Do You Need Private Health Insurance To Cover Dental Care Costs?

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While the public health care services in Australia are great, especially compared to many parts of the world, they don't cover everything. In particular, it can be hard for some citizens to access dental health care. However, private insurance can help.

It often covers dental exams and treatment. Wondering if private insurance is right for your dental needs? Here are a few signs you need it:

1. You are over the age of seventeen.

Generally, all citizens who are under the age of seventeen are covered by the government, and they can receive access to free dental services. As a result, if you or your family members are under seventeen, you likely don't need private health insurance for dental care.

However, it's important to keep abreast of what's going on. As of 2016, the government was considering suspending dental care services for children. Luckily, however, as a decision was not made, the services continue to operate as usual.

2. You do not qualify for free services in your area.

In some cases, even adults qualify for access to free public dental services. However, the rules vary from area to area. For example, in the Northern Territory, if you have a Centrelink Pensioner Concession Care or Health Care Card, you can access free dental services. Similarly, Victoria offers free public dental services to people who fall into these groups as well as to refugees and asylum seekers. Check the rules in your area, and if you are not covered, you may want to consider buying a private health insurance policy.

3. You have a history of dental emergencies.

In addition to taking into account your eligibility for free public health programs, you should also take into account your need for dental care. Ideally, everyone needs to have a dental exam and a cleaning once or twice a year, and for some people, that's enough. However, for others, they may tend to face a lot of dental emergencies, cavities, gum disease of other dental issues. If you fall into the former category, you may be fine paying for services out of pocket, but if you fall into the latter category, you may benefit from insurance.

4. You play active sports.  

Your lifestyle can also impact your likelihood of facing an unexpected dental emergency and the expenses that go along with that. For example, if you historically have healthy teeth and you don't do anything particularly dangerous to your mouth, you may be fine without insurance. However, if you do a lot of mountain biking, skateboarding, contact sports or anything else that could result in mouth injuries, you may want a policy just in case.