Under the Affordable Care Act, it is mandatory for plans, both on and off the exchange, to either offer combined medical and dental coverage or stand-alone dental plans—for children only. The ACA considers individuals 19 and under to be children.
However, despite the fact that research is beginning to reveal the very real connection between oral health and overall health, there is nothing in the ACA’s many rules and regulations that makes dental care for adults a requirement. So, where does that leave you?
Implications for Your Health and Dental Care Availability
In the past 10 years, the number of adults utilizing dental care has decreased exponentially—especially in lower-class adults. This can be attributed to two causes: 1) Decline in private dental coverage, and 2) a decrease of adult dental benefits within state Medicaid programs. Because of this, fewer adults are seeking out dental care when they should, and thus, the number of hospital emergency room visits has increased significantly due to preventable dental conditions.
But why are so many Americans letting their teeth get so bad that it warrants a hospital visit? The simple answer is, because they think it’s cheaper that way. But it’s not.
Emergency dental situations can cost in the thousands of dollars, while preventive treatments range between $80 dollars and $180 dollars on average. For a single root canal and crown treatment, you’re looking at $2,000 dollars or more—that cost could have gotten you at least 11 cleanings, which would have prevented that $2,000 root canal altogether. Dental insurance can make the costs even cheaper for you.
But isn’t dental insurance expensive? No, dental insurance is not expensive. In fact, these plans cost between $12 and $50 per person per month; some can even be as low as $75 a year. Most dental plans typically cover $1,000 worth of treatments, so even if you did need that root canal, you’re covered for half.
Just because the ACA neglects your oral health doesn’t mean that you should. At HSA for America, we recognize the importance of dentistry to your teeth and to your overall health—and it’s time that you did, too.
We do understand that you’re feeling frustrated knowing that you need dental care but perhaps don’t know how to get it—or at least not at an affordable price. We can take care of that for you.
We have select dental plans for you to choose from that combine great value with great coverage. We offer both traditional dental insurance and dental discount programs, and will help you choose the one that is best for you at no additional cost. We can even show you how to set up an HSA account and use it for both dental and medical expenses.
At HSA for America, we’re on your side, and we’re here to help. See how at our website.
Wiley Long is President of HSA for America, and a passionate advocate for consumer-based solutions that will improve price transparency and lower health insurance and medical costs for people purchasing individual and family health insurance plans.