The Affordable Care Act and Dentistry
The year 2014 will most probably see the application of the Affordable Care Act into force. How will this “Obamacare” act influence the branch of dentistry? Keep reading to find out.
At this point, approximately 50% of the adult Americas do not have any kind of dental insurance. The greatest impediment seems to be the cost factor, because people cannot afford to pay monthly premiums for a policy which will ensure them access to dental cleanings, extractions, or a cavity filling when they will need these services.
Approximately 8 million American children are uninsured, and under the ACA act, insurance companies will be “obliged” to offer these children the dental care they require so much.
The Act will also focus on raising the awareness regarding the importance of regular dental checkups and dental cleanings, so that people can avoid putting up with more serious dental issues which require more money to pay for the treatment.
Then, there are just too many remote areas where people simply do not have access to a dentist. Even if they could afford to pay for insurance or care at a dentist, there is no dentist in their area where they could go to.
The Affordable Care Act wishes to change some things in this direction as well. There will be more funds made available to bring dentists to these areas and give people the opportunity for proper dental care.
Under the ACA, dental care will be more easily accessible for children, but for adults not too many things will change. Depending on the state you reside in, Medicaid may or may not cover any dental treatments, it may offer limited or extensive dental coverage or it may cover only for the emergency dental treatments.
Many people think about dropping their regular insurance in the hopes that the ACA will bring major changes and plenty of benefits. The best thing to do is to keep your insurance and make any changes only after the act has been implemented and you already understand clearly what benefits you can enjoy (if any!)
If you decide to enroll your child in the insurance plan offered by your employer, you will most likely have to pay more every month (57% more) in order for your child to receive benefit.
As a result many adults will lower their benefits to be able to shift more coverage towards heir children. This is quite a paradoxical measure keeping in mind that the ACA would be meant to bring more benefits without out of pocket money.
Unfortunately, according to estimates only about 5% of the adults who do not have dental insurance will actually receive benefits through the implementation of the ACA.
The greatest majority of the uninsured will just keep on visiting the emergency room to get dental treatment for complex issues, and this treatment could have been avoided with regular dental checks and professional dental cleanings. The lack of proper dental care accessibility is a matter of concern and the way things are showing there are no truly essential changes to be expected.
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Topics: Tags: affordable, affordable care, affordable care act, affordable dentistry, dental cleanings, dental coverage, Dental Insurance, dental insurance premiums, dental treatment, emergency