Affordable Care Act

How Does Dental Fit Within Health Care Reform?

Health Care Reform and Teeth

In surveys on insurance benefits, employees frequently affirm that they value their dental benefits. But many wonder how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will impact their dental insurance.

Recently, Ameritas Group sponsored a web seminar on the role of dental within ACA.

Beginning in January 2014, ACA provisions ensure that all Americans will have access to affordable health insurance options through exchange marketplaces. However, many also will continue to obtain insurance benefits through their employer.

Today, 98 percent of dental benefits are provided through stand-alone dental policies for individuals or families separate from medical plans. Under the ACA, dental benefits sold in stand-alone policies are not subject to most provisions. Employers are not required to purchase any health care coverage for employees and their dependents through a health insurance exchange, which means they may keep their current dental benefits with their insurance carrier.

For people interested in purchasing dental insurance through an exchange marketplace, it’s important to know these facts:

  • Exchanges may offer medical plans combined with dental – while one premium may sound like a better deal, the plan likely will have a large combined deductible, and nonpreventive dental expenses may not be covered until the medical deductible is satisfied
  • Medical plans with dental coverage likely will cover only your children’s dental, not adults
  • It’s important to remember that adults also will need dental benefits to maintain their own level of health

View regular updates on health care reform in our Affordable Care Act section.