Affordable Care Act to Offer Many Forms of Dental Coverage

Often overlooked, a dental plan is an important part of comprehensive health coverage

With the recent launch of the Affordable Care Act exchanges for health insurance, dental insurance is one aspect of the plan that is often overlooked. Dental health is generally not considered quite as meticulously as other health needs. Mandated in the Affordable Care Act are offers for pediatric dental plans, says executive director of Virginia Oral Health Coalition, Sarah Bedard Holland. She says Virginia residents will find dental insurance plans on the exchange that go beyond the mandate for children including plans for individuals and entire families.

The policies may be embedded within larger health insurance plans or purchased as separate plans. Bedard Holland said, a resident might have to use up a larger deductible in some cheaper embedded dental plans before the dental coverage applies. “If you’re a relatively healthy individual, someone who’s not going to the doctor a lot, that could be a concern,” she states. Delaying proper dental care is dangerous and many residents are not receiving care because they cannot afford it. Medicaid expansion and uninsured residents taking advantage of dental plans on the Affordable Care Act exchanges might alleviate some of the problem.

The Virginia Oral Health Coalition is assisting Virginia residents in applying for health insurance on the exchange, says Bedard Holland. As for the Affordable Care Act, she is concerned that dental coverage may be overlooked as they consider insurance plans — with so much on people’s minds. “There will be so many things to think about it’s easy to imagine that the dental plans will be pushed aside,” she says.

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