Here are some basic questions and answers about dental and vision coverage.
Q. Will I be required to buy pediatric dental care if I purchase insurance on the exchange?
A. Most likely, no. Children’s dental care may be included in some plans offered on the marketplaces as part of the medical coverage you are required to buy. But many insurers may offer it as a stand-alone policy, which you are not required to buy under by federal law but may be required by states. At least two—Nevada and Washington—are requiring this coverage. For children the insurance will help pay for the cost of visits to a dentist for basic or preventive services, like teeth cleaning, X-rays and fillings and medically necessary orthodontics.
Q. Are adults required to get dental coverage?
A. No, but insurers may offer stand-alone dental policies for adults and families. These will not be subsidized, however.
Q. Is it common for health insurers to not offer dental care as part of comprehensive health insurance?
A. Overwhelmingly, dental benefits are contracted and sold separately from medical plans in the current market. The National Association of Dental Plans says 99 percent of dental benefits are sold under a policy that is separate from medical coverage, according to its July 2013 ACA and Dental Coverage report.
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