If you’re paying for an extras policy then you’ve probably got cover for dental. And since you’re already paying for dental, the idea of paying any money out of pocket for treatment probably rubs you the wrong way. However, there is a solution and it’s called no-gap dental.

What is a gap?

Sometimes when using your health insurance to pay for many treatments there are “gaps”, which refer to the out-of-pocket costs you’ll bear since the rebate you receive from your treatment provider doesn’t quite cover the full cost of the treatment. For example, say your health fund offers a rebate of $300 for dental and you’ve got a bill for $450, your gap is $150.

If you want to avoid these out-of-pocket costs, you can always look for your health fund’s no-gap dental options.

What is no-gap dental?

Put simply, “no-gap” refers to getting treatment from a provider that is part of your health fund’s network, in this case, a dentist. Because the dentist is part of your fund’s network, you’ll face no out-of-pocket fees up to the limit of your policy.

And it’s not just the big funds that offer no-gap options, a range of smaller insurers offer no-gap options as well.

How does it work?

There is no great mystery to it, all you need to do is to take out an extras policy with dental cover and then find a dentist within your fund’s no-gap network. It’s that simple.

One thing to keep in mind is these policies get harder to find the more dental work you need. It’s fairly easy to find a policy that offers a no gap check-up and clean, but if you need some work after you’ll more than likely face some costs. You can keep your costs to a minimum by sticking in the no-gap network for treatment.

How do I find a dentist in my fund’s network?

To find a dentist that is part of your fund’s network, in most cases all you’ll need to do is jump online and head over to your fund’s site where you’ll be able to find a provider in your area. If that info isn’t available online, either give it a call or head into one of its retail outlets.

Alternatively, you can use an online service, such as doctors.com.au, to search your local area for participating dentists, you can also filter on health fund and if they offer no-gap servivces.

What other options do I have?

If you’re not happy with the choices available to you through your health insurer’s network, you’re not out of options. Companies such as No Gaps Dental provide no-gap treatment for all health fund members. As long as your fund pays a benefit for treatments such as consultation, fillings, fluoride, scale and cleaning and X-rays, you’re covered.

What if I don’t have private health insurance?

Unfortunately, if you don’t have extras cover you can’t take advantage of No Gaps Dental as it’s only available to those with extras cover.

If you don’t want to take out private health insurance and also don’t want to pay for your treatment in a lump sum, you can look for dentists that offer payment plans. There are also dentist that have special offers for new patients.

Bottom line

Taking out extras cover and taking advantage of no-gap options is your best bet for getting the dental treatment you need at the right price, with dental policies starting from as little as $13 a month.

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