How Will the Affordable Care Act Affect Your Access to Dental Care?

Over time, it seems increasingly likely that the contested Affordable Care Act will be put into action throughout America in 2014. Usually called ‘Obamacare,’ the Affordable Care Act aims to provide more affordable health insurance and care for them who were previously unable or not eligible. But what does ACA mean for dental care?

At present, it is estimated that about half of American adults do not have dental insurance. Cost is a major barrier factor for most; those who live in rural areas may also not have easy access to oral care professionals.

What will change:

Under the ACA, insurance companies will be asked to provide dental care to children; It is estimated that around 8 million previously uninsured children will benefit from additional dental care. This action will also implement a program that aims to educate the general public about appropriate preventative care and the importance of regular dental examinations and cleaning.

The Affordable Care Act will also focus more funds on providing care to rural or sparsely populated areas, where people tend to seek routine examinations because of difficulties in finding dentists in reasonable areas.

What about the coverage for adults?

For adults who don’t qualify for Medicaid without dental coverage, not much will change. If you already have some kind of dental insurance, don’t drop it in anticipation of ACA – while dental care will be needed for children, the insurance company will not be obliged to protect adults. However, each state will have the ability to provide certain benefits through Medicaid; depending on the circumstances concerned, an individual covered by Medicaid may not receive dental coverage, be limited to wide coverage, or emergency dental services.

Paradoxically, those who register their children in an insurance plan provided by their employer may have to pay up to 57% more each month to provide dental care for their children; research by the National Association of Dental Plans shows that many adults will choose to leave their scope alone to meet the needs of their children.

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