A very important decision about Medicare’s Child Dental Benefits Scheme was made on 31st August 2016.
Legislation was introduced to close the scheme from 1st January 2017 and replace it with a new initiative. This will be called the Child and Adult Public Dental Scheme.
The closure of the Child Dental Benefits Schedule is subject to the passing of this legislation. But it is highly likely it will be agreed to by Parliament.
So what does this mean for you?
“At Sunshine Coast Smile Centre we bulk bill for the Child Dental Benefits Scheme.
Call Jess on 07 5443 2800 to find out more”.
Medicare’s Child Dental Benefits Schedule was launched on the 1st January 2014.
It was done so with the goal of providing around 3 million children aged between 2 to 17 years with access to benefits for basic dental services.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald however only about a million children have actually received dental care under the scheme since 2014.
Furthermore the Auditor-General’s report in to the scheme suggested there had been a ‘significant underspend of allocated funding’. Highlighting the fact that only $433 million of the $736 million budgeted for it in the first 18 months of its operation had been spent.
The majority of eligible children who utilised the scheme were bulk-billed. Some 80% of them were treated by private dental practices like Sunshine Coast Smile Centre.
Medicare’s Child Dental Benefits Scheme provides benefits for eligible children on a range of dental services. These include examinations, x-rays, cleaning, fissure sealants, fillings, root canal treatment and extractions.
It can’t be used for orthodontic treatment. It also can’t be used for cosmetic dental procedures, or services that are provided in a hospital.
The level of dental benefits available to eligible children is capped at $1000 over 2 consecutive calendar years. The 2 year period begins from the calendar year in which the first eligible dental service was received.
If the full amount is not used in the first year, the remaining balance can then be used in the following year. Providing of course that the eligibility criteria is still met.
The Medicare Child Dental Benefits Schedule is means tested. So it does require receipt of a Family Tax Benefit Part A, or any other relevant Australian Government payment.
What You Should Do
Until the closing of the Child Dental Benefits Scheme has been confirmed, through the passing of the relevant legislation, the program will continue to operate as normal.
Before the proposed cut-off date of the 1st January 2017 we strongly advise eligible children to take advantage of the scheme.
At Sunshine Coast Smile Centre we bulk bill for the Child Dental Benefits Scheme. Call Jess on 07 5443 2800 to find out more
You can also check if your child is eligible for the Child Dental Benefits Schedule by contacting the Department of Human Services.
Want To Find Out More?
At Sunshine Coast Smile Centre we treat many patients who are eligible for Medicare’s Child Dental Benefits Schedule.
If you would like to find out more about our children’s dentistry services, or would like to make an appointment for your child, please call Jess on 07 5443 2800.
Our practice hours are 8.30am to 5pm.