GMHBA – looking after smiles since 1969

Published 07 May 2024

1968. A time of change, rock and roll and a missing prime minister. It was a time of transformation and modernisation and for GMHBA, a bold expansion of their health insurance offering.

Geelong may have been a town now firmly established and ‘on its feet’ with a population of 100,000 people but around then, 80% of Australians did not have a full set of their own teeth. Then CEO Ray Henry estimated that by 2019, this number could be reduced to 20%, and believed strongly in the importance of supporting dental health care.

After years of campaigning, GMHBA were given the go ahead to establish their Dental Ancillary Scheme.

And so, in 1969, GMHBA became the first insurer in Australia to offer a Dental package that allowed contributors to choose their own dentist.


‘For less than the cost of your daily newspaper you and your whole family can be insured against costly dentist’s bills!’


This was just the beginning of GMHBA’s health insurance broadening from simply hospital cover. By 1974, the Medical Fund now offered Gap-Medical, dental benefits, physiotherapy, speech therapy, spectacles, home nursing, chiropractor, osteopath, surgical prosthesis item, pharmacy and repeat prescriptions – all due to new legislation brought in which allowed health insurance funds to use more than 5% of their income on paramedical (ancillary) services.  

Despite being told the idea wouldn’t work, the new Dental and Pharmaceutical fund was well received with 3000 members taking the option to join up before the end of the financial year.

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By 1997, the GMHBA Dental Plus scheme had all dentists in Geelong participating, and this network expanded over the years to support members across the country.



In the early 2000’s Toothy joined the GMHBA dental crew with a lovable mascot, phone line and colouring books. Toothy advocated for dental health, support for local football clubs and even performed rain dances to help fundraise for drought relief.

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Above right image: Toothy with former Warrnambool Branch Manager Janine Richardson.


Fast forward to 2016 and GMHBA opened the doors to its first Dental Care practice in Portland, expanding access to dental care for the community in the Western Districts.

In 2018 GMHBA Dental Care expanded to a practice in the Geelong CBD and we’re excited to be upgrading this space for our 90th year, relocating to our flagship home at 60 Moorabool Street, along with GMHBA Eye Care, Physiotherapy and a Private Health Insurance branch.


Complete care for your smile

GMHBA is proud to have played a part over the last 55 years in promoting preventative dental care and helping more Australians keep their teeth, gain better access to improved dental care technologies and encourage overall health education to support their dental, physical and mental health.

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Whether you and your family have been with GMHBA since its beginnings in 1934, since the first dental plan was introduced 55 years ago or for just a few weeks, GMHBA are here to provide the care you need for the life you live.

Learn more about GMHBA Dental Care and our current offers and member benefits, find a location near you below and book your next appointment today.

Book now!



Benefits to smile about with providers

The focus on providing easy access to dental health care for GMHBA members continues with the partnership, established in 2018. This scheme offers additional benefits and reduced fees for GMHBA members with dental extras cover across 2,500+ approved dentists Australia wide.

Find an accredited practice near you.