SOURCE: :DentalPlans

:DentalPlans

October 28, 2015 13:05 ET

What You Need to Know Now About Obamacare Dental Insurance

Get Ready for ACA Open Enrollment With Tips From :DentalPlans

PLANTATION, FL--(Marketwired - October 28, 2015) - Just in time for the third annual Open Enrollment period, the Obama administration has made several changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) website (healthcare.gov) to make it easier for people to find health insurance that fits their needs. But unfortunately, the ACA continues to do little to help adults gain affordable access to dental care -- 100 million Americans still lack dental coverage.

Additionally, choosing dental insurance on healthcare.gov proves difficult. Consumers remain confused over whether they must purchase dental insurance for their children, and struggle to understand the advantages of choosing a healthcare bundle that includes dental insurance versus a standalone dental plan.

The improvements to healthcare.gov include new "decision support tools" to help consumers quickly find health insurance plans whose networks include their doctors and preferred hospitals. Another tool helps consumers predict their health care costs for the year ahead, based on what prescription drugs they currently take. The new "Privacy Manager" tool makes it easy for people to control what personal data is collected by healthcare.gov.

These are all welcome improvements, but anyone who was hoping for help in choosing a plan with dental coverage will still need to do a little digging on their own.

:DentalPlans offers a comprehensive Obamacare dental information center for those who want to purchase dental insurance on healthcare.gov, including information specifically for parents, seniors, small business owners, and the self-employed. :DentalPlans also offers the following tips for anyone who is buying dental insurance on healthcare.gov:

You cannot buy dental insurance without also buying a healthcare plan through healthcare.gov.

You can either choose a dental plan that is bundled with your healthcare insurance or can purchase a standalone dental insurance plan along with your health insurance plan. If you only need dental insurance, you can't buy it on healthcare.gov.

If you choose a bundle, look for a plan with a separate deductible for dental care.

The deductible for the most popular plan tier ("Silver") on healthcare.gov is $2,927 for an individual, and $6,010 for a family. Your insurance does not cover any costs until your out-of-pocket costs equal the deductible. Depending on your healthcare usage, a plan with a high-deductible may leave you paying out of pocket for all of your dental costs. Try to find a plan that provides a separate deductible just for dental care. Dental insurance plans purchased through private insurers typically have a deductible of $50 per person, or $150 for a family plan.

If you choose a standalone dental plan, you forfeit tax credits.

If you add a standalone ACA dental insurance plan to your health insurance, the dental plan will not qualify for the incentives intended to make healthcare insurance more affordable. Depending on your financial status, this can be an issue. That said, standalone dental plans will typically provide a low, dental-only deductible.

For both standalone plans and bundles, check the details.

Information shown on the top-level pages of healthcare.gov may refer to pediatric dental coverage only. To verify the dental coverage benefits are provided for adults, you'll need to use the "plan compare" feature, or check the plan details on the insurer's own website.

Dental insurance isn't the best choice for everyone.

Parents are not required under federal law to purchase dental insurance for their children, even though dental coverage is an "essential benefit" according to the ACA. Adults are not required to have dental insurance either. And for some people, dental savings plans -- the affordable alternative to traditional dental insurance -- is the better choice. Dental savings plans do not have spending caps, deductibles and exclusions for pre-existing conditions or waiting periods (most plans activate within 72 hours, or sooner).

"Many of the dental savings plans offered by :DentalPlans include savings on general healthcare needs, including telemedicine, vision and hearing services, prescriptions, chiropractic, and more," says Bill Chase, vice-president of marketing at :DentalPlans. "The plans we offer can provide essential savings for people who are under-insured, want to save on services not covered by their insurance, or those who have exhausted their benefits."

The Affordable Care Act's third open enrollment period begins on November 1, 2015 and runs through January 31, 2016. Applications must be completed by December 15th to ensure coverage is in effect on January 1, 2016. The dental savings plans offered on dentalplans.com can be purchased at any time throughout the year.

To find out more about the advantages of dental savings plans, along with plans that help to reduce the costs of other vital healthcare services, visit dentalplans.com.

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. For more information, visit us at www.dentalplans.com and find us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

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