News coverage of the Affordable Care Act has been in overdrive for the last few months, so you may be a little tired of hearing about it – but it’s equally likely that you still have questions about how the ACA affects you. You may even have wondered how the Affordable Care Act will affect your dental coverage, so My Family Dentistry decided to dig into the issue for you.
The ACA was designed to give individuals more choices and more security in their health care and coverage. A “Patient’s Bill of Rights” ensures protections for vulnerable groups like children and those with pre-existing conditions, and it is these protections that may have an impact on your dental coverage.
Read on for the answers to a few common questions about “Obamacare” and dental health!
Will the Affordable Care Act Affect My Dental Coverage: FAQs
Q: I’m an adult. Will Obamacare affect my dental coverage?
A: Changes in dental coverage are influenced by a variety of factors, but children will be most widely affected by the Affordable Care Act. Under the ACA, dental insurance is required only for children, not adults. Children’s dental coverage is now legally considered an “essential health benefit,” and insurance companies will be required to offer it in health insurance plans covering children. Those adults who currently have dental coverage will be able to keep the plans they have now, and no adults will be forced to get dental insurance.
Q: My child has been going to My Family Dentistry since he/she was little. Will I need to find a new dentist for my child under the new law?
A: Under the Affordable Care Act, dental coverage will be more easily accessible for children. About 8.7 million children could gain access to dental coverage by 2018 as a result of the Affordable Care Act, which would reduce the number of uninsured children by as much as 55%. Because of the increase in access to dental coverage for children, most children will be able to keep their current dentist and benefit from better coverage. Contact My Family Dentistry if you have any questions about the dental care that is covered under your insurance.
Q: Will my coverage limit for dental visits change under the ACA?
A: Dental plans typically have various annual and lifetime dollar limits, depending on the plan. The ACA bans lifetime dollar limits for all “essential health benefits,” including children’s dental care, in plans offered by private insurance companies. Currently, adult dental benefits are considered non-essential according to the ACA statute.
Q: Will I have to pay a penalty if I don’t have dental coverage?
A: Starting in 2014, you must have health coverage or pay a fee, but this is not true for dental coverage. You do not need to have dental coverage to avoid paying the penalty under the Affordable Care Act.
Overall, you don’t need to be concerned about negative effects of the ACA on your dental coverage, and you may be able to see benefits in coverage for your children. Keep in mind that the things the ACA requires of private insurance companies may vary from what different state plans and exchanges offer.
The American Dental Association has provided a range of resources on the ACA and dental coverage, if you would like more detailed information. If you have more general questions about the Affordable Care Act and its impact on your health insurance coverage, visit the official ACA website or the U.S Department of Labor site.
Have other questions? Let us know in the comments!
If you’d like to receive updates from My Family Dentistry, information and tips about dental care, promotions, and more, subscribe to our email newsletter.