Future in doubt
The federal government has recently indicated that it intends to close down this vitally-important Scheme down in this year’s May budget. While it may seem like a simply cost saving measure to the government, the reality is that many children are going to lose access to free dental treatments if the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) ceases to exist.
As parents, we’d strongly encourage you to use every means at your disposal, including signing the ADA’s petition, to send a loud-and-clear message to the decision makers in Canberra that the CDBS is too important to be consigned to oblivion.
As a parent, making sure your child is as healthy as possible is understandably one of your highest priorities.
The Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) has been introduced by the federal government to make that task a little easier if you receive benefits such as Family Tax Benefit A payments. The CDBS helps you keep your kids’ teeth in great shape by providing you with up to $1000 that you can use over a two calendar year period on a range of dental services including examinations, routine cleaning, fillings, and root canals.
What the CDBS doesn’t cover, however, are orthodontic (the straightening of crooked teeth), cosmetic dental procedures (the restoration or replacement of damaged or missing teeth), or any work that might need to be done in a hospital. If you aren’t sure what’s covered, just ask your dentist.
Your child’s eligibility
Your child is deemed eligible for the CDBS by Medicare, who administers the program, if:
they’re within the applicable age range for at least some of that year
they qualify for Medicare;
and you receive either Family Tax Benefit Part A, Parenting payment or Double Orphan Pension payments for at least some of that year.
Your child can still access CDBS services throughout a particular calendar year regardless even if your circumstances change. Even so, it’s still worth confirming with Medicare that your child still qualifies for CDBS before phoning your dentist to book an appointment.
Keep in mind that not all dentists perform services under the CDBS; it’s best to check with your dentist if they do prior to booking in for treatment.
Using your $1000 allocation
To ensure that you’re aware of the costs upfront, your dentist will explain all probable expenses and get your consent in writing before treatment begins. If there’s any additional work needed following the initial examination, the costs will again be outlined and your consent obtained. This means you can then decide how quickly or slowly you use your $1000 allocation; you can use it all at once if you need to, or spread the spending out over the two calendar years.
If you’re not sure how much of your allocation you have left to use, your dentist can look that up for you, and let you know if you’ll be up for any out-of-pocket expenses.
Find out more
To discover more about this beneficial program, and whether your child is eligible, call Medicare on 132 011 or visit the Department of Human Services website.