Federal Health Care Law and Children’s Dental Insurance

Although dental health is a serious concern in the United States and far more people do not have dental insurance than those who do not have medical insurance, the hotly debated federal Affordable Care Act of 2010 does relatively little to address dental insurance issues. The act only requires dental insurance providers to offer affordable dental insurance plans for children, which federal officials say has resulted in about 1.7 million more children in the United States now having dental insurance coverage. The majority of those adjustments come from employer-provided dental insurance policies.

Poor Dental Health Keeps Kids Out of School

Dental disease is the most common form of health problems among children in the United States, according to a report from the Pew Center. And children miss about 22 million classroom hours every year due to dental health issues. While some of those lost hours are due to normal childhood growth, many are the result of dental disease and other dental health issues that often times are the result of poor dental hygiene and not seeing the dentist on a regular basis. When a problem flares up, such as an abscessed tooth, the student misses several days of school instead of just a couple hours.

Marketplaces Include Dental Insurance Products

The state and federal health insurance exchanges each offer not just health insurance policies but dental insurance policies as well. It is possible for individuals who do not have group health insurance to shop among many options for all-inclusive plans that offer health insurance and dental insurance under the same plan and paid with just one premium. Most people still get their dental insurance from their employers as part of the respective benefits packages. But not all employers provide dental benefits, and not all people with group health insurance policies also have dental insurance. Those who don’t and their children now have more options.

Do your children require regular dental work, or does the dentist usually find no cavities?