According to the :DPTM SmileMeter, a national survey on American dental health issues, six out of ten people currently receive dental benefits as part of their employer-sponsored health plans. Fifty percent of those surveyed expect their future health benefits to be obtained through their employer.
Those who rely on their employers to provide dental insurance and other healthcare benefits may be in for an unpleasant shock.
By 2025 almost all major employers will not be funding health insurance plans and fewer than20 percent of people working in the private sector will receive healthcare coverage through an employer, according to "Reinventing American Healthcare," a book by Ezekiel J. Emanuel, director of the Clinical Bioethics Department at the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
A large percentage of the population is expected to purchase their health insurance through the federal or state-run insurance exchanges. This may complicate the process of obtaining dental care coverage.
"Dental care is rarely included in healthcare exchange plans for adults, and if purchased as a stand-alone plan dental insurance is not eligible for federal subsidy tax credits," says Bill Chase, vice president of marketing for :DentalPlans. "It's unfortunate that the Affordable Care Act treats dental care as an option rather than a necessary healthcare service."
If your dental coverage has been dumped, there are other options that can help you obtain the care you need. Here are some tips from :DentalPlans for finding affordable dental care in your community:
1. No Stone Left Uncovered. If you have questions about obtaining dental insurance from the federal or state insurance exchanges, visit :DentalPlans' Affordable Care Act Information Resource Site at www.dentalplans.com/
2. Shop Around. Contact your state's dental association (you can find contact information via the website of the American Dental Association) and ask if there are local dentists who offer sliding scale rates, or discounts for emergency services/kids/senior care. Also check for dental services at federally-funded community health centers near you by calling1-888-Ask-HRSA (1-888-275-4772) or visiting the Health Resources and Services Administration site.
3: Go Back To School. Dental schools often provide quality treatment at reduced cost. Experienced dentists closely supervise the students who will be working on you. Dental hygiene schools may offer low-cost preventive dental care as well. For contact information on dental schools in your area, visit the DDS/DMD Programs page on the American Dental Association website. For preventative care, visit the American Dental Hygienists' Association.
4. Compare and Contrast. If concerns about insurance costs are causing you to avoid seeing a dentist, a dental savings plan from :DentalPlans can help. A dental savings plan offers an affordable alternative to dental insurance with no waiting, paperwork, restrictions on pre-existing conditions or other hassles. Visit www.dentalplans.com for more information.
:DentalPlans, founded in 1999, is the largest dental savings plan marketplace in the USA, offering consumers access to 40+ dental savings plans from trusted healthcare brands, like Aetna, Careington, Signature Wellness, and UNI-CARE. Plan members have access to more than 100,000 dentists nationwide.
:DentalPlans, which has been included in the INC. 5000 list for three years standing, is committed to making you smile by making access to quality oral healthcare affordable and available to everyone. Visit us at www.dentalplans.com and on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/dentalplans.
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