Will Your Dental Coverage Be Disrupted by the ACA?
There’s been a lot of discussion about healthcare reform and what to expect, but not much about how it may impact dental benefits. Here are a few things you should know about The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and how it may affect your dental coverage.
Will your dental plan be allowed?
Acknowledging the importance of oral health to overall health, Congress included “pediatric oral services” as part of the Essential Health Benefit Package (EHBP) in the Affordable Care Act law.
Consequently, anyone buying small group or individual health insurance must be offered “pediatric oral services” as part of a medical plan or standalone dental plan, effective beginning in 2014.
What the Affordable Care Act doesn’t specify is whether children’s dental benefits will meet the new requirements if they happen to be part of separate policies outside the new Health Exchange.
Currently, 97% of all dental plans are separate from health insurance. Over 43 million employees and their families have “stand-alone” dental plans through millions of small businesses. These stand-alone plans may be disrupted when the new rules take effect in 2014. That means that without further regulatory clarification, your dental coverage may be affected.
Lobbying HHS to allow stand-alone dental plans
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has the authority to allow stand-alone dental policies as part of Essential Health Benefits Plan “pediatric oral services” rule.
You can express your view by participating in a campaign started by The National Association of Dental Plans (NADP) called KeepOurCoverage.com. This advocacy website was established to help ensure that the Department of Health and Human Services allows stand-alone dental plans within the new rules of the Essential Health Benefits Plan.
We encourage you to find out more about this issue by visiting www.KeepOurCoverage.com.