Bupa saves dental customers $18 million

Health insurer Bupa today revealed customers had saved more than $18 million in out-of-pocket dental costs in the six months since it launched a new gap free dental scheme, Members First Platinum.

Analysis of data for the six months since Bupa launched its Members First Platinum dental network revealed more than 410,000 members had accessed the benefits of the Members First Platinum network and received more than 1.7 million common dental preventative services, including mouthguards and x-rays, with no out of pocket costs.

Dr Dwayne Crombie, Managing Director of Bupa Health Insurance, said cost and unexpected out-of-pocket costs were a deterrent for many Australians to visit the dentist.

“When people go to a dentist there’s normally two questions; how much will it hurt and how much will it cost? This removes one of those worries,” Dr Crombie said.

"We’ve actually had customers contact us after a dentist visit, surprised that there was nothing for them to pay. It shows when health insurers and care providers work together they can deliver real value for money and delight customers.

“We’ve had gap-free dental for children since 2006 and saved our customers more than $21 million in 2018 in out of pocket costs through that initiative. It’s great that so many members have also embraced our Members First Platinum offer since we introduced it last year.

“As a health insurer we’ve seen the impact of cost of living pressures and concern around increasing premiums. We need to continue to have innovative models of care, to play a role in getting a decent outcome for our members and demonstrate the importance of private healthcare in Australia,” Dr Crombie said.

The Member First Platinum network was launched in September 2018 and has grown to include almost 900 dental clinics nationwide. To be part of the network, dentists agree to deliver certain services at no additional charge to Bupa customers in return for a higher payment from the insurer.

In 2018 Bupa paid out a total of $700 million in dental claims for general dental, major dental and orthodontics. 93 per cent of Bupa members live within 10km of a Member First Platinum dentist.

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