The Children's Dental Health Project's blog
CDHP participates in HRSA Webcast on pediatric dental issues
This week I participated in a webcast sponsored by the Office of Regional Operations at the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The objective was to educate a broad group of stakeholders in HRSA Region VIII* about pediatric dental benefits in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While many of my examples focused on states in that region, the information is designed to be useful to stakeholders nationwide.
Taking a train-the-trainer approach, my presentation was designed to inform navigators and in-person assisters. These individuals and organizations play a crucial role in helping consumers get health coverage through the new insurance marketplaces, and making sure they understand the factors to consider when shopping for pediatric dental coverage. The session was broadcast to oral health stakeholders such as state oral health program staff, primary care and dental association members as well as state oral health coalitions who are well-positioned to assist in ensuring that children receive affordable, high quality dental care.
One of the more confusing aspects of shopping on the new health insurance marketplaces is simply understanding how to compare different dental coverage options and which factors matter most for a given family or child. That’s why my presentation focused heavily on exploring different plan designs and the impact that cost-sharing, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums can have on the affordability of dental benefits. What’s best for a family with children at low risk for dental disease may not be best for all children. My presentation also references a number of resources, including CDHP’s FAQ on oral health services in the ACA and our checklist for in-person assistance, which are available for download in the presentation’s accompanying materials.
In addition to information on the history and purpose of the ACA’s inclusion of pediatric dental coverage, this webcast describes how dental coverage may be offered in the new health insurance marketplaces, explains the differences between plan types, demonstrates how states have chosen to implement the law’s dental coverage provisions, addresses some of the law’s shortcomings with regard to pediatric dental benefits, provides examples of various dental plan designs, and emphasizes what consumers need to know when shopping for dental coverage for their children.
During the presentation, I received a number of questions regarding the ACA’s premium tax credits and how they are calculated with regard to pediatric dental coverage, an issue that poses a real barrier to choice and affordability for families as we’ve previously discussed. CDHP and its partners continue to work towards a solution at the federal level to ensure that families receive a tax credit based on cost of health and dental benefits, regardless of how they are purchased.
HRSA has archived the webcast and ancillary materials at the link below. I hope it serves as a useful and informative tool for all.
To view the webcast now, click here and register.
*Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming
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