Dental care is very important for both adults and children as much as medical care. Children and adults must have the same access to dental care. However, even in this reality, the new Affordable Care Act is only limitedly advantageous to children alone and not to adult.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 25% of the American adult population do not have dental insurance coverage at all. This means millions of adults below 65 years of age do not have dental insurance coverage at all.
In the same sense, Medicaid also covers only very little dental insurance. In the US, there are as many as 8 states that do not offer any dental coverage. And, as many as 17 states cater only dental emergency coverage. Dental emergency is not enough. You need regular visitations to your dentist for regular check up. Because of this emergency coverage only, a lot of Americans, approximately 2.1 million in 2010, where running to emergency rooms. But unfortunately, by this time the infection has caused so much damage that the tooth is not saveable any longer.
The diseases that are caused by poor dental health are over-looked by the makers and implementers of Affordable Care Act. This is surprising because there are a lot of studies linking poor dental health to common diseases like hypertension, heart attack, nerve damage and the likes and yet, dental health is not covered.
But finally, they brought back dental coverage for adults under the medicaid program, but only partially. It doesn’t cover all dental care necessities. But what about people who don’t qualify for medicaid, but at the same time can’t afford dental insurance? They are out of luck.
In case you might be wondering what systemic diseases are caused by dental complications, here is an incomplete list:
• heart problems like heart attacks
• breathing complications
• Premature childbirth
Here is another reference to systemic diseases and oral health.
Because of the utilization of the emergency rooms, there is a high cost paid by the government to this compared to providing basic dental care. A simple cleaning and filling should have been done in the early stage which would have prevented the invasive procedure to be made later on. It is like clumping up the sum of all basic dental care expenditures and adding more traumas. In this case, both the government and the citizen are at loss. As you know emergency rooms are horrifically expensive.
One thing that the Affordable Care Act is proud of is the coverage for pediatric dental care. However, the catch here is that regulations and provisions will be meted by each state.
A good example is the case in Utah. The provisions of the insurance approved include dental sealants as check and cleanings for children. Other than that, there is no restorative care to be given. Cavity fillings are not included if not an emergency case where the child is crying for unbearable pain already.
Dental insurance are quite expensive. They are also covering insufficient services to maintain dental health. Affordable Care Act aims the changes with these policies. The problem is that the changes brought about by Affordable Care Act are not essential changes, especially to adults. Access to the dental care is still a problem.