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Why 8 million Australians are missing out on $700 dental, massage

This could be you. Images: Getty

More than 8 million Australians could be missing out on cheaper dentist visits and free massages by not understanding their insurance extras cover.

New research released by Finder has found millions of private health cover holders aren’t tracking their allowances, meaning they’re potentially paying fees for services they’re not using.

Extras cover allows you to claim benefits for medical services that aren’t covered by Medicare and that are not hospital related. These include dental, physiotherapy, orthodontic, remedial massage, gym membership and ambulance cover.

And they have a major financial payoff, Finder noted. A basic extras cover can provide up to $700 of cover, while charging just $13 a month.

“Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to your extras – you are paying for these services every month. It really is ‘use it or lose it’,” personal finance expert at Finder, Kate Browne told Yahoo Finance.

Extras cover can be great value if you get on the front foot and know what you have to spend. Knowing your annual limits and booking in with the dentist or masseuse can feel time-consuming, but you’ll be healthier and feel smarter having not wasted your hard-earned cash,” she added.

She suggested checking your extras limit frequently, via the fund’s app or website and make regular visits to the dentist.

Many insurers will also help you understand how much you’ll save on a treatment by using their benefits calculator.

If you’re not using your covers it could also be worth canning it – after all, you can still keep hospital cover without extras.

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