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Children's Dental Coverage and Affordable Care Act: Gap Spotlighted in the Media

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A gap between intent and implementation of pediatric dental benefits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could leave children's dental coverage out of reach for thousands of families.

This was spotlighted and explained in a recent New York Times article whose author's interest was piqued after several interviews with Colin Reusch, senior policy analyst at the Children's Dental Health Project (CDHP) and an expert on ACA's dental benefit.  Child Dental Care

The conundrum, as outlined in the NYT piece: children's dental coverage is sold separately from medical insurance on the federal and state exchanges--and it's optional. Additionally, there is no financial support available for purchasing a pediatric dental plan. 

Reusch commented, "We want to make sure dental coverage is not only essential but affordable. Given some of the complicating factors, we haven?t been convinced yet that we want to require families to purchase."

Several other experts were quoted in the article, all of whom have similar concerns. By publicizing the gap between the law's implementation and the original intent, this story can help build momentum for addressing affordability and other ACA fixes in 2014.

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