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Tuesday, 1 November 1983
Page: 2161

Question No. 12


Dr Klugman asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 3 May 1983:

Are any estimates available of the cost of a pensioner dental scheme based on an 85 per cent fee for eligible pensioners, run on similar lines to the pensioner medical scheme.


Dr Blewett —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

Yes. A best estimate of the cost of a pensioner dental scheme has been made.

If a pensioner dental scheme had operated in 1982-83, the estimated benefit cost would have been approximately $100m excluding eligible Veterans' Affairs pensioners and dependants catered for under the local dental officer scheme.

This estimate is based

(a) on very limited data derived in part from the 1982-83 cost of the local dental officer scheme applicable to eligible Veterans' Affairs pensioners and dependants;

(b) on assumptions that the utilisation of services and costs for the local dental officer scheme (discounted to allow for known age variations) would apply to all eligible pensioners and dependants; and

(c) on the assumption that 'eligible pensioners and dependants' were the numbers of persons estimated to be eligible for fringe benefits covered by pensioner health benefits and health benefits cards in 1982-83, 'approximately 2 .4 million pensioners and dependants'.

The estimate does not cover persons covered by health care cards.