Dental Benefit Consensus Letter to Secretary Sebelius
As HHS grapples with clarifying the design of the Essential Benefits Package and Exchanges, we are pleased to have been able to engage numerous organizations to speak as one strong voice in supporting a meaningful oral health benefit that is affordable and accessible for kids. The attached sign-on letter to Secretary Sebelius was created to help shape a comprehensive pediatric dental benefit in ACA.
This summer, CDHP along with the Delta Dental Plans of America gathered experts to develop a consensus statement on what the pediatric dental benefit should include in the Essential Benefits Package. The result is a benefit that focuses on the child. The statement builds on the existing employer-sponsored dental benefit infrastructure to provide a sound and affordable benefit. This benefit would assess a child’s risk-factors for early childhood tooth decay, within the context of their family, to identify the appropriate evidence-based care in response to those risk-factors. The statement reflects the current standards and guidance of the American Dental Association and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry that recognizes the unique needs of vulnerable children. By focusing this benefit on preventing tooth decay and providing treatment with the goal of managing the disease, the desire is to avoid much of the pain and extensive treatment costs. An actuarial analysis by dental insurers determined that this benefit can be provided to all children in the Exchange for less than the current “one-size-fits-all” benefit.
The attached letter will provide HHS the support it needs to structure federal guidance on the Essential Benefit Package toward a more comprehensive, child-focused dental benefit. We greatly appreciate the support of all signing organizations.
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