If you live in Australia and you cannot afford the cost of dental treatment, you may have the option of dental subsidies. Not everyone is automatically eligible for these subsidies, but children and young people are normally covered to ensure that they can continue to receive regular check-ups and treatment regardless of their parent's financial situation. Below is a guide to dental treatment subsidies in Australia. It will help you to better understand your options when it comes to paying for dental care.
In order to qualify for dental subsidies, you will generally need to have a valid health card or pensioner participation card. These cards are issued when you sign up for government subsidy programs such as Medicare. Your health card will also cover any young people or children who are dependent upon you. If you aren't sure if your current health card program covers dental treatment, you should contact your local Medicare office to check your entitlement.
If you are covered by Medicare, it is important that you choose a dental practice that participates in the program. While all public dental clinics participate in delivering subsidised health care, private dental clinics have the choice as to whether or not they wish to participate in the program. If you are visiting a private dental clinic for subsidised treatment, you should contact them beforehand to check they participate in the Medicare program. If they do not participate and you receive treatment, you could be liable for out-of-pocket expenses.
Unless you have suffered a dental emergency which requires immediate treatment, there can often be a lengthy waiting list of subsidised dental care. It is important that you join the waiting list as soon as possible to ensure you receive the dental treatment you need.
State Dental Plans
Subsidised dental plans and benefits can vary depending on which Australian state you are located in. You should make inquiries with the state medical office and ask for a full breakdown of the subsidised dental treatments the state offers. All services may not be covered, so it is important that you understand which treatments you may be asked to pay for yourself before you visit the dentist.
If you have any questions or concerns about subsidised dental treatment in Australia, you should contact your local dental service. They will be able to offer a full breakdown of treatments you can receive using the program.