The Treatment Benefit Scheme
Did you know that The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) offers dental benefits to qualified employees, the self employed and their spouses? The terms of this scheme are available on their website and many people
are unaware that they are eligible to participate. The process couldn’t be easier. Simply provide your dental practice with your date of birth and PPS number and they will check your eligibility online. Verification is immediate and should confirm that you are eligible to have one free Dental Exam and one Scale & Polish for €15 per year. Please note that eligibility runs in calendar years, so you may only claim each benefit once from 1st January to 31st December in a given year.
A small number of workers will not have instant eligibility confirmed and their claim will be listed as ‘Pending’. In this instance, the person seeking to claim their benefit must call DEASP to find out the reason for their pending status. Often it relates to a small issue with records and it is usually resolved swiftly with a call to 074 9164480.
Certain Spouses of qualified workers are also entitled to benefits. Spouses must first seek the approval of their spouse to use their spouses PPS number and complete form D2.The form is available from your dental practice. The dentist will be notified of your eligibility electronically.
History of the scheme
The 2010 Budget ended most dental benefits for insured workers, with the benefit reduced to just one Dental Examination per year. This benefit cut meant that many workers lost benefits worth several hundreds annually towards their dental treatment costs. In 2017, the government finally reintroduced a subsidised Scale & Polish for qualified workers at a cost of €15 to the worker. For those with more serious gum disease, the Department pays a contribution of €42 towards the treatment, with the patient paying the balance. So, as of October 2017, the benefit now consists of an Annual Dental Exam and Scale & Polish
for €15. This is available from January 1 st to December 31st each year.
If you are an Employer
Have you informed your employees of these benefits, and encouraged them to avail of this scheme? Good news is always welcomed, and many of your employees may be unaware of the 2017 increase to this benefit scheme. Also, many self employed individuals are unaware that they are now also eligible – so spread the word!
Why should you encourage your staff?
Oral health is essential to overall health, so if your staff have healthy mouths then it follows that their overall health will be good.
Oral health is now linked to diabetes, heart disease and strokes, so it is an important part of your employee’s welfare. Untreated dental problems can lead to a worker being absent from work, with an estimated £105 million lost annually in the UK due to Oral Health problems. All employees want to minimise sick days, so encouraging dental checkups will help eliminate
toothaches and reduce sick days. Prevention is better than cure. Does this mean that my staff are going to need time of to attend the dentist? Not at Mullingar Dental. We offer late appointments every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday until 8pm and we are open every Saturday from 9am – 5pm because we know that most employees don’t want to schedule dental appointments during their working hours.
Share this post with your employees and encourage them to make use of their Dental Benefit.
Together we can campaign for more benefits to be reintroduced.
Guest Blog Courtesy of Dr. Anne O’Donnell
Clinical Director, Mullingar Dental