According to a helpful article recently released by NPR, in most states, families can choose not to purchase dental coverage for their children separately if it isn?t already included as part of their child?s health insurance plan. Furthermore, while it?s easy to buy standalone dental coverage in some states, in others it?s nearly impossible?and, as it turns out, there?s no federal subsidy to help families pay for their child?s stand-alone dental coverage, regardless of whether the family is already eligible for assistance on their overall health plan. Because of this, families won?t be penalized if their children don?t have dental insurance.
This happened, in part, because Congress wrote the law to satisfy 2 different goals, according to Joe Touschner of Georgetown University's Center for Children and Families. While they made pediatric dental services part of the essential benefits package, they also tried to preserve the market that we?ve had for years, where dental coverage comes through an employer and is offered separately from the overall healthcare plan.
Unfortunately, there are clearly a number of problems with the healthcare exchange that need to be worked out. Consider taking the time to get to know how the healthcare exchange works in your state, so that you can advise your clients when they come to you with questions about their children?s dental plans, or even their own.
Photo courtesy of NPR.