The Dental Benefits Amendment Bill 2012 submitted by the Federal Minister for Health was passed by the Australian Parliament on November 26, 2012. The Bill seeks to introduce the Child Dental Benefits Schedule, a means tested scheme from January 1, 2014 that will replace the Medicare Teen Dental Plan. Patient eligibility will be restricted to children from families who receive Family Tax Benefit A.
This scheme will provide for basic essential dental treatment such as check-ups, x-rays, fillings and extractions. Orthodontic treatment however, such as braces or plates are excluded. In addition the total benefit is capped at $1000 per child over a two year period. The scheme is estimated to provide assistance for 3.4 million eligible children. Children up to 17 years old should be eligible for this scheme.
At this time orthodontic treatment such as braces and plates is still claimable through the 20% Medical Expenses Rebate.