The Affordable Care Act (known by opponents and proponents alike as “Obamacare”) was a bill aimed at reforming health coverage in this country. It did so via 900 pages of mechanisms, and you don’t need to be on any certain side to recognize this is a large bill that most people will benefit from having it explained and condensed. Does Obamacare include Dental Insurance? The short answer is no, except for children, in a way.

Children must be offered dental coverage under any ACA-approved plan. A child must be offered dental by any employers or insurance agents, but the difference between health insurance and dental is that you may refuse it. With health insurance, if parents do not purchase a plan from the insurance companies for their child they will be fined. So while it is absolutely needed that they offer it, you do not have to buy it.

Many of the new laws and advantages insurance was given by ACA does not count for dental plans. Cost assistance is not available to everyone, but if you are one of the few who could have their insurance partially covered, you can use that towards dental. But unlike health insurance, if you hit your deductible then it may not be 100% paid for after that. With health insurance, after the deductible is reached (regardless if the deductible is 3 grand or 10), they are supposed to pay for everything after that. Some health plans include dental work for life-saving procedures, for example if you need oral surgery they will cover that. Remember, if you purchase a plan that is a general health plan, but includes dental plan, plan out the possibility you may not always want it. Dental cannot be dropped without dropping all of it, so if it’s possible you may not be able to pay, reconsider your budget. Employers do not have to offer dental at all either. Normally, anyone with over 50 employees must provide healthcare to anyone that is working over 30 hours.

There are multiple types of insurance. Indemnity plans basically will cover a percentage of services rendered depending on the plan you bought, which means these plans have a wide range of options to increase effectiveness. DMHO’s reduce costs outright for people in their network, and generally will allow customers to get on payment schedules. But DMHO’s generally are just for your specific dentist. PPO’s are like general DMHO’s. Anyone in the network you’re allowed to use and they will cover you. So DMHO’s are great for big operations and include preventative care, but the dentist must be one that signed the contract with the provider if you want to use them. However, DMHO’s generally have no annual limit on how much they will pay.  PPO’s allow you to go out of network, however that comes at a price. You pay the difference in fees between the non-network provider and someone in the network. These also generally have annual limits.