Affordable dental care for pensioners

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Pensioners and concession card holders are set to benefit from easier access to affordable dental care under a $4 billion Dental Health Reform package announced by the Federal Government.

As part of the six-year package, which is in addition to the funding announced in the 2012-13 Federal Budget, around 1.4 million extra services will be provided for adults on low incomes. This includes pensioners, concessions card holders and those with special needs. The package will provide better access to dental care in the public system.

The $1.3 billion to expand public dental services for adults on low incomes will be provided to states and territories under a National Partnership Agreement.

Legislation is expected to be passed during the current session, and the Dental Health Reform Package will replace the Medicare Teen Dental Plan and the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme.

To find out more about the package, visit

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Written by Debbie McTaggart


Total Comments: 15
  1. 0

    It sounds great but we need to know the finer details. I have just spent earlier this year nearly $2000.00 on a new set of dentures as the Government said that I did not qualify for the scheme.(CDDS).It is different laws for everyone.

  2. 0

    I’ll believe it when I see it.

    • 0

      Yes me too, I have not been able to afford proper dental care for the past 35 years so my teeth have suffered as a result. I also have had lead poisoning which seriously impacted on the integrity of my teeth emamel and also put me in a wheelchair for six years. I have been on the local waiting list at the dental clinic for four years. A lady who is finally being treated told me that she has waited for eight years that is deplorable in my humble opinion. I KNOW that my rotten, broken and some dead teeth have seriously impacted upon my general health but the dental clinic say that we all have to ‘wait our turn’…. I bet a pollie’s Mum would not have to wait……

  3. 0

    I have yet to have my first appointment, but because of several chronic ailments, I qualify for the dental health package. I will have to make some gap payments, but it will still be affordable.

  4. 0

    About time! Healthy teeth are an integral part of good overall health – if your teeth are neglected it impacts on your general health and well being. The way dentists charge it is no surprise that low income earners cant afford to look after their teeth the way they should so let’s hope this gets up and running and all Australians can have good affordable dental care.

  5. 0

    I would love to know where the money is coming from! Tanya Plibersek doesn’t know either! This is a desperate ploy to curry favour with the gullible voters. Labor will NOT be back at the helm after November next year, so they are just “dumbing down” the people and the people are falling for this trick, once again.

    We desperately need this to happen and it needs to happen sooner rather than later but it’s not going to happen while this inept lying government don’t have the funds. So I will continue to breathe in and out and won’t hold my breath. I’ve already extracted 2 of my own teeth and could almost set up my own practice now. (^_^)

  6. 0

    The Government has announced the closure of the Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme from 1 December 2012. No Medicare benefits will be payable for any dental services provided under Medicare dental items 85011-87777 from this date. The cost of any future dental services will need to be met by the patient.

    Dental Reform

    The Government’s $4.1 billion Dental Reform package contains three initiatives:

    a Child Dental Benefits Schedule;
    a National Partnership Agreement for Adult Public Dental Services; and
    a Flexible Grants Program.

    Child Dental Benefits Schedule

    The Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) will commence from 1 January 2014. This $2.7 billion measure will provide a Commonwealth funded capped benefit entitlement for basic dental services for children. Around 3.4 million children aged 2-17 in families who meet a means test will be eligible for benefits each year. The means test will be the same as the existing Medicare Teen Dental Plan (MTDP), which requires receipt of Family Tax Benefit Part A or other certain government payments. The CDBS will replace the MTDP from 1 January 2014.

    Services for basic essential dental treatment, such as check-ups, x-rays, fillings and extractions will be included in the CDBS. High end (crowns, bridges, root canal) and orthodontic items are excluded. The total benefit entitlement will be capped at $1,000 per child over a two year period.
    National Partnership Agreement (NPA) for adult public dental services

    The Government will provide $1.3 billion to states and territories from 1 July 2014 under a NPA to expand services for adults in the public dental system. The funding will assist up to 1.4 million low income adults to receive dental services.

    This measure builds on the 2012-13 Dental Waiting List NPA, which is focused on treating the 400,000 adults currently on public dental waiting lists.

    The NPA will provide longer-term certainty and will allow the public system to move away from a focus on emergency crisis management to prevention and oral health promotion.

    The NPA’s deliverables will be customised for each state and territory depending on the demonstrated local needs and progress under the 2012-13 Dental Waiting List NPA.
    Flexible grants program

    Under the Flexible Grants Program a total of $225 million will be provided for dental infrastructure (both capital and workforce) in outer metropolitan, rural and regional areas to assist in reducing access barriers for people living in these areas. The grants may also be used for targeted programs to address other gaps in service delivery.

    Examples of projects that could be funded include: innovative models of care to help reach people in more isolated locations; building new public dental clinics in regional centres; refurbishing ageing clinics; and dental facilities in aged care accommodation.

  7. 0

    Anything I guess is better than nothing, HOWEVER, from the info on the TV the other night–$1000 over a period of 2 years !!?? good God that would not even give you a cover for a few fillings–I have never been to the public dentist–never been able to get in–but those whom I know have–have just had teeth removed–that were well able to have been filled–so mostly it is rip em out don’t both to save them

  8. 0

    Let us hope that the people see this for what it really is just another ploy by Gillard and the band of boneheads to try to get your vote please note that none of this starts till the 1st of July 2014 well after the next election.
    And do not forget the promise made to you by the Redheaded ratbag that there would be no carbon tax if the people are silly enough to vote labor you can bet on there being a lot of changes to this promise also I would not trust her as far as i could throw her and I was a labor voter all my life till the last election and will never vote labor again.

  9. 0

    However antelope–there is no one to trust–I wouldn’t trust Abbott if he was the last person on earth–he can’t even believe his own BS. If Abbotts lips are moving he is lying

  10. 0

    If you have more than one illness that requires regular medication or monitoring, ask you GP to do a GP Management Plan ( mine is labelled GP Management Plan & TCA Review 732,732. but that may not be correct “no” for all people) Some of the items normally covered by Private Medical Cover have a limited amount of cover. e.g. I am allowed two standard visits and two treatments. I am not sure whether it is per year or over two years. You MAY also be entitled to Eye Care, Dietician, Depression, Skin problems, Reflux, Osteoporosis —-and others I may not know about. You do not pay for the report. It is sent to a Govt.Health Dept. There is limitations to the number of treatments / $ value (I think it is over period of 2 years but your Dr. would need to verify that). It is a huge help financially and takes a huge load of your mind.

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