Q. Does the health care reform law require insurers to offer dental coverage?
A. No. The law doesn't require insurers to cover dental care for adults, but there's a good chance that could change when the state insurance exchanges begin operating in 2014. These exchanges will be online marketplaces where consumers can easily compare prices and coverage and find the policy that best fits their needs.
The law treats children differently from adults when it comes to dental care. Health care plans sold in the exchanges must include dental coverage for children. The age limit will be set in the regulations.
Other provisions of the law provide funding to improve dental care and other services provided at community health centers across the country, which serve patients regardless of their insurance or ability to pay. There also is money to provide student loans for dental and other medical education to graduates who agree to work in medically underserved areas.
Susan Jaffe of Washington, D.C., covers health and aging issues and writes the Bulletin’s weekly column, Health Care Reform Explained: Your Questions Answered.
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