you after the dentist fixes up your teeth. If you’ve ever sat in a dental chair, you probably know the pinch your wallet feels when the bill comes around.
It’s no wonder that some Australians hesitate to even go for a check-up, fearing the costs. Ignoring those minor dental problems? That can turn a tiny cavity into a major money pit.
Enter: dental health insurance. Now here’s the thing. Dental cover on its own isn’t really a thing in Australia; rather, it falls under a health insurance Extras policy. Depending on your chosen insurer, you can get different levels of cover, tailored to your needs and budget.
In this blog, we’ll cover some of the best dental insurance policies in Australia for 2023 so you can find the right dental private health insurance policy, and at the right price.
- Dental cover falls under a health fund’s Extras policy
- There is dental cover ( general dental & major dental work), as well as orthodontics and endodontics
- Waiting periods for dental cover range anywhere between 2 & 12 months
- Your premium (how much you pay for dental insurance) will depend on your chosen health fund and level of cover
Australia’s Best Dental Insurance Policies
|Health Fund & Policy||Starting price (monthly)||Benefits|
|Medibank Top Extras 90||$50.56||General – $800. 2 month waiting periodMajor and Endodontic – $500.12 month waiting periodOrthodontic – $400. 12 month waiting period.|
|Bupa Super Extras Active||$66.04||General Dental – $800. 2 month waiting period.Major Dental & Endodontic – $800. 12 month waiting periodOrthodontic – $600 per person, $1200 Lifetime limit applies. 12 month waiting period.|
|HCF Top Extras||???||General Dental – $1,000 per year. 2 month waiting period.Major Dental – $1,000 per year. 12 month waiting period.Orthodontic – $800 per year (lifetime limit $2400). 12 month waiting period.|
|HBF Complete 60||$54.28||General Dental – no annual limit. 2 month waiting period.Major Dental – $800 per year. 12 month waiting period.Orthodontic – $600 per year (lifetime limit $1800). 12 month waiting period.|
|AHM Lifestyle Extras||$47.00||Routine Dental – $500 per year. No waiting period.Major Dental – $750 per year. 12 month waiting period.Orthodontics – $600 per year (lifetime limit $1800). 12 month waiting period.|
|Nib Top Extras||$106.84||General Dental – Unlimited. 2 month waiting period.Major dental – $1300. 12 month waiting period.Orthodontics – $800 per year (lifetime limit $2600). 12 month waiting period.|
Prices from August 2023 – based on single cover in VIC paying weekly by direct debit. Price reduced by an Australian Government Rebate of 24.608% (based on an age of under 65 years old, single income of $93,000 or less per year).
DENTAL INSURANCE IS 100% WORTH IT IF:
✔️ You earn more than $93,000 a year (basic hospital policy)
There are hospital policies that are cheaper than the Medicare Levy Surcharge, which you have to pay if you earn over $93 as a single.
✔️ You’re 30 – avoid the LHC loading before you turn 31
Lifetime Health Cover loading is a 2% loading added to your private hospital insurance premium for each year you’re over 30 and don’t have private hospital cover, making it more expensive the longer you wait to get covered.
✔️ You get physio/dental/chiro treatment 3x a year (or more)
With a starter extras policy, those visits would be more than paid for. Aside from that, it’s up to you if you want to pay for the convenience.
RECONSIDER DENTAL INSURANCE IF:
🟠 You’re Under 30 & Healthy
You might not need it if you rarely see a doctor.
🟠 You’re Happy to Wait in Queues for Free Medicare Health Services
Medicare does cover a lot of health services, but you’ll typically have to wait a long time to have your healthcare needs attended to.
🟠 You Don’t have the Financial Means
If you wouldn’t use the extras or the cover, having health insurance doesn’t doesn’t save you money.
How to Get Dental Insurance
In Australia, dental care is usually part of what’s called ” extras cover.” It’s not separate like dental insurance might be in other places. Extras cover includes dental stuff alongside other things like physiotherapy and optical.
