For our latest update on Obama’s health care reform, please see “Does Obamacare Cover Dental?” How will President Obama’s healthcare reform act affect dental coverage? In the turbulence that has…


Is Dental Coverage Included in Obama’s Healthcare Bill?

For our latest update on Obama’s health care reform, please see “Does Obamacare Cover Dental?”

How will President Obama’s healthcare reform act affect dental coverage? In the turbulence that has surrounded passage of the healthcare reform bill early in 2010, most Americans are unable to comprehend exactly how the changes will affect them personally. While certain aspects such as pain management for seniors receive a great deal of attention, most of the bill remains veiled in political double-speak. Read on to learn the truth about how healthcare reform will and will not impact American dental health.

Who Will Benefit Most from Healthcare Reform?

Tooth decay is the most common childhood disease in this country, particularly among low income kids. It may be for this reason that the legislators who crafted healthcare reform put the needs of children first. Consequently, young Americans will see many positive benefits from the new law. According to the Delta Dental Plan Association, starting in 2014, most children without dental coverage will be picked up either through private or public options.

First and foremost, Medicaid coverage will be expanded, and along with it the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). In addition, grants will be available in all 50 states to encourage faculties to study the prevention of tooth decay in children, as well as to provide decay-preventing sealants for low income youngsters. Finally, the youngest segment of our population will benefit from additional funding for school-based health center facilities.

How Does Healthcare Reform Affect Adult Oral Health?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 45 million adult Americans currently do not have dental insurance. Unfortunately, the legislation passed in 2010 to make it easier for all Americans to obtain coverage did little to consider the dental needs of people over 21. According to Reuters, Americans must purchase health insurance by 2014 in order to avoid being fined. However, this requirement does not extend to specific vision or dental coverage.

As a result, it is feared that millions of the most vulnerable adult patients will continue to be unable to access the preventative care and more complex procedures they need in order to promote their oral health. And since tooth decay and gum disease are increasingly being linked to major medical problems such as diabetes, heart disease and even miscarriage, this gaping hole in coverage also means poor overall health and increasing medical costs for millions of people.

Can Discount Dental Plans Bridge the Gap?

When patients have to choose between putting food on the table and getting a cavity filled, the answer is clear. Because discount dental plans offer significant savings on a full range of basic and complex dental procedures, many of the most precariously balanced patients are spared from going into debt to pay for their dental work.

Here’s how discount dental plans work. Immediately upon joining, patients receive full access to the plan, with no complicated paperwork, no waiting periods, and no yearly maximums. Furthermore, these discount dental plans can be used in conjunction with any other policy a patient might possess. Although only one provider can be used for any given visit, a savvy patient can plan in advance which plan will cover which procedures, thereby leading to additional savings. 

Is Healthcare Reform a Positive Step for American Dental Care?

As with most pieces of legislation that are passed, the 2010 healthcare reform law contains many flaws and remains incomplete. The American Dental Association has been quick to discern the glaring lack of help for adults, particularly when it comes to Medicare and Medicaid. However, if you are a child from a family with a low income, or if you are thinking of studying dentistry, there are provisions in the law that could be of great benefit to you.

For the rest of us, alternatives such as discount dental plans can go a long way toward addressing the inadequacies of President Obama’s healthcare reform plan. Hopefully, the next few years will see continued work to refine and improve this historic piece of legislation.

  1. I had a visit to my dentist today for scheduled work. I am 80 years old and have always received a senior discount of 10% but was told this has now been discontinued because of Obama Care and the insurance companies. I have no dental insurance and have Medicare and Blue Cross for my medical but no company has offered dental insurance.
    I cannot find any written information on the subject and am curious how this became part of Obama Care.

    • I apologize for not getting back to you sooner, Eleanor. Thank you for writing to us! I also cannot find any information as to how this became apart of Obamacare–discontinuing senior discounts. I will continue to research this for you and let you know if I find anything. In the meantime, while we do not offer dental insurance, we do sell discount dental plans, which can offer you significant savings at the dentist. Please feel free to look over our website: and give us a call at 800-372-7615 if you have any questions!

  2. Due to plant closing at the end of 2012 and unemployment benefits cutoff, I cannot afford dental insurance. Have only found one part time job(seasonal) which ended. Have perondontal disease in bottom teeth-over a year now. Have no income. Medicaid does not cover. All dental funding went to children. I am 55 years old. Have so much saliva(infection?) draining in my mouth that I have to put a towel in to soak up. Was told will go into heart, lungs. Spent last of my money to be told that. Feel sick all the time. Have called and gone to dentists for help. Clinics that were “free”now charge due to program being cut out. No dentist will help. No insurance, no job,no help. No one wants to hire someone that has saliva dripping out of mouth! Unhealthy, un sanitary. Have never been without a job before. So sick with and of this. Have no one to turn to for help. Compassion is the exception not the rule anymore.

    • I’m sorry to hear about what you’re going through right now. If you would like to look over our dental plans to see if they would be an affordable option for you, please visit our website at We have our plan information and what each procedure would cost with and without our plan. We also offer our members the option of paying annually for their plan or monthly. The monthly option may better suit your needs at the current time. Also, keep in mind that we offer discount dental plans, not dental insurance. It works a bit differently, but it can still provide you with the dental care you need at an affordable price.

      I hope that this can be a help to you.

  3. Hi I have two children under 18 and have no dental coverage. I just went to the dentist and had to pay $183 out of pocket. Could I get some reassurance that my kids’ dental check-up is truly covered? And I have Kaiser Permanente as our medical insurer, but not a whole lot of info is out there for the dental. It says it’s covered, but no one knows how to proceed. Suggestions would be helpful.

    • I would recommend speaking with your insurance provider about your dental coverage and what that includes. If they are still unhelpful or you find that you don’t have the dental coverage you need, consider a discount dental plan with Becoming a member of this plan gives you the discounts you need to afford your dental care. I hope it is helpful for you and your family.

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