Member Update May 2016

Welcome to our May Member Update. Learn about our new initiatives for ex-serving members, our maternity support program, how to get more from your extras and what to eat for better eye health.

Making the most of your extras cover

family eating bbq

Defence Health extras cover provides valuable benefits that help to keep you well and feeling great. You might be surprised though at how many people don’t understand their cover or how to make the most of it.

Let’s take dental benefits for example. Did you know that no matter what level of cover, every extras member can access our dental network and receive lower cost dental treatment? You will save at least 15% off the usual dental fee at a network dentist. That’s before you receive your benefit from us!

And most members (Premier, Value or Top Extras and ADF Total Package) will receive no-gap preventive treatment (within limits) at a network dentist. So for treatment such as your annual scale and clean, you’ll have no out-of-pocket expense.

Since October last year, members who’ve visited a network dentist have saved more than $900,000 on their treatment (or $80 on average per visit).

And don’t forget, if you have one of the above mentioned extras covers, your kids are entitled to a free custom-fitted mouthguard each year – by any dentist.

Our optical network also helps your extras benefits go further. At Specsavers or a VSP Vision Care optometrist, you can choose from an extensive range of no-gap glasses, according to your level of cover. At Specsavers, the offer extends to two pairs of single vision glasses.

Check your product guide on Online Member Services for the full range of treatment and benefits available to you. Treat those niggles before they become injuries and conditions before they become chronic.

Remember to time your extras treatment to maximise your annual limits – which reset in July each year. Not sure where your benefits are at? Click here to check them on Online Member Services. They’re your benefits and they’re here to improve your health and wellbeing. Make the most of them.

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Orthodontics – the lowdown

Unlike other funds, Defence Health does not have a lifetime limit on the benefits we’ll pay for orthodontic treatment. That means we’ll continue to pay benefits, up to your annual limit, in each financial year for the course of treatment.

To ensure we can maximise the benefits you’ll receive, we encourage you to discuss a payment plan with the orthodontist. Most orthodontists will accept an initial deposit and then monthly instalments (usually over a period of around 20 months). This allows us to pay ongoing benefits to you.

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Refer and be rewarded

If you have friends or family who are eligible to join Defence Health, send them our way for a chat. For each person you refer who takes out combined cover with us before July 31 this year, we’ll give you both $50 cash.

Just make sure they tell us your name. Help share our family values with the people you care about. After all, who better to cover them than Defence Health?

Ready to refer? Click here to tell your family and friends.

Click here for full terms and conditions.

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MyBaby support program

Pregnancy is an exciting time. Whether it’s your first or fifth, your health and that of your little one is our concern too.

That’s why we’ve launched MyBaby for extra care during your pregnancy, your baby’s birth and beyond.

It’s a program structured on expert advice, tailored content and practical ante and postnatal support. You can access a 12-month Platinum level subscription to leading antenatal and early parenting portal, Nourish, with access to eBooks, audio and video tutorials on breastfeeding and settling. This a unique program that is available at:

  • No cost to our ADF and ex-serving members
  • Discounted price of $49 to all other Defence Health members (regular price $99)

To learn more or to register please visit

Members on the ADF Total Package

Mums who develop gestational diabetes can receive extra support with telephone based coaching. And there’s something for dads too with help to adjust to the emotional and physical changes when a little one joins the family.

The program is structured on expert advice and is delivered by professional health coaches. It’s a uniquely tailored offer and is available at no added cost to members on the ADF Total Package.

If you’re interested in registering for a telephone coaching program please click here or call us on 1800 335 425.

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Taking extra care of our ex-serving

We’ve recently launched a new offer for our ex-serving members with a White or Gold Card. If you’re no longer serving and have one of these cards, you’ll enjoy a 5% premium reduction to recognise your Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) entitlements (excluding members with Essentials Hospital, Public Hospital and standalone Extras covers). But if you have a Gold Card we recommend you remove yourself from your Defence Health policy.

Remember, if you have a White Card all treatment relating to your accepted conditions should be referred to DVA. And if you have a Gold Card all your treatment should be referred to DVA.

In addition to our offer for our White and Gold Card holders, we also provide information tailored to former members of the Defence Force. It will help you with things like transitioning to civilian life and navigating the health care system. Click here to learn more.

Please give us a call on 1800 335 425 to register your DVA status or to hear more about our ex-serving offer.

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Making a smooth transition

If you have a family member who’s contemplating transition, Defence Health is here to help. We have resources to support the journey from serving to ex-serving.

If the move is to the Active Reserve, you’ll continue to be eligible for our ADF Total Package or ADF Essentials Package. If it’s a transition straight to civilian life, we can offer a 10% premium reduction on hospital or hospital and extras cover for the first 12 months following discharge when paying by direct debit from your bank account.

We also have transition and ex-serving information on our website to help you navigate the health system, or just give us a call.

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A wider Smile network

couple running outside
You’ll be pleased to know we’ve got some new network dentists in those hard to reach places. An additional 20 dentists have joined and extended our dental network reach in Darwin, Sale and around Puckapunyal.

For more affordable dental treatment, find your nearest network dentist and save.

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Eating for healthy vision

Did you know the quality of your diet also influences your vision?

Dr Leland Carr is a VSP Vision Care optometrist and professor of optometry in the US. He says that, “one of the best things you can do for your eyes is to eat a balanced diet that’s high in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fats and sugar. The minerals zinc and selenium protect the retina, and the fatty acids found in fish ensure adequate moisture in your eyes.”

You can get the nutrients your body – and eyes – need to stay healthy with the following foods.


This colourful fruit is full of vitamins A and C and can help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration. They’re also fat-free and contain 3 gm of fibre per cup.


Of course they’re on the list! They won’t actually help you see in the dark, but they can help protect vision. Their high vitamin A, C and E content can help to reduce the impact of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Dark leafy green vegetables

Spinach, kale and other dark leafy greens are full of vitamin C, beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants act like a natural sunscreen for your eyes and help protect against harmful UV rays – but don’t forget your sunglasses for the best protection from the sun.


These sweet, delicate treats are well known for their antioxidant punch. According to a study by Tufts University (US), they may help reduce the risk of cataracts, glaucoma, heart disease, cancer and other conditions. And they’re good for the brain.

Sweet potatoes

It’s the power of orange once again that delivers a healthy dose of carotene.


This all-purpose protein is loaded with zinc and the B-group-vitamin niacin which can help prevent cataracts.


Studies show that foods rich in omega-3s can help protect tiny blood vessels in the eyes.

Chia seeds

Add chia seeds to your diet and get the benefits of more omega-3s than flax seeds or salmon, more calcium than a glass of milk, and more antioxidants than blueberries.

A good diet and yearly optical checkup will help to protect your vision for the long term.

Article edited with the permission of VSP Vision Care Australia.

To find out more about VSP Vision Care please click here.

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Check out our new health and wellbeing blog – Health HQ

Where can you head for reliable health news? Health HQ is the place to go. Apart from tips on maximising your health insurance, Health HQ has bite-size posts to help you enjoy a happy and healthy lifestyle. You can subscribe and have fresh articles delivered to your inbox. And did you notice? Our Member Updates have now moved over to Health HQ.

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Payments by direct debit

If you pay your premium by direct debit, you already know how convenient it is. We’ve changed the terms of our Direct Debit Service Agreement and now if a payment fails, we’ll try and resolve the situation earlier than we have in the past. Instead of waiting until the next payment date, we may attempt the payment again – or we’ll contact you to make an alternative arrangement.

You can download the latest Direct Debit Service Agreement by clicking here or call 1800 335 425 and we’ll send you a copy.

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