Now that the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is finally getting underway in a real way, consumers may be wondering if their dental care will be covered under this new system.
Unfortunately for many people who will be buying health insurance under the ACA, dental care will not be included in the basket of benefits insurance companies will be required to provide. Many essential services will be covered, including hospitalization, preventive care, wellness services and psychological services. However, dental care has been left off the list.
“The ACA really falls short on adult coverage in dentistry,” said Robert Faiella, the American Dental Association president. “The dental side is not really addressed.”
Faiella continues to explain that leaving dental care out of the ACA was a huge oversight.
“We’re concerned about it because the law does not draw attention to the fact that oral health is very critically involved in overall health.”
Nadia Kiderman, DDS, who practices in New York City, agrees that oral health is crucial to one’s overall health.
“Everyone wants good health,” Kiderman says in her blog. “Dental health is an important part of a person’s life.”
Obamacare does provide some dental services for children, but it has not added coverage mandates for adults. One problem is that the ACA-approved pediatric dental coverage could raise the cost to adults by almost 57 percent, from $35 to $55, so they can insure their children. According to a spokesman for the Association of Dental Plans, this cost hike could cause adults to drop their own dental coverage. Executive Director of the NADP Evelyn Ireland says that although millions of children might receive dental coverage under the ACA, many more adults might lose their coverage “for a net loss of coverage in the overall population.”