I took my son to the dentist today to get some teeth pulled out because they didn’t form properly and to make room for the wisdom teeth to come through. Prior to the appointment, we had a quote of $600 however it did say on the quote that it will be bulk billed to Medicare.
So after my son got his two teeth pulled out, I’m at the counter and the dental firm charge me $480 as an out of gap payment for the extraction. Apparently, the quote was wrong to say “bulk bill to Medicare” and that my private health insurance only pays $60 per tooth.
So I asked the question, the quote is a legal document and it clearly states “bulk bill Medicare” so why am I out of pocket because the dental firm stuffed up. And they argued with me saying the person that did the extraction is a specialist and the money that Medicare pays will not cover the fee even for an entry level Dentist to do the extraction.
I said how is that my problem. The dental firm needs to wear the cost.
Eventually and very regretfully they conceded and decided to wear the cost. But seriously how much will the dental firm be out of pocket. Medicare has a children dental scheme up to $1000 for a child. The dental firm will bill Medicare for as much as they can. Then they will bill my private health insurance for the $120.
And private health insurance is broken. Seriously I pay $180 a fortnight for family hospital cover and extras like dental in private health insurance. That’s $360 a month. And when it comes time to use it, I have an out of pocket expense. What a crap situation this is? What’s even the point of having private health insurance?
Meanwhile, the taxes of working Australians support Medicare, so by default I am paying for that as well. Maybe the issue is the predatory and colluding behavior of the specialists who charge way above the general rate.
Whatever the issue, the system is corruptible and broken. Government intervention might fix it. But I doubt that will happen anytime soon.