Insurers typically divide dental extras into two categories: general and major. General covers routine stuff like check-ups and cleaning. Major is for more serious procedures like a root canal, dental implants and other major dental procedures. Generally, only the top range of Extras policies cover orthodontics and endodontics.
Does Medicare Cover Dental Care?
In Australia, when it comes to dentistry services, Medicare doesn’t cover much. That means most people end up paying for their dental care from their own pockets or with the help of private health cover.
However, every state and territory offers public dentistry services to those who qualify, mainly through government-run clinics. So, who gets to take advantage of this? Typically, it’s based on your financial situation. If you’re a concession cardholder or if money’s tight, you might have access to these public dentistry clinics. They’ll offer a limited range of treatments, but it’s a big help.
Keep in mind, the details can change depending on where you live. Waiting periods, fees, and subsidies might differ from one state to the next. But the main idea is that there’s support out there for dental care, especially for those who might find it tough to pay for it on their own.
The short of it is: if you aren’t a concession cardholder, Medicare won’t cover much when it comes to dental care, which is why it makes sense to take out dental insurance for peace of mind.
Dental Cover Categories
General: This category covers basic, everyday care like check-ups, cleaning, and mouthguards. It’s aimed at keeping your teeth healthy.
|Scales and cleans||$115|
Major: This is for more serious work like crowns, bridges, endodontics, and implants. If you need to repair or replace teeth, this cover is for you.
|Tooth extraction||$180 per tooth|
|Filling||$250 per tooth|
|Crown||$1600 per tooth|
|Wisdom teeth removal||$350 – $450 per tooth|
Orthodontics: This involves treatments like braces to straighten teeth or correct problems with biting, chewing, or jaw alignment.
|Braces (traditional)||$5,500 to $8,000|
|Jaw alignment||$5000 to $10500|
|Invisalign||$6,000 to $9,000|
|Plates||$800 to $3800|
Which Level of Cover Do You Need?
Extras policies come in different tiers and levels of cover. These vary from health fund to health fund. Generally, ‘Top Extras’ will cover things like orthodontics, major and restorative dental. Meanwhile, basic extras cover (which is the cheapest) will typically only cover general dental like clean-ups.
If you’re in your early 20s with healthy teeth, basic cleans and check-ups is probably enough. If you’re a family, you might want orthodontics cover, while seniors may need crowns, implants and dentures.
Basically, it’s all about considering what life stage you’re at, and pre-planning for the types of dental care you might need (because waiting limits apply, don’t forget!)
How Much Does Dental Insurance Cost?
Dental cover costs in Australia are going to vary for each person, depending on individual needs. Comparing policies is a wise move, and you might find it helpful to talk with an expert like the team at Compare ehealth insurance to make sense of your options.
Generally speaking, however, you can be paying anywhere from $47 per month to over $100 per month. But prices aren’t one-size-fits-all. They’ll change based on where you live and the level of cover you choose. For instance, a family with two young children or a pensioner needing dentures is likely to pay more than a single person in their late 20s with healthy teeth.
But paying more doesn’t mean overpaying. By taking the time to compare, you can find the right cover for your needs at a price that works for you. It’s all about making sure you’re covered without breaking the bank.
How Much Can You Claim Back on Dental Treatments with Health Insurance?
Rebates on dental cover in Australia depend on your policy. You might find 60% or 75% rebates are typical, but some funds offer up to 100%, known as ‘no gap.’ If you have a ‘no gap’ extras cover, general dental services will be free for you.
However, not all funds offer this, so comparing options is essential. A ‘known gap’ is the difference between the cost and what you can claim back. For example, if you’re on a plan that gives you 75% back and the bill is $100, the known gap is 25%, so you’ll pay $25.
Some larger insurers offer 100% rebates with their preferred providers, but this might not be convenient if the provider is not local. In that case, you’ll need to decide if the higher cost of the policy is worth it for visiting your local dentist. It’s all about understanding your policy and choosing what fits your needs and budget.
