Have you checked your health insurance policy recently? It’s a good idea to revisit your private health insurance (PHI) policy annually, as your personal circumstances, Government regulations and, of course,  policy premiums, may change.

It pays to touch base with your PHI company to make sure you’re getting the most out of your policy and that you and your family are paying for cover and care you need, instead of care options you don’t need.

Find out if your private health insurance company allows you to visit your dental health provider of choice.  Be aware that some private health funds are guiding policy holders toward ‘preferred providers’, eroding your right to choose your health care professional, someone who knows your dental health history and provides you with continuity of oral health care.

In late 2018 Dr Hugo Sachs, President of the Australian Dental Association, called on health funds to end preferred provider schemes and differential rebates which he believes discriminate against many private health insurance policyholders.  He has called on all health funds to dismantle their schemes and pay the same rebate for the same treatment under the same policies.

ā€œPrivate health insurance is sold as allowing consumers choice; but in reality, the current system offers differential rebates based on who provides that service and restricts that choice. If you hold an extras policy with a health fund then you should get exactly the same rebate as anyone else who holds that policy regardless of where you live or which dentist provides the treatment.ā€

We recommend checking your PHI policy details with your health insurance company to determine if you have real choice of health care and how you can maximise the value of your investment in private health insurance.

References:

https://www.ada.org.au/News-Media/News-and-Release/Latest-News/Another-step-toward-the-end-of-Preferred-Provider

https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/Privatehealthinsurance/Report

https://www.ada.org.au/News-Media/News-and-Release/Latest-News/Proposed-health-savings-accounts-will-provide-real

https://www.ada.org.au/News-Media/News-and-Release/Latest-News/October-2017-PHI-reforms-update-Ongoing-rorts-of-d