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Your Kids & The Health Insurance Exchanges

Jul 08, 2013
Photo source: Disney.wikia.com

The Affordable Care Act and its creation of state insurance exchanges are a bit of an Alice In Wonderland story right now.  We slipped down a hole, we found a key, it opened a door, it led to a drink.  We drank the drink, we played in a garden, we had a tea party and upset a Queen.  Meanwhile, we met a disappearing cat who has a very strange likeness to the possible disappearing act of your children’s dental coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Last Friday, the Los Angeles Times released an article about the state insurance exchange, Covered California, and how it will affect pediatric dental insurance coverage.  Two different thoughts are being considered; whether to include dental care within the basic health insurance package through the exchange, or to require parents purchase stand-alone policies for their children’s dental care.  Currently, the California exchange is proposing the stand-alone policy option.

California Insurance Commissioner, Dave Jones, believes that the exchange will cost parents even more money for their children’s care by making them pay for an additional stand-alone dental plan.  The federal Affordable Care Act does include pediatric dental services as one of the ten “essential health benefits.”  So the question stands: why is California forcing parents to buy additional coverage when it appears to be unnecessary?

Peter Lee, the Covered California executive director says, "Covered California is very much following the spirit and intent of both the federal law and all applicable state laws.  A lot of the issues around pediatric dental are complex and confusing. The board has not made any final decisions."  Californians are divided on the subject.  Many dentists are supporting Lee and the exchange since it allows parents to make more informed decisions on their children’s dental care.  Children’s health organizations are siding with Jones.  They believe that many parents, unless already required, will not go above and beyond to buy stand-alone policies for various reasons.

Covered California has selected six carriers to offer their pediatric dental coverage through the state exchange – Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, Health Net Inc., Delta Dental of California, Liberty Dental Plan and Premier Access Dental.  As it stands now, the Affordable Care Act allows bundling of health and dental insurance.  But it also gives carriers the ability to drop the dental portion of coverage.  With only 6 companies included in this state’s exchange, it will make comparison shopping for health plans harder which goes against the exchange’s goal of setting uniform standards in order to help the consumer.

So what does this mean for you as a parent and how can Dental Insurance Store help?  We are not sure what the future holds for each state’s insurance exchange program.  But we can certainly help you prepare right now and find a plan that fits your needs.  Dental Insurance Store offers competitively priced stand-alone insurance options for individuals as well as families and children – we are a one stop dental shop!  Many of the dental plans we offer charge less per month for each additional person that is on the policy.  We have plans in 48 states with benefits ranging from no waiting periods to assisting with major procedures including orthodontia.

Your oral health is extremely important and the decisions made in the exchanges will affect you and your children’s dental future greatly.  Like the White Rabbit scurrying around, the government may be late for the opening of the insurance exchanges on October 1st .  However, by letting Dental Insurance Store provide a free quote, you can prepare early and protect your family’s dental health. 

Sources: latimes.com, hhs.gov


Copyright 2013, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC
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