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AHIP Supports Bipartisan Legislation To Enhance Dental Coverage For Individuals, Families

posted by Courtney Jay

on September 11, 2015

As policymakers consider solutions to improve access to dental coverage for individuals and families, AHIP strongly supports bipartisan legislation, H.R. 3463“Aligning Children’s Dental Coverage Act,”  introduced by Reps. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) that takes a critical step towards expanding consumers’ options and providing greater clarity when shopping for coverage.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires coverage offered in the individual and small group markets to provide essential health benefits, including pediatric oral health benefits. Currently, families shopping in the Exchange have several coverage choices and options between stand-alone dental plans and qualified health plans that embed this dental benefit. But for those seeking coverage outside of the Exchange, these options are limited, and shopping for coverage that meets the ACA requirements can be confusing and challenging for families.

This legislation would align the broader marketplace by allowing all health plans – regardless of whether they are offered on, or outside of, an Exchange – to meet the ACA’s requirement for offering essential health benefits if they choose to offer dental benefits through a stand-alone plan rather than as part of a major medical plan.  By applying the same rules to Exchange plans and off-Exchange plans, this bill will help eliminate confusion for consumers.

“Access to high quality dental care is critical to the overall health and well-being of the American people. This is particularly true with respect to preventive services that help patients avoid unnecessary dental decay and periodontal diseases,” AHIP President and CEO Marilyn Tavenner said. “We applaud Reps. Griffith and DeGette for their work to improve access to dental coverage for millions of individuals and families across the country.”