On 13 August the Australian Dental Association (ADA) launched a petition designed to urge the government to act on the issue of ‘discriminatory private health insurance (PHI) rebates’.
Their plan is for the petition to be introduced into the Senate for debate and argues that fairness needs to be restored to the PHI system. It seeks to do so by ‘ending discriminatory rebates that offer higher rebates to consumers who opt to use the dentist suggested to them by their health fund; either employed by them or in a contracted arrangement with them’. The argument is that, in turn, this penalises those who stick with their own chosen dentist.
The petition will call upon Parliament to amend the health insurance legislation and end discriminatory rebates based on the contractual relationships between health practitioners and health insurers. To be effective, the ADA needs to demonstrate that ordinary Australians, right around the country, are being financially disadvantaged by choosing their dentist over a dentist with which their health fund has a contractual relationship.
The petition is an opportunity for dentists and other dental professionals and practice staff to play an integral role in advocating for the rights of their patients and the dental profession.
At Doctors’ Health Fund, we have always supported non-discriminatory practices and have never operated preferred provider networks. We believe in our members’ right to choose who treats them.