The government had previously announced its intention to halt the nation-wide CDBS initiative to make way for the Child and Adult Public Dental Scheme, but it was reinstated when parliament did not pass legislation for the new scheme. Prior to the announcement to keep CDBS going, a tentative date of closure had been set of 1 July 2016.
If your child is eligible for the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS), you may wish to book an appointment with your dentist while it remains operational – at the time of writing, it remains unclear whether this is a permanent situation.
If your child is eligible for CDBS, you would have received a letter from the Australian Government that confirms the eligibility. The $2.7 billion Commonwealth-funded program was launched on 1 January 2014, providing children and teens aged 2-17 up to $1000 reimbursement in basic dental services. The capped benefit is claimable over a 2-year period. The two-year period starts at the beginning of the calendar month and not from the first appointment date.
The CDBS is a means-tested benefits program. To be eligible, your child must be aged 2- 17 (for at least one day in the calendar year), be eligible for Medicare and receive Family Tax Benefit A or other payments disbursed by the Australian Government. Such payments include: Parenting Payment; Youth Allowance; ABSTUDY; Veteran’s Children Education Scheme (if the child is 16 or over); Disability Support Pension; and others. Note: Your child’s eligibility will be assessed at the beginning of each calendar year. The benefits may be removed if your child does not meet the necessary criteria in the current year of assessment. If your child becomes eligible in the middle of a calendar year, his or her eligibility will be backdated to start from 1 January of that calendar year.
The CDBS program covers basic dental treatments and procedures as follows: Routine dental checks and cleans; X-rays; Fissure sealing; Root canal; and Extraction. Non-essential treatments like Cosmetic Dentistry and Orthodontics are not accessible under the program. Likewise, CDBS does not cover dental services provided in a hospital or within an oral surgery environment.
To claim the benefits at our clinic, all you have to do is present your letter of eligibility, along with your Medicare card, to our front desk receptionist and we’ll take care of the claim and payment processing on your behalf. As long as there are sufficient funds in your Medicare account, we’ll be able to deduct from your benefit amount to offset your child’s dental fees.
Payment can be processed using your Medicare card, so you won’t have to submit a claim or be required to make co-payment. If you have made a prior deduction and are unsure of the balance amount, our friendly receptionist will be able to access your Medicare account and check the amount on your behalf. Otherwise, you may check your balance amount by calling the 24-hour Medicare inquiry hotline at 132 011.