SOURCE: :DentalPlans

:DentalPlans

April 14, 2015 11:00 ET

:DentalPlans SmileIndex™ Survey Shows the Affordable Care Act Needs a Dental Checkup

ACA Does Little to Address Oral Crisis in American Health

PLANTATION, FL--(Marketwired - April 14, 2015) - Currently, an estimated 132 million American adults and children, or one-third of the population, still lack dental benefits coverage.*

According to the national :DentalPlans SmileIndex™ survey**, only seven percent of those surveyed get their dental insurance as a result of the healthcare exchange law. While the Affordable Care Act has reduced the number of people without medical insurance, it has done little to broaden access to affordable dental care for most Americans.

The Affordable Care Act does expand pediatric benefits, but many children already had access to such benefits through Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). For adults, the law does not include dental benefits as part of the Essential Health Benefits. So, this leaves most adults having to pay for a stand-alone plan on top of their medical insurance, either through the healthcare marketplace or privately, or go without.

"The importance of oral care to a person's overall health and well being is extremely important," says Bill Chase, vice president of marketing for :DentalPlans, the leading provider of dental savings plans. "Americans need to stop treating dental care as a luxury option, affordable to only some, and bring it into the mainstream healthcare system where it belongs."

The Government Accountability Office reported in a recent study that the average out of pocket payments for dental services in the U.S. has increased 26 percent, after accounting for inflation, between 1996 and 2010, from $520 to $653. The more than one-third of us without dental insurance have endured an even higher increase in costs, at 38 percent during that time frame.

Affordability continues to be an issue. According to the :DP SmileIndex, of the respondents without dental insurance 58 percent stated it was not affordable, while 21 percent said it was not offered through their employer. The study revealed that only 23 percent of respondents without dental insurance would look for other low cost options.

That is where :DentalPlans comes in. Dental savings plans are affordable, easy, and offer quality access to dental services at rates up to 60 percent off what you would pay out-of-pocket without a plan. If you can't afford dental insurance on your own, the reduced fees offered to members of a dental savings plan can mean the difference between getting care or not.

"Affordable preventative care will go a long way towards keeping American's mouths healthy and smiling," adds Chase. "We encourage people to visit :DentalPlans' Dental Information Center, where you can learn more about how the savings stack up, why oral care is so important, as well as tips on maintaining good oral hygiene."

* NADP/DDPA Joint Dental Benefits Report: Enrollment June 2009

**A national study was conducted for :DentalPlans between Jan. 1 and Jan. 7, 2015 by Infosurv Research. A total of 1,200 national respondents were surveyed, yielding data with a margin of error of +/- 2.83%. 

An independent study of its members was conducted for :DentalPlans between Jan. 21 and Feb. 4, 2015 by Infosurv Research. A total of 9,410 national customers were surveyed, yielding data with a margin of error of +/- .99%. 

About :DentalPlans
:DentalPlans, founded in 1999, is a leading dental and health savings marketplace in the U.S., helping more than a million people to affordably access quality healthcare services. Our mission is to empower consumers with the tools, information, and services that they need to live happier, healthier lives.

We provide comprehensive resource centers aimed at helping people to maintain/regain optimal health, and successfully navigate the maze of healthcare payment options (including Obamacare and Medicaid.) Our independent research -- the :DP SmileMeter™ and :DP SmileIndex™ -- delivers a unique look into the consumer healthcare market. We offer user-friendly access to a wide selection of traditional dental insurance and 40+dental savings plans, along with innovative healthcare offerings including telemedicine, medical advocacy, and online counseling services. Our online plan comparison and savings calculator tools help consumers to make smart choices about essential healthcare services, and our :DP AtYourService™ customer support team leaves no question unanswered. For more information, visit us at www.dentalplans.com.

Contact Information

  • For more information:

    Melissa Watkins 
    Public Relations Counsel 
    Office: 804-402-5316  
    pr@dentalplans.com  

    Kelly Cioe
    Public Relations Counsel
    Office: 603-436-2347
    Kelly@whalenpr.com