The Affordable Care Act has many far-reaching implications for the American public. Also known as Obamacare, the purpose of this legislation is to provide health insurance to those Americans that could not previously afford it, or had pre-existing conditions, which prevented them from participating. The Act itself is incredibly large and very complex. Some of the components of the law include reforming medicare, subsidies for those who qualify, and a requirement for large employers to provide insurance to employees.
Complexity and its Results
Due to this complexity, there is still considerable uncertainty surrounding how precisely it will affect Americans. Some states are in the process of creating their own infrastructure to implement Obamacare, while other states have opted not to participate. For these states, the federal government is responsible for the implementation.
The Insurance Exchanges
The Affordable Care Act created a new marketplace for health insurance known as the exchanges. The nature of exchanges varies, and some are organized by the state, while others are managed by the Federal Government to differing degrees. It is not required for individuals to purchase insurance through the Exchanges; however, for those interested in government subsidies, the Exchanges are the only marketplace where they are available.
Levels of Coverage
The Exchanges feature 5 levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Premium and Catastrophic. The costs associated with monthly premiums and deductibles vary with these different levels.
Officially beginning in 2014, families are responsible for obtaining dental coverage for their children. You can purchase this coverage in one of two ways. You may purchase dental coverage in the exchanges with other medical packages, or you can obtain stand-alone dental coverage.
Dental Coverage Offered in the Exchange
According to Delta Dental, one of the largest dental insurance companies in the US, several facts are known about dental coverage and the Exchanges. Both stand-alone dental benefits and children’s dental coverage will be sold on the Exchanges. On some of these Exchanges, customers will be able to purchase adult and family dental coverage. Many of the details surrounding these points are unclear. One of the recently passed rules, the final exchange rule, has provided some guidance on how dental coverage will be managed. Officially, dental coverage can be sold separate from other medical coverage when it is in the best interest of the consumer. Historically, dental insurance has been sold separate from other medical coverage. Given that this has almost universally been the case, and actually offers several tangible benefits to consumers, there is some reason to believe these will continue.
Your Dental Coverage
The Affordable Care Act also has an impact on the Dental Industry. The extent to which Obamacare influences dental coverage depends on the Federal classification of dental care. The key classificatory term is “excepted benefits.” Obamacare was designed to provided comprehensive medical coverage to the American Public. In some cases dental care is considered part of this coverage, while in other cases it is not. These decisions are very plan and location specific.
Stand-Alone Dental Coverage
While developing the Affordable Care Act, Congress determined that having stand alone companies specializing in dentistry was quite valuable. For this reason, in the Exchanges, dental care can be purchased separately from other medical services. This was done in order to prevent children from being forced to use a dentist other than their family doctor, and to maintain the level of coverage previously maintained.
The Affordable Care Act has consequences for you and your dental insurance, as well as direct results on your dentist. Many dentists, along with a wide range of other health care providers, are concerned that those who are in the Obamacare networks may have an increased workload and potentially less compensation than before.
Should your dentist be overwhelmed with additional clients, it will become increasingly difficult for him or her to take the essential time off needed to perform optimally. Fortunately, companies such as Forest Irons, offer solutions to dentists in serious need of recuperation time. Tired doctors make for poor quality work. The potential extra stress of the Affordable Care Act will make it more important than ever for those dentists working hard to support their clients to have the opportunity to take time off.
About the Author:
Louise Williams has traveled all over the globe to study and capture all of the various types of signs out there. From Europe to China to India, she’s seen all types of signage, and now she brings her knowledge to Forest Irons.