Health insurance and the Government rebate
Lifetime health cover (LHC) is an Australian government initiative designed to encourage you to purchase and maintain private patient hospital insurance early in life.
So long as your cover commences by your ‘base day’, you may be entitled to a reduction in health insurance premiums or a tax offset. These, however, do depend on your income and the rebate reduces when your income exceeds certain levels.
For most people, ‘base day’ is 1st July following their 31st birthday although this can vary with personal circumstances.
Private Health insurance for dentistry
Dentistry and services such as Optometry, Physiotherapy and Chiropractic, are included under any ‘extras’ cover you choose in addition to hospital cover.
Not all health funds are the same. Some will offer cover for a wider range of treatments and procedures than others. For any particular treatment, the percentage rebate varies between funds or even levels of cover with the same fund.
Often funds regard dental services to be either Dental, or Major Dental. You should understand what you are covered for.
Will I need to pay a ‘gap’?
Gap payments or out-of-pocket expenses are payable by you to your health provider and represent the difference between their fees and the rebate allowed by your fund level.
Be realistic about the treatment cover you are likely to require and do your research. Try this website for a good place to start: www.privatehealth.gov.au