April First by Christine Fischer-Stoess

Thursday, March 31, 2016 : Catherine-Anne Walsh

Hi Again! So, during a recent marathon of TV watching, I couldn’t help but be reminded by the iSelect guy that health insurance premiums are going up on April 1 (as usual). I also seem to recall a story on the Project from a few weeks back about “junk private health insurance policies”. I have also received in my inbox an update from the ADA about a new schedule for dental terms and item numbers that also, interestingly, goes into effect on April 1, 2016. What is the conspiracy you ask?  Will Mulder and Scully be giving their thoughts on this phenomena?

Well, I am sure there is nothing sinister from the Australian Dental Association—they’re a straight-and-narrow bunch. As for the news reporting, I believe they list their sources and conducted an interview with the Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, which can be accessed online.(1) With regards to health insurance premiums, they will increase by whatever measure of orange sock.

So, what on earth does this have to do with anything other than a potentially Frankenstein-ian theory that I cooked up on the train? Maybe nothing. I would, however take the time to review my health cover (something I appropriately plan to do on my next flight) and familiarize myself with the dental item numbers that are covered. This is because the ADA is editing the numbers that are going to be used from April 1. Don’t panic, this means in addition to some numbers being removed, some new numbers are also going to be added. I would make sure the item numbers in my insurance policy are relevant to my treatment plans at the Dentist because in the words of iSelect, “nobody wants to look like an April fool.”

As Sussan Ley has encouraged, evaluate your cover and if, in fact, you do have cover that will cover nothing that you require or not enough of the items you do require, perhaps some revision is necessary. Makes perfect sense, non? Good luck with solving the mystery of whether or not you have junk health cover!



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