While it is not the goal of the Dental Health Blog to focus on bad news, we do believe in sharing important dental health information and news with our readers. With that in mind, a recent article at MedicalXpress.com was truly eye opening. Titled, The cavity in health insurance coverage – oral health, the article focuses on the lack of dental insurance coverage in the US, even despite implementation of the Affordable Care Act (nee Obamacare).
As explained in the article, because Medicare is the largest provider of health insurance in the country, it plays a critical role in establishing health care coverage norms. But, since Medicare does not provide coverage for dental care, this has become the standard for insurance providers under the ACA as well.
Where health insurance fails dental patients
What does all of this mean to you, the dental patient?
- Medicare is the nation’s largest insurer; yet, the federal health insurance program upon which we send billions annually, does not cover routine dental work. At the same time, coverage for adults through Medicaid varies greatly from state to state.
- It has been estimated that more than 100 million Americans have no dental insurance, and that one in four non-elderly Americans has untreated tooth decay.
- Oral health isn’t only about having nice looking teeth. As the surgeon general noted in a 2000 report, oral health is intimately connected to general health and can be implicated in or exacerbate diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, as well as complications during pregnancy.
- The absence of comprehensive dental care exacts a toll on millions of Americans in terms of poor health, pain, and the social stigma associated with bad teeth.
- On a positive note: children’s dental coverage is a required benefit included on all ACA compliant plans, and Medicaid as well.
In light of these disturbing data, it becomes even more important that education in self-care and regular dental checkups are critical to avoiding the types of dental problems that are shared in this article; from things that are simply embarrassing to dental conditions that interfere with everything from overall health to employment possibilities.
The doctors and staff at The Colorado Center for Implant and Prosthetic Dentistry are available to help you determine effective solutions to all of your dental problems. If you would like more information from your Littleton area Prosthodontist, please call to make an appointment today.