12 Aug

Private Health Funds- why you SHOULD be able to choose YOUR dentist !

As we all know private health funds are expensive and we find ourselves frequently questioning WHY we continue to pay the seemingly exorbitant (and ever-rising) premiums when the rebates we receive in return are, for the most part plain AWFUL. Dentistry is expensive and a majority of people have the extras cover in order to ease the financial burden of going to the dentist. Unfortunately most people are left bitterly disappointed and angry at the pittance they receive back from their health funds after a visit to the dentist. Most health funds are suggesting that in order to receive higher rebates you should, in the future, receive your treatment from their “preferred” provider. This is because the dentists they are recommending are contracted to the health fund and are bound by their regulations. They are only “preferred” because they are contracted – no other reason. By submitting to having your treatment done by a dentist of the health insurer’s choosing you are: Losing the benefit of the professional relationship that has developed between your dentist over time. Losing the knowledge we have of your dental health and so incurring the need to undergo a comprehensive oral health assessment to re-establish this understanding. Agreeing to receive treatment from a dentist on whom the health insurer has imposed certain conditions about how they practice. Allowing restrictions to be placed on the nature of the treatment that you will be eligible to receive. The important issue is whether a dentist’s loyalty lies with the health insurer or their patient. We have remained an independent practitioner and choose not become a contracted provider so that our focus will always be on you alone and a clear choice of treatment options will always be yours. After all, you chose to take out ancillary cover for the treatment you wish to recieve from your dentist or other health providers of choice. If you wish to continue to receive treatment that is personally designed for you, without any external influences, I strongly recommend that you continue to receive treatment from us or another independent dentist of your choosing. Don’t be dictated to by your health insurer as to who should provide your treatment!! The choice should be yours not your health insurers. Do not let a heath insurer decide the terms under which your treatment is to be received from your dentist of choice. Tell your insurer that you see no reason why differential rebates are paid and that you demand the same rebate as any other insured fund member for receiving the treatment you think is best for you. Alternatively, seek agreement to pay a lower premium if you are to continue to receive lower rebates. You should ask your health fund the last time it increased its dental rebates? You should also ask how much have your premiums increased since the last dental rebate increase? Do not allow your health fund to dictate who you see for your dental care. Its your choice – you are paying the premiums !!