Teeth are having a good run at the Supreme Court this year. SCOTUS has handed down decisions in two cases involving oral health during 2015.
In one of those cases, decided at the end of February, the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners challenged a lawsuit brought by the FTC and lost. The suit alleged the board had violated antitrust laws by barring non-dentists from providing teeth whitening services at mall kiosks.
It’s nice to know the folks in North Carolina can now enjoy low-cost teeth whitening where they shop, but there’s some really great news for US kids.
Here it is: When SCOTUS ruled this month that the ACA’s premium tax credits were not just for those who used a state-based exchange, it also helped pave the way to good oral health and better access to dental care for children.
Pediatric Dental Health and the ACA
According to the CDC, while for the most part preventable, tooth decay is still the most common chronic disease among US kids. The ACA, though, still has a chance to turn that around thanks to the Court’s latest decision.
While the ACA – like the insurance industry in general – oddly cuts off oral health coverage from coverage for the rest of the body, it does require some dental coverage for some citizens. Dental insurance for adults is not required under the ACA, but subsidized health plans must address at least 10 types of health care, the essential health benefits (EHBs). These include oral and vision services for kids.
Including dental coverage for children in the ACA was a huge step in the right direction. With the Court’s new decision on consumers’ eligibility for tax credits, millions of children can continue to reap the benefits, including healthy, happy smiles.
Affordable Care and Your Oral Health
The ACA provides a number of ways to purchase dental coverage. Some states include oral care benefits for kids within the health plans available on their insurance exchanges. Others separate out dental coverage as standalone products.
States may also define oral care benefits for adults as part of the EHBs for their citizens. Some roll those benefits into the health plans they offer. Others offer them as standalone parts of the benefits package.
Greater Consumer Choice and Enrollment Availability
You can obtain private dental plans both on and off the government-run insurance exchanges. For broader plan selection and the ability to enroll in a plan at any time, many people turn to the private dental marketplace. People that recognize oral health is not really cut off from general health, often enroll in a separate, stand-alone dental plan after they enroll in marketplace coverage.
For example, DentalInsurance.com provides consumers across the US with access to a very wide selection of dental coverage options. These include traditional dental indemnity plans, dental health maintenance organization (DHMO) plans, preferred provider organization (PPOs) plans, and even discount dental plans or cards.
We’ve made it easy for you to find individual dental insurance, dental coverage for yourself plus one other person, or even dental coverage for your whole family. To compare dental plans available in your area, simply enter your zip in the box on our home page.
Hooray for SCOTUS and the ACA! Now, be sure to exercise your constitutional rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of oral health!
Learn more about the ACA.