Little-known fact — Obamacare includes kids dental coverage!
While the window for applying for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act – also known as Obamacare – has closed for the year, many people may not know that if you have what the government calls a “qualifying life event” you may still be able to sign up for insurance. These life events include getting married or divorced, moving to a new area, having a baby/adopting a child or no longer being covered under a parent’s plan or losing other health insurance.
Something else that may be little-known is that children’s dental coverage can be purchased through the government’s marketplace. In fact, a survey last fall sponsored by a Washington D.C. nonprofit, the Children’s Dental Project, showed just 22 percent of Americans could correctly identify dental services for kids as one of the 10 “essential health benefits” in the ACA. It’s important information to know – getting proper dental care is essential for those of all ages.
After all, the survey showed the following:
Thirty-three percent of adults said either they or a family member had a toothache or a problem with their teeth or gums “that needs to be addressed.”
Nearly four out of 10 reported delaying a dental visit over the past 12 months because of expected out-of-pocket costs.
Nearly half of all 5-year-olds and two-thirds of teens have suffered from tooth decay, which is mostly preventable. Tooth decay can play a role in a child’s overall health and can interfere with his or her ability to eat, sleep, socialize and learn.
Also, consider this – researchers estimated that kids in California children missed a total of 874,000 school days in 2007 as a result of dental problems. In addition, the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality estimates that in 2010, Americans made 882,000 visits to hospital emergency departments for preventable dental conditions – and nearly 48,000 of those trips were for children. Under the ACA, children’s dental coverage must be offered to those buying health insurance. Depending on the state, dental benefits for kids may be offered through a health plan that includes dental coverage or a stand-alone dental plan that purchased in addition to health insurance. If you’re unsure if you still qualify for purchasing health insurance this year, more information can be found online at https://www.healthcare.gov/. And parents who have questions about the types of plans and payments we take can always call our office to discuss the issue. At Scripps Pediatric Dentistry, we are here to help provide health habits for your child right from the start!