The Affordable Care Act (ACA) changed many things about health insurance. One area that was affected in some ways by the ACA is dental insurance. Although the law does not make many changes for adults, the ACA has impacted dental care insurance in a few ways.
Pediatric Dental Care Is an Essential Insurance Benefit
The primary change the ACA made is that pediatric dental care is now considered an essential insurance benefit. This means that any insurance companies offering plans for children under the age of 18 must include some form of dental coverage. The coverage could be part of the larger health insurance plan. It could also be a standalone plan with a separate premium. Some states require pediatric dental coverage to be included in the primary health care plan.
The Cost of Standalone Plans Could Be Offset
Adult dental care is not considered an essential benefit. There are still insurance companies offering plans that include adult dental care or that are offering standalone dental insurance. The ACA does have the potential to offset some of the costs of the dental plans. People who are earning below a certain amount can qualify for a premium tax credit or subsidy. Although dental plans are not eligible for subsidies, the lower cost of the primary insurance plan can compensate for the extra cost of dental coverage.
New Cost Controls for Pediatric Dental Care
There are new cost controls for pediatric dental care in the ACA. One change is that there are no longer yearly or lifetime coverage limits for care. This means the insurance company will continue providing coverage no matter how much dental care is needed. Additionally, there is an out-of-pocket expense limit for each plan. Parents do not ever need to pay more than this amount in a year. All costs beyond that out-of-pocket limit are covered by insurers. Additionally, preventative pediatric dental care is fully covered.
More Affordable Dental Care Providers Will Be Available
The ACA will have an effect on dental care and care providers in the future. The ACA includes a 5-year program that is designed to help train, educate and employ new health care providers. This can expand the number of dental care providers offering services. More providers could mean it becomes easier to find affordable dental care due to increased competition. This could also shorten travel and wait times for dental appointments.
The ACA has changed pediatric dental insurance more than adult dental care insurance. The presence of marketplaces or exchanges is providing better access to more insurers. The law is making it easier for children and adults to find and choose dental insurance. Consult with dental professionals such as those at Forest Lawn Dental Centre (offering Calgary dentures and other services.) Dentists can help you understand what your insurance changes can mean for your care with them.
This article is from Rianne Hunter, a wife, mother of three, and an independent blogger who writes for a broad range of topics and types of publishers.