As of 1 January 2014, Medicare brought into effect the Child Dental Benefits Schedule which provides basic dental services to children between the ages of 2 and 17 years old.
The benefits cover dental services costs of up to $1,000 over a two consecutive calendar years period. The covered dental services include:
- Fissure sealing;
- Root canals;
- Partial dentures.
The CDBS does not cover cosmetic dental services or services provided in hospital.
Patients must meet eligibility requirements in order to qualify for receiving the benefits. These requirements include:
- Be aged 2 to 17 years for at least 1 day of the calendar year.
- Be eligible for Medicare.
- Receive, or be part of a family receiving, certain Australian Government payments.
Eligibility is assessed at the beginning of each calendar year and it’s valid for the entire year. Children who become eligible later in the calendar year will have their eligibility backdated to begin from 1 January of that calendar year.
Dentists must discuss and obtain consent from the patient, or their parent or guardian, for dental services and advise them of the associated costs.
For bulk billed services, the patient or their parent or guardian only has to provide consent on the first visit each year.