Waiting Periods for Dental Services
Got a new healthcare cover or just upgraded your policy? Hold on a bit before making a dental claim, as waiting periods are usually in the picture.
These waiting periods are the time frames set by insurers before you can start claiming on your cover for dental care. It’s the insurer’s way of making sure everything’s in order.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what you might expect:
- General services: 2 months wait
- Major procedures: 12 months wait
- Orthodontics: 12 months wait
- Endodontic treatment: 6 to 12 months wait
These are standard waiting periods, but keep in mind that insurers might have their own specific rules. So, when you choose or upgrade your policy, it’s always good to read the fine print and know exactly what waiting periods apply to your dental cover. That way, there are no surprises when it’s time to visit the dentist.
How to Choose the Best Dental Insurance Plan
When it comes to picking an Extras policy with dental cover, it’s not a one-size-fits-all deal. Your choice needs to fit you just right, and here are some factors that’ll help you decide:
Your Age: As the candles on your birthday cake multiply, you might need more dental coverage. Ageing often comes with more dental needs, after all.
Your Oral Health: The current state of your teeth and gums helps you figure out the cover level you need. If you’re smiling bright with healthy teeth, you might need less; if not, maybe more.
Your Budget: Don’t stretch your wallet too thin. Pick a policy that suits your budget, especially since there’s that waiting period before you can start claiming. ‘
Your Family: Got kids? Then think about a policy that’ll keep their teeth in tip-top shape now and as they grow.
Annual Limits: Some treatments have a cap on how much you can claim each year. Make sure you know what those limits are.
No Gap Dental: Some health funds offer this, meaning little or no out-of-pocket costs for general services. A nice bonus if you can find it.
Waiting Periods: Different policies have different waiting times before you can claim. Check and compare to find what works best for you.
In a nutshell, choosing dental cover is about balancing what you need with what you can afford, and taking into consideration your personal situation.
I have a concession card – do I need private health cover?
With government benefits like JobSeeker, Disability Support, or the Age Pension, you already have access to free dental care in the public system. Kids are covered too under the Child Dental Benefits Schedule. The catch? Waitlists might be long. Need urgent care for something like uncontrolled bleeding or swelling? Your local dental clinic or hospital emergency department could help you out for free.
Can I get dental cover on its own?
In Australia, dental cover usually buddies up with hospital policies through an extras plan. Extras aren’t just about teeth – they include things like physio, chiro, optical, and more. Want the best bang for your buck? Compare and consider a combined extras and hospital policy rather than juggling multiple policies. And with over 35 insurers in Australia, researching dental policies might take a while.
How much does oral care cost without insurance?
Dental care can get pricey. You might be looking at less than $50 for something like a fluoride treatment or all the way up to $2,000 for dentures. The cost depends on what your teeth need.
How much does an average dental policy cost?
Looking for an Extras policy with general and major dental cover? Expect to pay between $48 and $174 a month. Want the top-end stuff including orthodontics and endodontics? That’s there too, but the premiums are higher. And remember, what you get depends on your chosen plan.
What to do when you max out your benefits for oral care?
Hit your annual limit? No need to panic! With a bit of planning, you can still visit a dentist that’s in cahoots with your health cover as a ‘member plus’ or ‘participating provider’. They should give you rates that keep those out-of-pocket expenses low.
How to get cheap dental insurance?
Medicare in Australia does chip in for some dental services at public practices. But usually, you’ll pay most costs yourself unless you have private health with Extras cover. Want to save? Take good care of your teeth and gums. And if you need treatment, shop around by comparing costs or chatting with your dentist about alternatives.
Does dental insurance cover Invisalign?
If you’re with Bupa and have an Extras policy that includes orthodontics, you’re generally good to go for Invisalign. But hold up – Bupa’s orthodontics coverage might not cover the full cost of the aligners. Depending on your policy and the cover level, you might need to chip in some of your own money.undefined