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Stakes are High for Oral Health in Health Care Reform
Nov 20, 2009
Delta Dental continues to promote stand-alone dental plans
While health care reform continues to evolve, current proposals in Congress include coverage of dental services for children, which Delta Dental supports. However, a provision in the current House bill would have a negative impact on Americans and their oral health.
The House bill would require families to obtain their children's dental coverage from medical insurers, not from stand-alone carriers specializing in dental coverage, as most do today. This forces parents who currently have family coverage to purchase two dental plans — one for their children and one for themselves. The end result? Coverage for an estimated 40 to 50 million children nationwide would be disrupted, with no guarantee that those affected could keep their current family dentist. It's also possible that some parents might choose to discontinue their dental coverage rather than maintain their own dental plan.
Delta Dental opposes this approach and has mounted a lobbying and communications program supporting proposals that do the following:
- Help Americans keep their current dental coverage and current dentists;
- Give Americans a choice among the best dental plans, including plans from stand-alone, dental-focused carriers;
- Maintain healthy competition among carriers to hold down costs and
- Advance America's oral health.
Delta Dental supports a provision in the Senate bill which, thanks to an amendment championed by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), allows stand-alone coverage to satisfy the proposed new children's dental benefit mandate. However, the debate continues as the House and Senate begin to reconcile their two different proposals for reforming health care.
Delta Dental urges concerned parties to weigh in with their representatives and ask them to support the Senate approach to stand-alone dental benefits. For more information on health care reform and its effects on dental plans, go to www.advanceoralhealth.com