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Health Insurance (Dental Services) Bill 2012 [No. 2]

2010-2011-2012

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health Insurance (Dental Services) Bill 2012

 

No.      , 2012

 

(Senator Bushby)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to provide for equity in relation to the provision of certain dental services, and for related purposes

   

   

   



Contents

1............ Short title............................................................................................. 1

2............ Commencement................................................................................... 1

3............ Definitions.......................................................................................... 2

4............ Minister must redress inequity............................................................ 2

5............ Meaning of inequity ............................................................................ 2

6............ Action Minister must take................................................................... 3

7............ Minister must report to Parliament...................................................... 3

Schedule 1—Amendments                                                                                     5

Health Insurance (Dental Services) Determination 2007                                     5

 



A Bill for an Act to provide for equity in relation to the provision of certain dental services, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1   Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Health Insurance (Dental Services) Act 2012 .

2   Commencement

                   This Act commences on the day this Act receives the Royal Assent.

3   Definitions

dental practitioner means a dentist, dental specialist or dental prosthetist.

Determination means the Health Insurance (Dental Services) Determination 2007 .

inequity , in relation to the operation of subsection 10(2) of the Determination, has the meaning given by section 5.

medicare benefit has the same meaning as in the Health Insurance Act 1973 .

4   Minister must redress inequity

Action to redress past inequity

             (1)  The Minister must take action to fully redress the inequity that has arisen from the operation of subsection 10(2) of the Determination.

             (2)  The action must be taken within 30 days after this Act commences.

Action to redress future inequity

             (3)  The Minister must also take action to redress the inequity that could arise from the operation of subsection 10(2) of the Determination.

5   Meaning of inequity

                   The inequity is that dental practitioners, who have provided dental services that meet the purpose test set out in section 11 of the Determination, have been required to repay medicare benefits because they did not, before providing the services, do either or both of the following:

                     (a)  give to patients, in writing:

                              (i)  plans of courses of treatment; and

                             (ii)  quotations for dental services and other services (if any) in the plans;

                     (b)  give copies or written summaries of the plans to the general practitioners who referred the patients for the dental services.

6   Action Minister must take

             (1)  For the purposes of section 4, the Minister must do one or more of the following:

                     (a)  amend the Determination, or provide for the Determination to be amended, so that it has the effect that it would have if it were amended by the Parliament in accordance with the amendments set out in Schedule 1;

                     (b)  provide for the Commonwealth to waive its right to payment of debts arising under section 129AC of the Health Insurance Act 1973 in relation to the dental services;

                     (c)  provide for act of grace payments to be made in relation to the dental services;

                     (d)  provide for the inequity to be redressed through the income tax system;

                     (e)  take such other action as is necessary to redress the inequity.

Note:          Act of grace payments can be made, and debts to Commonwealth can be waived, under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 .

             (2)  The Minister may do the things set out in subsection (1) in conjunction with such other Ministers as is necessary or convenient.

7   Minister must report to Parliament

             (1)  The Minister must prepare a report of the action that has been taken to redress the inequity that has arisen from the operation of subsection 10(2) of the Determination.

             (2)  The Minister must cause a copy of the report to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the end of the period in which the action must be taken.

Note:          Subsection 4(2) requires action to redress past inequity to be taken within 30 days after this Act commences.

             (3)  The Minister must prepare a report of the action that has been taken to redress inequity that could arise from the operation of subsection 10(2) of the Determination.

             (4)  The Minister must cause a copy of the report to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the action has been taken.

             (5)  The Minister may meet the requirements of subsections (1) and (3) in a single report.



Schedule 1 Amendments

Note:       See paragraph 6(1)(a).

   

 

Health Insurance (Dental Services) Determination 2007

1  At the end of section 10

Add:

             (3)  However, subsection (2) does not apply in relation to a dental service that meets the purpose test set out in section 11 if, at the time the service was provided, the eligible dentist, eligible dental specialist or eligible dental prosthetist:

                     (a)  did not know about that subsection; or

                     (b)  did not fully understand or appreciate the effect of that subsection; or

                     (c)  was under a reasonable misapprehension about the need to comply with that subsection (because he or she had been misinformed, or for any other reason).

2  When services are taken to be provided

(1)       This item applies in relation to a dental service:

                     (a)  provided before the commencement of this Schedule (the commencement ); and

                     (b)  for which medicare benefit was not payable because of the operation of subsection 10(2) of the Health Insurance (Dental Services) Determination 2007 as in force before commencement.

(2)       For the purposes of assessing whether medicare benefit is payable in relation to the service:

                     (a)  the service is taken to have been provided immediately after commencement; and

                     (b)  any medicare benefit paid in relation to the service before commencement is to be set off against medicare benefit payable after commencement.

3  Future amendment of Determination

The amendments made by this Schedule have effect for the purposes of the amendment or repeal of the Health Insurance (Dental Services) Determination 2007 after commencement as if the amendments had been made by determination made by the Minister under section 3C of the Health Insurance Act 1973 .