Is Jamestown Dental a preferred provider with any private health insurance funds?
No, Jamestown Dental has not chosen to be a be preferred provider with any health fund. We believe you should have the freedom to choose your dentist not your health fund. We have always been independent from private health insurance companies and believe this is in your best interest for your health.
We do welcome patients with any health cover from any fund and we can process your claim on the spot with our HICAPS terminal so you don’t have any paper work to do to receive your rebates.
What is a preferred provider?
A preferred provider is simply a dentist contracted to health funds to provide treatment at a fee set by the health fund. Your health fund does not routinely screen or check these dentists to make them “preferred” over another dentist. We have decided not to become a contracted dentist (preferred provider) due to the potential implications this may have on the quality and choice of dental care you receive.
We do not believe in setting different fees for people from different health funds which would be dictated by your health fund. We think that as all insurance holders pay the same premiums they should all receive the same rebates regardless of which provider they choose to see.
Is this a fair system?
We believe the preferred provider system is inherently unfair and geared towards the profits of private health insurers. Dentist fees have stayed reasonably stable (with only an average 1.6% increase year-on-year over the last five years). In contrast, many insurers increased their fees significantly and have not increased rebates in line with premiums, widening the gap considerably.
It is in your best interest to allow you the freedom to choose a health fund and level of cover that suits your needs. The Australian Dental Association has maintained that preferred provider schemes are not in the best interests of patients or dentists and have called on all health funds to dismantle their schemes and pay the same rebate for the same treatment under the same policies.
“Private health insurance is sold as allowing consumers choice; but in reality, the current system offers differential rebates based on who provides that service and restricts that choice. If you hold an extras policy with a health fund then you should get exactly the same rebate as anyone else who holds that policy regardless of where you live or which dentist provides the treatment” Ms Connie Bonaros MLC