When Obamacare went into effect in October 2013, the new law raised questions for millions of Americans with and without insurance. One of these questions was how the ACA would affect dental and vision coverage. It turns out that children won’t have to worry about dental and vision coverage under Obamacare because the new law requires that all marketplace plans offer this type of insurance. Adults, on the other hand, will need to work a little harder.
What’s Included with Adult Coverage
Health insurance plans available through the marketplace do not have to include dental or vision coverage, but some plans offer this type of coverage anyway. Adults can buy medical insurance plans that include this coverage or stand-alone plans that offer only dental coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act, Americans must purchase medical insurance. However, they do not have to buy dental or vision plans.
According to the marketplace website, citizens “don’t need to have dental coverage, even for children, to avoid the penalty.” Buying dental and vision plans alone does not count toward the “minimum essential coverage” requirement of the ACA. Adults should also note that stand-alone vision plans are not available through the marketplace.
Dental and Vision Care for Children
Children will benefit greatly from the new healthcare law. Citing a report from the American Dental Association, NBC News reported in October 2013 that “[a]pproximately 8.7 million children are expected to gain some form of dental benefits by 2018 as a result of the ACA.”
The reason for this is that children’s dental and vision care are considered essential benefits under the new law, which means that “[a]ll Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) sold on the Marketplaces include pediatric vision coverage” according to the HealthCare.gov website. Dental and vision coverage include routine screenings, yearly exams and other preventative services that could help children enjoy better health overall.