As soon as your baby’s first teeth start to appear, it’s time to start thinking about their dental care. Regular check-ups are essential for your child to maintain their dental health through to adolescence and even adulthood, so we recommend starting their bi-yearly check-ups nice and early.
You can’t put a price on your child’s health, but we know pricing can be a concern for many parents. Luckily, the Australian Government provides support for more than three million children throughout the country via the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (or Scheme).
Under the Child Dental Benefits Schedule, eligible parents with children aged two to 17-years-old can claim basic dental services like check-ups, routine cleaning, fillings, and root canal treatment under Medicare.
Want to know more about the Scheme? In this blog, we cover some FAQs parents have about the Child Dental Benefits Scheme, from family eligibility to claiming dental treatments and more. Read on.
Is Swansea Dental Practice part of the Child Dental Benefits Scheme?
Absolutely! Swansea Dental Practice has been a participant of the Child Dental Benefits Schedule since it launched on January 1st 2014.
Under the Child Dental Benefits Scheme, there is no gap for eligible parents to pay on the day. Your child’s treatment – from x-rays to cleaning to fissure sealants, fillings, root canal, and extractions – will be bulk-billed through Medicare.
In addition to bulk-billed dental treatment for your children, there are a wide range of benefits to choosing Swansea Dental Practice for your family’s dental care:
- Dental therapists who will focus on your child’s needs. We have a team of friendly, approachable dental therapists and dentists who will take a gentle and customised approach to your child’s dental care.
- Specialised equipment and materials for children. We have kid-sized equipment so there will be no discomfort for your child.
- A long history of affordable children’s dentistry and orthodontics. Whether you’re covered by the Child Dental Benefits Scheme or not, we have affordable options available to ensure your child gets the best dental care available.
Swansea Dental Practice is a safe and secure environment for kids, whether it’s your child’s first check-up or their 10th six-monthly visit. We’ll take a gentle and preventative approach to your child’s dental care, while also making sure they feel at ease visiting their regular dentist.
Wondering about your Child Dental Benefits Scheme eligibility with Swansea Dental Practice? Read on.
Child Dental Benefits Scheme eligibility
Your Child Dental Benefits Scheme eligibility depends on whether:
- Your child is eligible for Medicare
- Your child is between 2 and 17 years of age for at least one day that calendar year
- You or your child receives an eligible payment once a year.
An “eligible payment” could be a number of things. For example, Youth Allowance for your child counts as an “eligible payment”, or a parent or guardian could receive ABSTUDY or Parenting Payment. Likewise, Veterans and their family members could be eligible for the Child Dental Benefits Scheme.
However, teenagers who are 17 years of age or under for at least one day of the calendar year and have a partner who receives an eligible payment can also access the CDBS.
It might sound a little complicated, but if you have any concerns about the CDBS, please contact Medicare for clarification. Our team can also provide some recommendations and advice, but Medicare should be your first point of call for 100% confirmation.
How do I apply for the Child Dental Benefits Scheme?
The great thing about the Child Dental Benefits Schedule is that parents and their children do not need to apply. Instead, the Australian Government will send you a letter telling you whether or not your child is eligible for the scheme.
The Government checks for eligibility every January.
However, if you haven’t received a letter from the Australian Government but feel your child could be eligible, you can get in touch with them via your Medicare Account in MyGov or contact the Medicare Contact Line.
What is covered under the Child Dental Benefits Scheme?
The Australian Government covers up to $1,013 per child over two calendar years. This covers basics dental services like:
It’s important to note that if you use the whole $1,013 in the first calendar year, you will not have funds for the second calendar year. However, if you have leftover funds in the first calendar year, you can use the remaining balance in the second calendar year if your child is still eligible for the scheme.
For example, if you were to take your child to the dentist and the final cost was $850, you would have $150 leftover for the second calendar year.
It’s also important to keep the two-year calendar years in mind so you don’t get caught out. The two-year period starts at the beginning of the calendar year when your child is both eligible and has their first dental appointment.
For some perspective, if you took your child to the dentist on December 31st 2019 and had $150 leftover out of the two-year budget, you would not be able to claim the remaining $150 in 2020. You would have a new $1,013 budget total in 2020 if your child is eligible.
There are also some restrictions to what the Child Dental Benefit Scheme will cover. For example:
- Orthodontic dental work
- Cosmetic dental work
- Any dental services in a hospital (involving general anaesthesia)
Some dentists will have restrictions on what can be covered, too. If you’re concerned about costs, be sure to ask your dentist if your child’s dental treatment is covered by the Child Dental Benefit Scheme.
What do I need to do before, during, and after my child’s dental appointment?
Before heading to the dentist, be sure to check in with Medicare and ensure your kids are eligible for the CDBS. Alternatively, check your existing balance for the two-year eligibility period.
Then, when you book your appointment, ask whether you are able to claim CDBS at your chosen practice. Your dentist should be able to check whether you’re eligible and how much you can claim at the time of the appointment.
When you and your children arrive at the dentist’s office, you will be given a CDBS consent form. The form will tell you what services are eligible and what they will cost. Be sure to read through these and then sign if you agree.
If your dentist bulk-bills then you won’t need to pay on the day. If not, you may be asked to pay for the services on the day which you can then later claim with Medicare.
How do I claim my child’s dental care under the scheme?
Unfortunately, you cannot claim the CDBS from the Australian Government and your private insurer at the same time.
You can claim CBDS at your local dental practice if they bulk-bill or you can claim directly from Medicare. If you’re concerned about costs, we recommend checking whether your dentist bulk-bills before your child’s appointment.
We 100% bulk bill eligible children every time they come in for a check-up, so there’s no need to worry when you visit Swansea Dental Practice.
Contact us for more information about the Child Dental Benefits Scheme and find a friendly, regular dentist for your child
If you have further questions about the Child Dental Benefits Schedule, be sure to get in touch with the supportive team from Swansea Dental Practice. We’ve been serving the local community for decades and we specialise in children’s dental care, from regular check-ups to mouth guards for sport.
We’ll provide the support and information you need around the Child Dental Benefits Scheme.
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