While the Affordable Care Act has created a new way to shop for dental insurance, it hasn’t improved the quality of that coverage, nor has it made the economics any friendlier—at least not for adults.
For the most part, Medicare doesn’t cover dental care; the program pays only in certain cases where dental and medical needs intersect. And only 2% of retirees have dental coverage through a prior employer.
Obamcare imposes annual out-of-pocket caps on certain pediatric dental expenses, limiting families’ financial exposure. But those benefits don’t extend to adult dental. Moreover, the federal subsidies that help income-eligible consumers pay for their health insurance can’t be used toward adult dental coverage.
Nationwide, 126.7 million Americans lack dental coverage, nearly three times the number of medically uninsured, according to the National Association of Dental Plans.