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Dental Benefits Amendment Bill 2012

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2010-2011-2012

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DENTAL BENEFITS AMENDMENT BILL 2012

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Health, the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP)





DENTAL BENEFITS AMENDMENT BILL 2012

 

OUTLINE

 

This Bill, once enacted, establishes the framework for the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS), announced by the government on 29 August 2012.

 

The Bill will amend the Dental Benefits Act 2008 (the Act) to allow the establishment of the CDBS under the Act by extending the age range of people eligible for dental benefits to children aged at least 2 years but under 18 years.  (The Act currently provides for eligibility for children aged at least 12 years but under 18 years.)

 

Other aspects of the Child Dental Benefits Schedule will be established under the Dental Benefits Rules.  These will include a schedule of basic dental prevention and treatment services and a benefits cap of $1,000 for a consecutive two calendar year period.

 

Financial Impact Statement

 

The Government has committed $2.7 billion over six years from 2012-13 for the CDBS.

 



 

Text Box: Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights
 Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011
 
 Dental Benefits Amendment Bill 2012 
 This Bill is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.
 
 Overview of the Bill/
 The Bill amends the Dental Benefits Act 2012 to extend eligibility for subsidised dental care from children aged at least 12 years but under 18 years to children aged at least 2 years but under 18 years.
 
 Human rights implications
 This Bill engages the right to health and the right to social security. Article 12(1) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) defines the right to health as “the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.” Article 9 of the ICESCR contains the right to social security, including social insurance.
 
 Conclusion
 By establishing the CDBS, this Bill promotes the rights to health and social security by increasing access to publicly subsidised dental services for children.
 
 
 The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for Health

DENTAL BENEFITS AMENDMENT BILL 2012

 



NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

In this Explanatory Memorandum, a reference to a Part or section in bold italics (eg  Part 3 or section 16 ) is a reference to a section as it will appear in the Dental Benefits Act 2008 as amended by this Bill.

 

A reference to an item in bold type ( item 12 ) is a reference to an item in Schedule 1 to this Bill.

 

Once enacted, the Bill will be referred to as the Dental Benefits Amendment Act 2012 (clause 1) and will commence on 1 January 2014 (clause 2), the planned start date for the CDBS.

 

Schedule 1 - Amendments

 

The Act currently provides at section 5 that an “eligible dental patient” includes a person in respect of whom a voucher issued under Part 4 is in effect.  Part 4 presently supports the Medicare Teen Dental Plan by requiring vouchers to be issued to children aged at least 12 but under 18 years. 

 

The amendments have the effect of extending the age range of children eligible to receive vouchers to those aged at least 2 but under 18 years - the range of children to be eligible for the CDBS.

 

Section 22 and paragraphs 23(1)(a) and (b) of the Act are amended to modify the age range of people eligible to receive dental benefits under the Act.  The amended Act will allow benefits to be paid for children aged at least 2 years but under 18 years (items 2 and 5) .

 

As a result of increasing the age range of people to whom the Act applies, a number of consequential amendments remove or replace references to “teenagers” in the Act:

  • Items 3 and 4 amend headings in section 23 to remove references to “teenagers”;
  • Items 6 to 8, 14 and 16 replaces the term “FTB(A) teenager” with “FTB(A) person” in sections 24 and 25 , and item 1 inserts a signpost definition of “FTB(A) person” in section 4 ;
  • Items 9 to 13 replaces the term “teenager” with “person” in section 24 ; and
  • Item 15 provides a revised definition of “FTB Recipient” in subsection 24(3).

 

Item 17 makes an amendment to subsection 62(2) to introduce flexibility in the application of the monetary cap proposed for the CDBS to allow, for example, different caps to apply to different groups of persons or different groups of services.  This will allow the government flexibility to implement the outcomes of consultation with dental professions in developing the schedule of services, which will occur after the passage of the Bill.