Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Will ObamaCare Result in Less Dental Coverage for Patients?

Perhaps and Dr. Bicuspid has a good post on the unintended consequences of ObamaCare, known as The Affordable Care Act (ACA).

While 5.3 million children will gain dental coverage in 2014 thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), up to 11 million adults could drop their own dental coverage when their children are covered separately, according to the National Association of Dental Plans. And parents who switch to dental coverage under their medical insurance may have to change dentists.

Currently, adult and children's dental plans are mostly sold through family and group plans offered by employers. As one of the 10 essential health benefits under the ACA, pediatric dental plans also will be sold in insurance exchanges, both packaged with adult plans and as standalone plans.

While large companies (more than 100 employees) won't be affected by the upcoming changes, employees in small groups will have to decide this year how to get the dental care mandated for their children.

What that means is the dental coverage that nearly 23 million children now have as part of their parent's policy in the small group market will be duplicated by their medical coverage beginning in 2014, according to Evelyn Ireland, the executive director of the National Association of Dental Plans. About 5.3 million children are expected to gain dental coverage next year, mostly through public programs such as Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

To avoid duplication, parents have to decide by the end of this year whether to take their children off their separate dental coverage. If they do, they may have to change dentists for the children, depending on which dentists are in the medical carrier's network.

Read the entire piece.

Without question, the ACA does not address who will pay for the increased number of dentists to treat these children who will receive more coverage. But, perhaps, it is answered here = treat less adults.

ObamaCare will be modified and parts of it repealed as the costs escalate and the unintended consequences become more readily apparent.

It is a bad, bureaucratic law that will be adverse for dentists and dental patients alike.

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